Provincial Leadership Team
Sr. Lilia Mercedes Barba serves as the elected leader of the governing council and helps to promote the physical and spiritual well-being of the sisters in the California province. She is also involved in fundraising efforts for the province. She entered the convent in 1982 and took her final vows in 1992. Sr. Lilia holds a B.A. from Mount Saint Mary’s College and an M.A. in Catholic Educational Leadership from the University of San Francisco. Prior to coming to the United States, she received a diploma in Faith Formation. Sister Lilia served as president of Mater Dei Catholic High School in Chula Vista, California for the last 3 years. Sister Lilia was the principal of Vincent Memorial High School in Calexico for 13 years.
Sr. Esmeralda Razo serves as the elected treasurer for the California province of sisters. She entered the convent in 1986 and took her final vows in 1996. Sr. Esmeralda holds an M.A. in Religion Education/Leadership and Administration USF, a B.A. in Liberal Studies and BCLAD credentials from San Diego State University. Prior to coming to the United States in 1992 she received an Accounting Certificate from Academia Occidental (SJS) and a B.A. in Religious Studies from Instituto de Ciencias Religiosas ICRO. She has taught as an Elementary School Teacher for over 20 years in the province, most recently at St Patrick Academy in Sacramento. Sr Esmeralda prefers to teach 2nd grade to stay true to her Charism of educating the students about the Holy Sacrament of 1st Holy Communion.
Sr. Maria Esther Nunez serves as the secretary of the province; she previously served for nine years as treasurer. Prior to serving on the council, she taught on the elementary and junior high school levels at schools in the Imperial Valley, Los Angeles, Bakersfield and Sacramento. Born and raised in Mexico, Sister Esther was educated by the Sister Servants through secondary school and was trained in secretarial and bookkeeping skills. She joined the Sister Servants in 1971 and was transferred to the United States in 1974. She received her B.A. degree from Mount Saint Mary’s College.
Sister Maria Elvia Gonzalez was born and raised in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco, Mexico. She was educated by Sister Servants of the Blessed Sacrament in her hometown and joined the SJS Community on August 23, 1978. She professed her vows on August 15, 1981. Sister Maria Elvia holds a B.A. from “Escuela Normal America”, an SJS Institution in Guadalajara. A Major in Religious Studies from the Instituto de Ciencias Religiosas de Occidente. A M.A. in English from Escuela Normal Superior de Nayarit; (Licenciatura en Educación Media en el área de Ingles). She has ministered as a teacher at different schools: San Ysidro, West Los Angeles, Sun Valley, Sacramento, and Calexico where she has been a Principal for 15 years.
Sr. Aurora Lopez-Ornelas serves as the Vocation Directress and Formation Mistress in the Province of the Immaculate Conception. She entered the convent in 1984 at the age of 16, and has enjoyed being a bride of Christ for more than 25 years. She holds a B.A. in Liberal Studies from the University of Northridge and a B.A in Religious Studies from Instituto de Ciencias Religiosas ICRO. He has experienced different ministries such as teaching students in elementary school where she found her great joy was to prepare children for their First Holy Communion. She was the campus minister at Vincent Memorial Catholic High School, and the Vocation Directress of the U.S. Province as well as the Director of the Office for Vocations to the Priesthood and Consecrated Life in the Diocese of San Diego for seven years. With all her assignments related to vocations, she found her passion in helping the youth in their spiritual journey towards the discernment of their vocations which had deepened her relationship with Christ.
Sr. Rebeca Munoz was born and raised in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Mexico. She was educated by the Sister Servants of the Blessed Sacrament at Colegio Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz in her hometown. At fifteen years of age, she entered religious life at the SJS Congregation on July 2, 1972 and professed her vows on August 15, 1975. Sister Rebeca holds a teaching degree from Escuela Normal America, an SJS Institution in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico; a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Mount St. Mary’s College, Los Angeles, California; and a Master’s Degree from University of Marymount, Arlington, VA. She has ministered as a teacher and principal at different schools in California: Calexico, San Ysidro, El Centro, and Paso Robles where she has served as Principal for eight years. She joyfully loves to play the guitar to praise the Lord at the school’s religious functions, SJS community events, or whenever needed.