Fr. Samnang, Salesian of Don Bosco, with the Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart who are providing a service to the children and young women of Don Bosco Kep since October 2016. From right to left Sister Cheryl Lopez (Philippines), Sister Juanita Navel (Mexico) and Sister Milagros Ramirez (Peru.)

Kep City — In October 2016 Sister Juanita and Sister Milagros arrived to Cambodia in the name of their religious congregation: the Carmelites of the Sacred Heart from Guadalajara, Mexico, an order founded by Venerable Mother María Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament. The history of this nun brings us to a difficult time in Mexico, when religions and, in special the Catholic Church, were object of bloody persecution. The skill and Faith of Mother Luisita, a woman who were a widow and a nurse, helped her to create a new female congregation under the tutelage of the Carmelite spirituality and an active apostolate among the poorest, especially those who would require health attention.

Mother Luisita welcomed in her hospital any person, without discrimination, even from those who were persecuting the Church. She survived her time due to her simplicity and love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus,” said Sister Juanita Navel, who is the superior in her new and small community in Cambodia with Don Bosco.

Mother Luisita died on February 11, 1937 in Guadalajara, among those she wanted to help: the poor. But the persecution of the religion sent her to California for two years in 1927, where her spiritual zeal made her mother of another religious institution:  The Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles.

Simplicity, Faith and love for the poor, made that this nun passed through the hardships of a time in her country, letting a legacy of sisters that today are present in different countries, especially in the Americas. They have also a presence in the Philippines and, since 2016 in Cambodia in association with the Salesians of Don Bosco to the benefit of female students and girls at Don Bosco Kep.