Sister Amarilis Flores Arrioja
Born in Anzoategui State, Venezuela, Sister Amarilis first came to know the Mission Helpers as a 22-year-old lay missioner, working with the Sisters among the poorest of the poor in rural Manzanita. “It has been my privilege to work among the people of God,” she says, “to rejoice with them, to share my faith and my life, to struggle in their struggle.”
She formally entered the Mission Helpers Community in 1998 and took her final vows in 2007 at Mission Helper Center in Baltimore. During her novitiate, she taught English as a second language in Altamonte Springs, Florida, and worked with infants and toddlers in a child care center there. She moved to Boston in 2000 and worked with the Hispanic community at Holy Cross Cathedral.
She returned to Venezuela after taking final vows and helped to establish the Mission Helpers’ first Formation program outside of the United States. Sister Amarilis meets with and mentors women who are discerning religious life and teaches English to local teenagers.
She visits parish youth groups and schools and serves as a counselor to troubled families. On weekends, she returns to Manzanita, where her ministry began, and visits people in their homes, prepares new lay missioners and helps people overcome the challenges and hardships of poverty that confront them daily. She holds a bachelor’s degree in religious education from the Graduate Theological Foundation.