Project Description


Sister Maria David Magbanua, FSE

With a ready smile and a teasing manner, Sister Maria David Magbanua has endeared herself to people in every center where she has lived. A native of the Philippines, she worked as a midwife in her country before moving to the Holy Land where she was employed as a caregiver for elderly Jewish persons. She met the Franciscan Sisters in Jerusalem and was drawn to their mission and joyful religious presence. Now, as a perpetually professed Sister, she has been missioned by the Community back to Jerusalem and serves in the Custody of the Holy Land with the Franciscan Friars.

S Maria David

As a novice, Sister Maria David was given her religious name to represent her love for the Holy Land, especially Jerusalem, the City of David. During her years of formation at the motherhouse, Sister obtained a B.S. degree in Public Health with specialization in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Connecticut.  She is Certified as a Health Education Specialist from the National Commission on Health Education Credentialing in Whitehall, Pennsylvania. Sister Maria David directed the initial Franciscan Home Care and Hospice Care Flu Clinic in Meriden, Connecticut. Sister holds a Certification in Bioethics from the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a Master of Arts in Theology, cum laude, from Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut.

S Maria David Final Vows

In Pocatello, Idaho she served as the Director of Saint Vincent de Paul Social Services assisting and advocating for  homeless persons, underprivileged families and individuals who needed financial assistance and emergency help for food, clothing and shelter. Sister loved her mission where she daily listened to the cry of the poor, as she encountered those in need. She felt privileged to alleviate human suffering and to affirm human dignity by providing basic needs. In addition, Sister served as Advisory Council Member of the Catholic Charities in Southeast Idaho. During Sister’s time in Idaho, she also worked for a home care agency visiting and assisting the sick and elderly in their homes and at the same time she worked at Holy Spirit Catholic School in Pocatello guiding and helping students with their interpersonal and social skills, personal growth and development.

Prior to Sister’s mission in Idaho, she served as the Residential Manager of Saint Rose of Lima Priests’ Retirement Villa in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, and taught religious education at Saint Philip parish in Falls Church. For a decade, Sister taught at the Franciscan Life Center Summer Enrichment Program in Meriden, Connecticut.

As the first Filipina Sister in the Community, Sister Maria David has shared with her Sisters cultural customs of her country, including delighting the Community with meticulously prepared Filipino meals on special feasts.

Sister Maria David’s feast day is September 28, Saint Lawrence Ruiz of Manila, the first Filipino saint and martyr canonized by the Church.