I don’t remember exactly when I met Catalina, but I do remember that sometimes she came to the students’ residence in Guayaquil. Otherwise, we would go with the sisters to Playa Prieta and would see her there. She always cheered everyone up with the stories she would tell, her pranks, and her famous jokes. Her happiness in the midst of her life’s simplicity surprised me. She truly had found everything and didn’t need anything to be happy.
Another thing that always surprised me and that made me reflect a lot was her capability to serve. For example, when we would eat, she was attentive so that nobody would lack anything. If there wasn’t enough food, she was able to sacrifice herself so that you would be able to eat. She didn’t want to be the most comfortable, but rather wanted everyone else to feel comfortable. She made me reflect a lot, because it’s not something that’s easy. Catalina knew how to forget herself and be generous with everyone else.
Once, when I was speaking with her, I asked her what her job was. She told me that she worked gathering lemons. I was stumped, and many questions went through my head, mostly because she was young and it was such a simple job. She answered with so much simplicity and joy that I couldn’t believe it. Whenever you asked her a favor, she always said yes, even though that favor might mean a change of plans for her. I never heard her say, “I’m tired; I can’t, maybe later…”
On one occasion, she was taking care of an elderly woman in Guayaquil. It was her job; therefore I could see her more often. One day, I noticed that she was a bit tired. It seemed like the job was difficult, even more when you’re young and you would like to be doing other things. However, you could see the love that she had for the elderly woman. You could see it in how she treated her and in how she would speak to her. What mattered to her was that the other person was happy. She worked without pronouncing a single complaint.
She had a simple and joyful, very joyful, life, and was always willing to serve. Catalina, acting that way, without realizing it, made me and continues making me reflect in order to do what God wants and to love a lot.