Eileen’s Radiant Light
12.15.18 • Lynette Townsend • Volunteer Storyteller
If you happen to run into Eileen Sanvictores at Corpus Christi Church in Aliso Viejo, the first thing you might notice is her smile. She considers Corpus Christi her second home and being there makes her happy. And, like the meaning of her name, you sense a light around her. She will tell you this is because of her relationship with the Lord.
(Eileen) considers Corpus Christi her second home and being there makes her happy.
The most amazing thing about Eileen is her journey. You would never know by looking at her that she has endured cancer not once, but multiple times. To say she is a survivor is an understatement.
You would never know by looking at her that she has endured cancer not once, but multiple times.
To say she is a survivor is an understatement.
Eileen was born and raised in the Philippines. She comes from a large family of six and has a fraternal twin brother. When her family went to church, they occupied an entire pew! She and her siblings were raised Catholic and Eileen went to Catholic school from kindergarten through college. Growing up, Eileen attended mass daily and her dream was to become a nun. Her friends even called her “Sister Eileen.” When she met her husband, she guessed it was God’s plan for her to marry.
In 1988, Eileen and her husband moved to Santa Ana. Eileen started attending mass daily at St. Nicholas in Laguna Woods and she got involved in the Charismatic, Faith Sharing and Divine Mercy groups. During these years, Eileen and her husband were blessed by having two children.
On January 1st, 1998, Eileen and her family moved from Santa Ana to Aliso Viejo. They joined Corpus Christi as parishioners in the year 2000 and Eileen became active in the parish as a volunteer. Because of her vocation as a Preschool Instructional Assistant and because she found children healing, she was drawn to Guppies, AngelFish and F.I.S.H. She also joined LIFT, Ladies in Faith Together.
Eileen’s cancer journey involved chemotherapy. One day after a treatment, she remembers crying and feeling so down. Eileen went into her backyard, looked up to the sky and said, “Lord, it’s really hard for me, you know, to go through this chemo.” Then she said, “Ok, Lord, I am accepting this but I am surrendering it back to you and I will start believing that you will be with me through this journey.” At that moment a feeling of peace came over her.
At that moment a feeling of peace came over her.
Through all of this Eileen says, “My journey is still beautiful because I have God walking with me, journeying with me.” Through cancer, she feels God is using her as an instrument to help others and to share His goodness and faithfulness.
Being a part of Corpus Christi, Eileen feels a family connection, a sense of belonging. She is so moved by Father Tim’s homilies at times that she takes notes. Her favorite bible passage is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
She is so moved by Father Tim’s homilies at times that she takes notes.
During a meeting, Eileen spoke to the ladies in her LIFT group. She told them she wasn’t a public speaker but she knew that the Holy Spirit would be with her as she relayed her story. She said, “Cancer is not my life. It’s a part of my life. God is my life.” Eileen feels that Corpus Christi has played an important part in her healing.
Cancer is not my life. It’s a part of my life. God is my life.
Even though chemotherapy is behind her, Eileen continues to receive ongoing long term treatment. With each doctor’s visit, she feels she is surrounded by prayers from her faith family LIFT group. They will ask her what time her treatment is and put a reminder in their phones to pray for her at exactly that same time. Although they are apart, they all come together in prayer for her.
Teaching the children in Guppies at Corpus Christi has also played an instrumental part in Eileen’s healing. Eileen is really attached to her faith kids. She says, “There is joy in me when I teach. They make me feel special, and when you’re with children, you feel as if you become one of them.” Eileen loves their spontaneity. Just talking about hearing the children call out, “Miss Eileen!” each time they see her makes her smile.
In her chemotherapy days of past, Eileen was moved to write a poem about her experience. An untitled piece, it was suggested to her that she should name it, “My Guiding Light.” It’s a beautiful and heartfelt poem about her journey and her relationship with God.
“I truly believe that God is working on me,
Sometimes it’s beyond my understanding.
But, I feel His presence on me,
Through His love everlasting.
Today and tomorrow, I will always cling to God,
Because He is my Lord and my God.
In Him, I put my trust,
And, in Him, my health I entrust.”
That smile you see when you run into Eileen…there are no words. She is such a beautiful example of hope and faith, and of God’s love for all of us. In the closing stanza of her poem, Eileen writes:
“I love you, my God.
You are my guiding light.
I love you, my God.
Thank you for always being on my side.”
Other Stories of Faith