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"Ilsa" B. Reyes, Philippines' lay media missionary, passes away

Ilsa B. Reyes, aaward-winning communicator and lay missionary (Photo supplied)

An award-winning communicator, lay missionary, and inspirational speaker from the Philippines passed away on August 24. 

According to sources, Ma. Clarissa "Ilsa" B. Reyes was admitted to a hospital in Manila for a week for cancer.

She was single and is survived by her mother. 

Reyes was "a committed evangelist, inspirational speaker, and book author on healing," said Divine Word Father Jerome Arenas Marquez, who used to host radio programs with Reyes.

"Such sad news. Reyes was one of my inspirations for being a media missionary.’ Rest in peace. Thank you for shining God’s light on those around you," Tina S. Rodriguez, a lay missionary, said in her Facebook post.

Reyes was a regular columnist for World Mission, the Asian Catholic monthly magazine, published in the Philippines.

Father Antonio Carlos Ferreira, the editor, paid tribute to her, saying, "Reyes, World Mission's regular contributor since 2018, has left us so unexpectedly. As we shed tears and mourn her passing at the peak of her life, we trust she will continue her mission of intercession in heaven. Thank you for your beautiful and generous life. You will be greatly missed."

She was an award-winning communicator and lay missionary called to inner healing, intercession, and media ministries. She authored books on the psycho-spiritual path to wholeness, including "Healing through the Sacrament of Reconciliation," which won the Cardinal Sin Book Awards in the ministry category in 2012.

Her three "Healing Through" books have been published in Polish. She was the author of "Salitang Buhay" (winner of the best counseling program during the 37th Catholic Mass Media Awards) every Sunday from 8.30-10.30.00 pm on DZMM Teleradyo. 

She regularly substitutes for lay missionary and media person Bro. Jun Banaag on D Love (Catholic Mass Media Awards Hall of Fame Awardee for Best Counseling Program) and DZMM. 

Her column for the youth in Crossroads Magazine (also a Serviam Awardee of the Catholic Mass Media Awards) called "Healing Heart" won Best Entertainment Column in the 37th Catholic Mass Media Awards. 

Reyes was a sought-after speaker and facilitator who preached retreats, recollections, and workshops in various schools, colleges, and parishes around the Philippines. 

She co-taught homiletics at the San Carlos Seminary in Makati, Manila. She used to conduct workshops for the Directors of Vocation in the Philippines (DVP). 

She graduated with honors from the University of the Philippines Diliman-College of Mass Communication while she was the National President of AIESEC, an international student organization. 

As a lay missionary involved in inner healing, Reyes has given talks inside drug rehabilitation centers and prisons since the 1990s. 

She attended the Training Institute on Behavioral Health and Addictive Disorders under US Journal Training, Inc. in Florida, USA. 


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.