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Marian devotee youth leader chooses to share her knowledge, talents for church's missions

Nirva'ana Delacruz appreciates the greenery at Balo Park, Malaysia.

"Our Lady is one of the biggest influences in my life,...and that she will give you everything that she has."

Nirva'ana Ella Delacruz

Indonesian authorities suspected her activities in Jakarta when she was only 21 and a fresh graduate in journalism from UP Diliman. The authorities interviewed her, and she felt "very nervous" during the process.

However, they let her go by simply telling them the truth—that she was in the country for Catholic lay missionary work—and showing them travel documents.

Nirva'ana Ella Delacruz, a Filipino, served as a young lay missionary in Indonesia—the world's largest Muslim country—for the Couples for Christ, Youth for Christ, and Kids for Christ as a young lay missionary for two years.

She volunteered for one year after graduating from college. She was hired in her second year in Jakarta, they hired her to help them run their ministry.

She had to learn to speak in the Indonesian' tongue and their culture to effectively communicate with them.
Her responsibilities included giving talks, organizing activities, designing programs, opening new chapters, and onboarding new members.

Delacruz grew up in a Catholic family. But her later experiences with both the secular environment and the church led her to realize that being a Christian is not only about going to church but also about helping it carry on with its missions.

As a result, she learned a lot about Mary and eventually became a Marian devotee.

So when she returned to the Philippines from Indonesia, instead of seeking employment in the mainstream media, she joined the media office of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines in 2012.

Delacruz began his career as a writer for the CBCP Monitor, the conference's news service, published in print fortnightly. The media office also publishes CBCPNews, an online news site.

"Our Lady is one of the biggest influences in my life," she said. "In 2012, for the first time, I did the Marian consecration according to Saint Louis-Marie de Monfort for the first time in 2012."She promised that she would take you as her property when you consecrate yourself to her, and that she will give you everything that she has."

Within a week after her consecration to Mary, Delacruz became the associate editor of CBCP Monitor in 2013.

"Then I realize that working for the Mother Church is also like deciding to work for the biggest, most relevant, and most important business in the world."

Nirva'ana Ella Delacruz

"So many opportunities opened up, " she added. " I met a lot of people and organizations. My spiritual life also grew because of Our Lady. She helped me overcome the personal struggles that I had. It's been unbelievable."

Then Delacruz went on a fellowship in Malaysia for one year. She studied leadership and design thinking at Harvard.

The foundation where she had her fellowship hired her as the lead for communications and brand development.

Following her tenure with the foundation, the CFC ANCOP Global Foundation appointed her as communications and marketing head in August 2020.

ANCOP, the social action arm of Couples for Christ, stands for Answering the Cry of the Poor.

The ANCOP helps economically challenged families by offering scholarship grants to their children, building decent homes, providing livelihood programs, and providing calamity assistance.

In the last 10 years, the foundation has given scholarship grants to over 13,000 less fortunate students and built more than 3,000 homes for financially struggling families.

Delacruz currently works as a communications officer for the Arnold Janssen Kalinga Foundation, but she is also a consultant for the ANCOP CFC Global Foundation.

The Arnold Janssen Kalinga Foundation seeks to help restore and improve the lives of the homeless and victims of abuse by providing them with "dignified, systematic, and holistic care."

The foundation has provided more than 760,000 free meals and showers to the homeless from 2015 to 2023. It also offered scholarship grants, employment, livelihood programs, and legal assistance to more than 300 families of victims of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.

The Arnold Janssen Kalinga Foundation was founded by Fr. Flavie L. Villanueva of the Society of the Divine Word Missionaries, known as SVD.

Delacruz's consecration to Mary had even grown deeper when she joined World Youth Day 2013 in Brazil.

At that time, Brazil had cold temperatures, and she was so prone to cold that sometimes she even could not handle the temperature of the air conditioning. She was there, freezing and so cold in Rio de Janeiro. She remembered taking a shower, but it was not working well. So she offered her suffering to Mary. She was in the middle of a prayer when suddenly the water began to warm.

"She was answering my prayer," Delacruz said. "Even the smallest details, such as the temperature of the water, even the small details, she would look into that."

People need Mary's intervention because she fully understands their wants, Delacruz stated.

"She has the heart of the mother," Delacruz said. "Our Lady was a human being. She knows even men's smallest needs. My path to God has been, in a way, full of roses. It has had its thorns until now, but even the sufferings become sweet because she somehow smooths the path and makes it easy."

She heard the call to be part of the church's missions when she started working in a secular setting, which engaged her in a lot of work for the common good in building society.

"Then I realize that working for the Mother Church is also like deciding to work for the biggest, most relevant, and most important business in the world."

Delacruz also helped spread and share the best of Harvard University leadership ideas, like design thinking, which is a cutting-edge concept proven to have worked in transforming people.

"But I realized that there's still something greater," she said. "On a very human level, you can change the world and society."
Delacruz, who is still single, sees the Roman Catholic Church as her link to the afterlife.

"That's why I decided to give myself to the church," she said. "I can't see myself anywhere else."

When she went out and thought that she was the one blessing the church, she realized that she was the one being blessed.

"So I have the best job in the world," she said. "And always at every chapter in my life, I could claim that I felt that God knew me how I needed to grow in virtue, to grow in who I am, and placed me in jobs where I could have the best adventure. And the best adventure is growing to be who God meant you to be, and I could say that about all the jobs that I had."

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