Mother Estela

?????????????Estela Barreda Gonzalez was born on February 19, 1908, in Nuevo Laredo Tamaulipas, Mexico. Her parents were Canuto Barreda and Porfiria. She was the youngest of three children.  When she was 6 years old, her family had to move to Laredo, Texas, to live.

Estela attended Rice University in Houston, Texas, and graduated with a degree in Biochemistry.

After her graduation, she volunteered at “De la Merced” Hospital in Laredo, Texas.  During this time she met the Ursuline religious Sisters. They invited Estela to enter their Convent, but she did not think that was her vocation.

Estela was a very kind, religious, and generous girl. She had a special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She had many friends, including religious sisters and priests, who came to visit her several times. She used to teach catechism at Christ the King Church and she was always very generous to the Church and the poor.

In 1957, Estela learned about the devotion to the Holy Infant of Good Health and the numerous miracles performed by Jesus under this particular title.  Since that time, Estela was very interested in it and she wanted to go to Morelia.

In the early part of 1958, Estela received an unexpected surprise when she was visiting a friend in Monterey, Mexico.  She met Lupita and as she gazed upon the beautiful image of Jesus under the title of the Holy Infant of Good Health for the first time, her heart was touched in a profound way.

Estela and Lupita became good friends, but they had never thought the love of Jesus would unite them in a very special mission.  Estela and Lupita chose a date for the first visit of the Holy Infant to Laredo.  This visit became very significant for Estela because it was at that time she felt inspired to surrender herself and work with Lupita in the propagation of the Holy Infant Devotion.

In July 1958, Estela left everything to go to live in Morelia, Mexico.  She helped Lupita with everything she needed for the visits of the Holy Infant around Mexico and also to some places of the United States.

Later, Estela bought a house in Morelia, and Lupita came to live with her.  In that home, they started an orphanage for some poor little girls, giving them the care they needed.

In 1966, Lupita and Estela worked together to establish a religious order to continue the propagation of the Holy Infant Jesus of Good Health devotion.

In 1967, Estela realized it was time to build a convent because the community was growing and that home was too small for the sisters and the girls.  Through her zealous efforts, she obtained benefactors from the United States to support the project.  In that way, the building was started in August of 1968, and was completed two years later.

Estela took her final vows as a religious sister on November 19, 1970.  Estela was the first Mother Superior of the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Holy Infant Jesus of Good Health.

Mother Estela died on October 10, 1987 in Morelia, Mexico.

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