Director of Pastoral Formation & Admissions Coordinator

Mrs. Sarah Penuela

I was born in Brooklyn, New York and then my family and I moved to Texas to be closer to relatives. From my childhood, I learned the faith from the example of my family, especially my grandmother who was devoted to praying the rosary, attending mass, and her devotions to novenas. I started serving in ministry when I was a youth as a liturgical musician and singer. I joined youth ministry and shortly after the young adults as a student where I helped start a college-aged prayer group at Texas Woman’s University, where I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Music.  At Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH, I completed a Master of Arts degree in Catechetics and Evangelization and also received Campus Ministry certification at the John Bosco Catechetical Institute.

After undergraduate graduation, I was a missionary worker for several years in South Central USA with an international Catholic ministry where I had the opportunity to go to the Philippines to work with the poor as well as to Costa Rica to serve the young adults at a conference.  Since then, I have served the local parishes in various capacities and ministries from teaching Sacramental preparation to children and teens; evangelized, served and trained the youth for ministry, retreats, and leadership. Also, I have coordinated, facilitated, and spoke at local, national and international young adult ministry events where I had the opportunity to meet my husband, Angelo. Angelo and I are members of the Missionary Families of Christ Couples serving together as National Couple coordinators for the college-aged members in the North Texas Area and the USA.

With a deep desire to learn and teach, together, we continue to catechize students, and serve in music ministry at local parishes for various English, Spanish and Filipino Eucharistic Celebrations.  I have also been gifted with skills in administration, event planning, leading discussions and providing an atmosphere which promotes motivation and participation and growth to bring others to Jesus Christ, our Shepherd.  Most especially, I have a deep love for the Church and priests and future priests with a strong background of previous work with people discerning vocations and seminarians.

I recently joined the faculty of Holy Trinity Seminary as the Director of Pastoral Formation in August 2021. I provide the seminarians guidance to on-site ministerial work and give them the opportunity to make theological reflections connecting their practical experiences to the example given by Jesus the Good Shepherd. The practicums are to help the men grow in communion with the people of God by gaining a deeper understanding of the Church’s ministry as they develop the skills and grow in Christ’s pastoral charity.

Favorite Quote or Bible Verse

When one loves, one does not calculate.” – St. Thérèse de Lisieux