These fifty years of my journey have been a tapestry filled with varicolored blessings, challenges, frontiers, and growth. Belonging to La Familia are main fibers that sustain me in support, and encouragement to live daily the Gospel values of God among His people. I was born in Saginaw, Michigan to two wonderful parents, Maxine Rocha and Bonifacio Zapata. They were my first teachers who taught me about our Catholic faith, Mexican roots, and traditions. I was the oldest of three sisters and one brother. I attended Public School for the first seven years of my education before attending Catholic schools. On September 8, 1964, I entered the community and began my journey in religious life. Much study and learning went on during those early years to prepare me for the future in community, education, and the church.

I attended Aquinas College, Wayne State University, Grand Valley State University and Mexican American Cultural Center in San Antonio, Texas. I taught in four Catholic Schools in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Later an opportunity came along my journey to branch into new territory which was working with the Hispanic people for the Diocese of Grand Rapids. Those years I will always cherish dearly because I was working with people who were poor.

My ministry has led me to teach art in Grand Rapids Public Schools. I teach art in K-8 in public and Catholic schools. It’s a wonderful opportunity to give back where I came from in my early education. I have met many wonderful people in my journey. I am sure God will continue to bless me as I journey forth in His bountiful vineyard.