Sister M. Juanita Colon was born in New York City on December 24, 1929. She entered the monastery on December 8, 1962, leaving behind her career as a professional dressmaker for an exclusive 5th Avenue designer. She referred to herself as a “Latin from Manhattan,” and as that would indicate she was full of joy of life, a gift she lavishly shared. Sister Juanita entered as a Lay Sister, but after the Decree of Unification she gave her lovely voice to the Choir, finding her joy in singing the Divine Office in its fullness.
She was discovered to have a particularly painful form of bone cancer, to which she refused to surrender until she collapsed after celebrating the full Easter Liturgy: the great Vigil, Lauds, and Mass with the community, as a Chantress and Schola member. During her last months, she developed a closeness to Saint Rafael Arnaiz Baron as she continued to work on her translation of the book of his Vida y Escritos, coming to know in her own body and soul what it means to wait painfully for the Lord. Her dying, when He came, was a closing of her eyes and turn of her head, as a beautiful peace spread over her face.
On August 9, 1999 Sister Juanita died in the hospital, surrounded by members of both her natural and monastic families, who had kept watch with her in love during her last nights and days.