Born into a family of six boys and three girls, Divina Lua, whose father is Chinese and whose mother is Filipino, grew up in the province of Zambales in the Philippines. Her place of birth, Palauig, is located on the edge of the China Sea and surrounded by the Zambales Mountains.
After completion of her early education, Divina graduated from university with a degree in chemistry. She then became a teacher in Columban College in Olongapo City, a school administered by the Columban Sisters. After six years working in the school, she joined the Columban Sisters and did her early preparation for religious life in Ireland. There, in 1973, she made her First Profession of Vows.
Soon afterwards, she was assigned to Hong Kong where she taught for seven years in Leung Shek Chee College in Sau Mau Ping before doing some further study in the Philippines and in Ireland. She was then appointed Novice Directress in the Philippines for six years. Her next assignment was also within the Philippines where she worked in Sacred Heart School in Molave while at the same time being part of the leadership team of the Columban Sisters in the Philippines.
In 1992 Sister Divina she was assignment to Pakistan, a country where about 97% of the population is Muslim. The sisters, while involving themselves in various forms of service on behalf of the poor, see their mission to be one of presence and dialogue particularly with women.
Divina worked in the Sindh Desert, in a place called Kunri. She was a member of the parish pastoral team while also overseeing a number of primary schools run by the parish. She was responsible for the administrative tasks and did in-service with the teachers. In this part of Pakistan, girls leave school at eight or nine years of age because they are needed to work in the home. This ends any opportunity for further education.
In July 2005, Divina was elected onto the Columban Sisters Central Administration Team.
Looking back on where her missionary religious life has led her thus far, Divina says:
“Missionary life is still very attractive to me, just as much as when I first began. I am still willing to give my gifts and talents to God through the Congregation, and I thank God and the Congregation for the growth and the joys in my life.”
Divina was a member of the Congregational Leadership team and is now on mission in the Philippines.