“On my bed at night I sought him whom my soul loves—I sought him but I did not find him… The watchmen found me, as they made their rounds in the city: ‘Him whom my soul loves—have you seen him?’ Hardly had I left them when I found him whom my soul loves. I held him and would not let him go” (Song of Songs 3:1, 3-4).
Born to Helen Esperanza and Ernesto Antalan Catubig on October 28, 1977, the feast of St. Jude (patron saint of impossible cases), Tove Ann Catubig Purificacion was baptized into new life in Christ on December 18, 1977 and sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit on March 30, 1996. On Good Friday, April 2, 1999, she was blessed to experience the love, mercy, and forgiveness of Jesus Christ in an unforgettable way. From that moment on, she realized that in her darkest hours, to her, nothing sufficed, but God. And from then on, she realized she wanted to put Him first in every area of her life, for her heart was restless until it rested in Him. Like St. Teresa of Avila’s famous bookmark quote states: “Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing frighten you. All things pass away. God never changes. Patience obtains all things. He who has God finds he lacks nothing. God alone suffices.” That year, God planted in her heart the desire to become a saint, and gradually she sought the beloved of her soul with an ardent longing, as is proclaimed in Psalm 42:2, “As the deer that longs for streams of water,” her soul longed for Him, her God. Divine Providence continued to attract her by the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and she gradually responded to His invitation to deepen her prayer and sacramental life. For Tove Ann, her involvement as president of the Maris Stella Institute is her joyful and grateful response to Christ’s merciful love for her and to His command to “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
By the grace of God, Tove Ann is a Master Catechist of the Diocese of Santa Rosa. She has associate degrees in both Liberal Arts and Political Science from Solano Community College, a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UC Berkeley, a master’s degree in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University, and a doctoral degree in Political Science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she wrote her dissertation, entitled, “God and Politics: A Mixed-Methods Case Study.” She worked professionally for Catholics for the Common Good and Kolbe Academy before staying home full-time to homeschool her six precious children, whom she greatly loves, and is so unworthy of. She is blessed to be married to Deacon Dr. Dennis Purificacion, who is responsible for first inspiring her to go to daily Mass and to live more consistently the joyful demands of being a faithful Catholic. She is currently discerning a lay vocation as a Secular to the Order of Carmelites Discalced. All that Tove Ann is and all that she has she gives to Jesus, through the sorrowful heart of Mary, all in union with St. Joseph. Please pray for her!