Rebecca Ducusin, a writer for religious publications and ardent pro-life supporter, died Aug. 24, three and a half years after she had a massive stroke. She was 54.

Born in Manila, Philippines, Rebecca graduated valedictorian of her class at V. Mapa High School in Manila. She completed her bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of the Philippines where she also finished her M.A. in communication. She worked as a researcher with the U.P. Institute of Mass Communication and later headed the publications division of the Manila-based SEAMEO-INNOTECH Regional Centre for Educational Innovation and Technology, a leading Southeast Asian research and training centre for innovations in education and technology.

Keen on broadening her horizons, Rebecca immigrated to Canada in 1987 where she continued to write for local and religious publications. She worked as a reporter with The Catholic Register newspaper in Toronto, and later, with Campaign Life Coalition. A devout Catholic, Rebecca was actively involved in several religious organizations, among them Call to Holiness, Ave Maria Centre of Peace, Alliance of the Two Hearts, and Our Lady of Manaoag Group. She also contributed insightful articles to religious publications in Canada and the United States

Friends and colleagues remember Rebecca for her astute mind, simplicity, humility, kindness, and empathy for those who are weak and suffering, and for her self-effacing pursuit of a prayerful life tempered with works of mercy. She was able to be a friend to everyone she met and to connect with people from different cultures and all walks of life.

Rebecca suffered a massive stroke in December 1999, and had to be confined at Bridgepoint Hospital (formerly Riverdale Hospital) in Toronto, where over the past three years, friends and family continued to offer their care and prayers.

Perhaps the greatest message she has given is the supernatural value of suffering and the inestimable value and dignity of human life in all its stages until its natural death. Many friends say that Rebecca will continue to live in their hearts as she has touched and inspired them in her simple, humble ways.

Rebecca is survived by her mother and sisters in the Philippines and a brother in the United States.

A funeral Mass service was held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, September 1st, at St. Boniface Church at 21 Markanna Dr., Scarborough that was presided by Fr. Carl Matthews who also gave the homily. Concelebrating with him were Bishop Pearce Lacey, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Toronto and eight other priests.

Rebecca’s body was flown to the Philippines where funeral services were also held for her many friends and relations there and for burial. Her legal guardians, Yoli Singson and Rudy Chan along with his wife Esther Chan accompanied Rebecca to her final resting place.