|January 7, 2013 • VOL. 51, NO. 1 • Oakland, CA|
| Sisters answer why, how they found their vocations
Each of us felt a call from God to consider the Dominican way of life as a "tried and true way of spirituality." As Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose, we live in community, pray the liturgy of the hours twice a day, participate in daily Eucharist and wear a habit. As women of the Word and the Church, we are influenced by our past, interact with our present and look forward to the future. Ours is a "yes" to God, to the Church and to the people of God. Each of our calls has a different shape and flavor, but each of our calls is a challenge to build the reign of God in our world.
Sister Mary Yun, OP
"Holy?" Not me. Yes, I wanted a meaning in my life, but laughed when someone suggested that I look into religious life. At 27, however, I met a Mission San Jose Dominican. As I met other MSJ Sisters, I was struck by their genuine joy and hospitality toward each other and toward others. Their diverse ministries also attracted me since I was interested in becoming a social worker.
After two years of discernment, I entered and am delighted and privileged to share the 800-year tradition of prayer, community, ministry and study.
Sister Mary-Han Nguyen, OP
My search among Dominican congregations in the United States led me to the Mission San Jose Dominicans. After living with them for a month in a "Come and See" program, I still was uncertain. As a Vietnamese young woman, I would be living with a different culture, language and customs.
My next step was to live in one of their convents for a year. Here I learned that, even though we come from different cultures, languages and back- grounds, we have the same language of love, compassion and service.
In formation, I discovered more about myself, my talents and my gifts. As I continue to live with this wonderful group of women, I am supported by their love and commitment to others and pray daily that others will join us.
Sister Mary Therese Perez, OP
It is a risk to explore religious life, and it is a risk not to. Subtle things in my family life and in my early education had me discerning a vocation even before I was truly aware of this process. In the active stages of my discernment, getting to know the Sisters was the key component. Joining the Sisters for prayer, meals and community gatherings made me realize how important community was to them and to me.
As a newly professed Sister, my discernment has a different focus. Today, I am looking at how all of the pieces fit together: ministry, prayer, community and study. The desire to keep seeking and asking questions sustains me as does the genuine interest of my Sisters who take time to check in with me, and who want to share faith and life with me.
S. Dulce Sarai Aguilar Rodriguez, OP
As a teenager in the parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico, I felt a desire to enter religious life. The Dominican Sisters who served in my parish attracted me by their enthusiasm and love, openness and generosity. At the encouragement of my parents, I finished high school before asking to enter. What has sustained me since I entered religious life has been the love of God, which has been so present to me through my Sisters and all the people I have come to know. I still belong to my family, but am now part of a larger family that embraces the world.
Sister Phuong Linh Dao, OP
My calling has been two-fold: I am a Dominican Sister and I am also a nurse. In both of these callings I feel a responsibility to say "yes." As a religious, I strive to live faithfully my three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in the context of my religious community. Supporting this is my daily personal prayer and my prayer with my Sisters and the Church.
As I attend to my patients, I am conscious that I must care for both their physical and spiritual needs. Using my nursing skills and completing the necessary paper work are only part of what I do. Moments of encouragement to these same patients and the opportunity to pray with them and with their doctors are other important parts of my ministry.
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