Sister named Vicar for Women Religious in Los Angeles

Sister Cecilia Canales, OP

Sister Cecilia Canales, OP

News from Mission San Jose

The Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose announce the appointment of Sister Cecilia Canales as the Vicar for Women Religious by Archbishop Jose H. Gomez in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Sister Cecilia has just finished her sabbatical year after a 10-year ministry in congregational leadership. In past years, Sister Cecilia has been in elementary and high school teaching, parish pastoral ministry and retreat ministry. She has served as the director of novices for the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose and as the director of human formation at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California.

In this new ministry, Sister Cecilia serves the general population of women religious, chairing the Sisters’ Council, an advisory group that deals with issues pertaining to various facets in meeting the needs of the people of God within the local Church, and the Advisory Committee of Major Superiors, which assists in the identification and planning of projects and programs for the sisters in the Archdiocese. The variety of ethnic populations within the Los Angeles Archdiocese is reflected in the ethnicity of the women religious ministering among the people. The ethnic composite of this group is approximately three-fifths European American and European, one-fifth Hispanic and one-fifth other cultures, predominantly Asian.

In her own words to the sisters: “Every day continues to be an adventure in learning! I am enjoying the opportunities to meet some of you and to get to know more about the wonderful things religious are doing throughout the Archdiocese. Thank you for the incredible ways you are serving and witnessing to God’s love.”

msj_szymankoSister makes perpetual profession at Mission San Jose

Sister Wanda Szymanko, OP, made her perpetual profession into the hands of Sister Gloria Marie Jones, congregational prioress, within the Celebration of the Eucharist in the beautifully decorated Motherhouse Chapel Aug. 6. The music was central to the liturgy and enriched the prayer of the 200 guests of her Dominican Sisters, her sister, brother and sister-in-law, other family members and close friends, as well as religious from the area. Sister Wanda’s parents were unable to attend, but joined her in spirit from Poland. The Bishop of Oakland, Most Reverend Salvatore Cordileone, presided. Sister Wanda is currently ministering as a Kindergarten teacher at San Gabriel Mission Elementary School in San Gabriel, California.


Candidates, novices and temporary professed: Mary-Han Nguyen, Alba Alicia Ramirez Sanchez, Julieta Guadalupe Puente Rodriguez, Linh Dao, Mariana Teresa Contreras Espinosa, Laura Concepcion Ramirez Sanchez, Mary Yun, Maria de Jesus Salas Barcenas, Dulce Aguilar Rodriquez, Norma Isela Ruiz Lopez, and Mary Therese Perez.

Sisters experience initial formation in Mexico

Sisters in initial formation in the United States and the province of Mexico gathered to celebrate St. Dominic’s Day in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico to begin their eight-day experience together. After the festive concelebrated liturgy for the town and dinner with the sisters and the many guests, the five from the United States joined the six from Mexico to tour the city and enjoy the festivities.

The next day, all traveled to the Provincial House, Provincia de Cristo Rey in Atizapan de Zaragoza, Edo. De Mexico to greet the sisters there and to officially gather for their sharing time. Using their bi-lingual skills, general communication gestures and translation, the sisters shared specially prepared prayer, their own family and vocation story, participated in sacred conversation on our General Chapter’s direction statement, related key points of their study of the preaching ministry in their respective countries, and were led in a dreaming/visioning for religious life in 2025. Amidst the sharing times were the wonderful celebrations of First Profession and Entrance into the Novitiate, a trip to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and their own delightful talent show.

Sisters Pauline Bouton and Cecilia Canales from the United States, and Sisters Angelina Rodriguez Galvan, Zenaida Giron Hernandez, and Ana Maria Rangel Grimaldi from Mexico were the initial formation directors supporting the process and enjoying the collaboration.

Articles and photos submitted by Sister Patricia Ann Smith, OP (Mission San Jose). For more information about the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose, visit their web site.