San Rafael Dominicans celebrate Sister Christina’s profession

From left: Sisters Sue Pixley, Christina Atienza, Maureen McInerney
From left: Sisters Sue Pixley, Christina Atienza, Maureen McInerney

About Sister Christina Atienza, OP

Birthplace: Manila, Philippines; moved to San Francisco Bay area when 18 years old
Education: B.S in Civil Engineering and M.S. in Civil Engineering/Transportation from University of California, Berkeley; continuing education courses in theology at Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley.
Previous Ministry: Various parish ministries at Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, California; Cursillo; St. Vincent de Paul
Current Ministry: Dominican University of California Campus Minister where she promotes the Dominican heritage and ideals of reflection, service, community and study and facilitates interfaith spiritual engagement and development of students and staff.

“For me the idea of religious life was basically a response to a mid-life crisis. Pursuing my career as a transportation engineer and planner was a fulfilling endeavor that sustained me for over two decades and gave me a significant amount of independence. In 2009, though, I found myself hooked by this inexplicable sense of joy when I began to really get involved in parish ministries. Before I knew it, I had become not just a workaholic, but also a Churchaholic! Not too long after, I began to feel a longing for integration, focus, and balance, to which the discernment of religious life with the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael ultimately emerged as the answer. During my candidacy, I found treasures that far surpassed the value of the possessions and the independence that I gave up when I entered: deep connections, self-awareness, a vibrant prayer life, peace, and yes – even greater joy. Now my longing is to become the person that God intends, understanding that that entails embracing a life of faith and interdependence. I am so grateful to be on this path and for all the love and support.”

Sister Christina made her First Profession of Vows on Aug. 9, the day after the Feast of St. Dominic, having completed a year as a candidate, a year as at the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate, and a year of ministry. It was a beautiful day for a joyous celebration of Mass and Sister Christina’s first profession of vows. She was surrounded by family, friends, colleagues and her Dominican sisters.