Sister Cecilia Canales, OP is New Congregational Prioress
The Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose elected Sister Cecilia Canales, OP as their new Congregational Prioress during the congregation’s 25th General Chapter. Sister Cecilia will assume leadership in the fall, replacing Sister Gloria Marie Jones, OP who completes her tenure in the post.
Convened every five years at their congregational center in Fremont, the chapter assembly elects new leaders and identifies mission priorities. The weeklong “Pilgrimage of the Heart” held July 23 – 30, 2016, included over 150 sister delegates and participants from the US and Mexico. Group discussions considered some challenges both countries face. The Sisters asked, “What is our mission in these times?” Their response, “Be women of hope in the face of violence and build bridges of love and understanding between our countries.”
Newly elected prioress, Sister Cecilia, attended Dominican elementary and secondary schools in Los Angeles. An experienced educator and retreat director, she worked as the Vicar for Women Religious in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and on the faculty of St. John’s Seminary. Sister Cecilia affirmed her commitment “to find new and creative ways to serve the young, the poor and the vulnerable, ever responding to the signs of the times.”
The election culminates months of study, reflection and prayerful consideration of current and strategic realities. After selecting the Congregational Prioress, the assembly chose a new four member Council to advance the Sisters’ mission. US sisters elected to the team include –S ister Diane Bridenbecker, Sister Mary Liam Brock, Sister Mary Suzanna Vasquez and from Mexico Hermana Verónica Esparza Ramírez.