Friday, April 29, 2022
Shown are Fr. Oscar Picos, pastor of St. Mary’s parish; Sister Judith Cisneros Dozal; Sister Guillermina Rodríguez Lara; and Fr. Rogelio Felix-Rosas, administrator of the parish of Saint-Thomas d’Aquin. The nuns are members of the Missionary Daughters of Saint Pius X.
WEST HAVEN — For three weeks this month, two Daughter Missionaries of Saint Pius X visited St. Mary’s Parish in West Haven to do missionary work among the area’s Hispanic Catholic community.
The central house of the Missionary Daughters is in Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, Mexico. It was there that the sisters met many years ago Father Oscar Picos, now parish priest of St. Mary’s parish.
Sister Judith Cisneros Dozal, vicar general of the religious congregation, and Sister Guillermina Rodríguez Lara, secretary of the congregation, arrived April 1 for their second visit to Utah.
Their previous visit was in 2020, “just before the pandemic kicked into full gear,” Sr. Judith said.
This year, during their first week in Utah, “we worked on preparing for Holy Week,” she said. It was about reflecting on “who we are, where are we going as Catholics, as humans and as a community”.
Then, during Holy Week, the sisters helped the community prepare for the Triduum and explained the meaning of the three days from Holy Thursday to the evening of Easter Sunday. The last week of their visit, they worked on the Paschal kerygma, or proclamation.
“All that we experienced during Holy Week – how can we base it on our faith and how are we going to continue our daily lives from now on,” she said.
Evangelism is important because no matter where a person is, “we always need to build faith and commitment. … Sometimes people are even hesitant to just go to Mass … but our commitment as the baptized is to go out and never forget our commitment as the People of God,” Sr. Judith said.
“For me, our vocation is total commitment to life. … It is a radical commitment not only to the Church but to the People of God. Just to see us dressed as nuns, people are surprised and amazed,” said Sr Judith.
Many female religious orders now allow their members to dress in conventional clothing, but for Sr. Judith, wearing a habit is essential in her religious life.
“It is a manifestation of your commitment to God; giving up all material things in this world,” she said.
Men and women who discern a vocation to religious life are often afraid of the possibility, Sr. Judith said, “but if their heart tells them it is their calling, try it. If they don’t try it, they’ll never know for sure if that’s what they were called to do. … I met many people who said to me: “I would have liked to be a nun or to be part of a religious congregation”, but who never made a decision. … This vocation is a call to total happiness, so I invite anyone considering a religious vocation to try it. Live the experience, it’s worth it.