Meet the Profession Class of 2016

We asked some of our newly professed men and women religious to tell us something about themselves that others might find surprising.  Their answers below provide some insight to how each discovered their vocational call.  Congratulations to the Profession Class of 2016!

Chista Parra photo

People might be surprised to know that I was voted "most likely to be a nun" by my senior class in my public high school which was a shock to me!  I didn't consider religious life until I was 21 years old and sitting in the church one day when a religious sister just asked me, "Have you ever thought about becoming a nun?"  I immediately said, "No. I want to get married and have children."  God delights in surprising us!  She planted the seed that day and six years later I became an IBVM with great joy and peace.

Sister Christa Parra
Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Max Avila photo People might be surprised to know that I considered religious life as a junior in High School but put it off. I wanted to mature and grow both in age and in faith to give a definitive answer to the Lord.

Maximilian Avila, OFM Conv.
Order of Friars Minor Conventual
Province of Our Lady of the Angels

Immaculata Row photo

People might be surprised to know that I wanted to be a wife and mother.  Jesus took this desire and raised it to Himself by being himself, its fulfillment.  He made me His bride and gave me a heart open to become the spiritual mother of all whom I encounter and pray for.

Sister Immaculata Rowe
Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist

Asiel Rodriguez photo

People might be surprised to know that I wanted to become an architect but at the same time I found my vocation at 12 while playing /celebrating mass with my friends in my room.  I knew that I wanted to live in community but the Church was persecuted in Cuba and we had no religious around.

Asiel Rodriguez
Order of Saint Benedict
Benedcitine Abbey of Newark (Newark Abbey)

Teresa of St. Augustine Morlok photoPeople might be surprised to know that I play the trumpet. I played throughout middle school and high school and now continue to play as a religious sister, especially on Solemnities and Feast Days. Psalm 150:3,6: O Praise Him with sound of trumpet...let everything that lives and that breathes give praise to the Lord!

Sister Teresa Morlok, O.C.D.
Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart
Sacred Heart Carmel, Alhambra, California

Vien Nguyen photo

People might be surprised to know that I decided to become a Salesian and joined the consecrated life. I never thought about a vocation until I began to work for the young people and especially the poorest.  The love of God inspired me to follow Jesus and to serve the young people.

Vien Nguyen
Salesians of Don Bosco
Province of Saint  Andrew the Apostle, USA West

Isabel Berrones photo

People might be surprised to know that my missionary vocation started selling bananas. When I was 9 or 10 years old I loved to sell bananas, going to the houses of the people of my town. Visiting people in their homes caused me much joy and if someone did not have money to buy I gave bananas. I returned home without bananas and without money.  As a Franciscan Missionary visiting people in their homes is the most I like to do.

Sister Isabel Berrones
Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, Minnesota

James Smith Photo

People might be surprised to know that I earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do before I was a teenager.  I have forgotten most of it now, but it gave me an appreciation and love of languages and cultures different than my own.

James Smith, C.PP.S.
Missionaries of the Precious Blood
Cincinnati Province