Embracing religious life

Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity attend the 2013 Christ Mass at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral. (Catholic Sun file photo)
Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity attend the 2013 Chrism Mass at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral. (Catholic Sun file photo)

We are two months away from opening Mass marking the Year for Consecrated Life, so what better time to highlight recent advances of men and women religious with ties to the Diocese of Phoenix.

Here are some highlights featuring those who either have personal ties to the Diocese of Phoenix or their orders do:

  • ASU grad embarks on Canonical Year with Maryknoll Sisters — Sr. Mara Rutten officially began her canonical year with Maryknoll Sisters early last month. The Minnesota native earned a a Doctorate of Philosophy in history at Arizona State University and just completed a year of theological studies with Maryknoll at an intercongregational novitiate program in Chicago.[quote_box_right]

    Maryknoll Sisters

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    Sr. Mara said the murders of four churchwomen in El Salvador made a big impression on her in her youth. She later traveled there with a JustFaith group and began discerning far more than a self-sustaining career as a law enforcement analyst.

    Her canonical year will involve time in reflection with the guidance of Sisters and in-depth study of the order’s life and charism. Sr. Mara will join in community living and part-time local apostolic activities. The possibility of first vows lies at the end of her canonical year.

  • Dominican sister postulant — Sr. Laurie is a postulant with the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. The Chandler Catholic first thought about religious life after confirmation in middle school, but then not again until after college. She and a friend became third order Benedictines in Tucson.
    She began teaching science at St. Mary’s High School three years ago. “When I found out that the Dominican Sisters also taught there, I laughed about the possibility of God setting me up!” she wrote in her online vocation story. Further discernment, Eucharistic adoration and the advice of many Phoenix-based sisters and priests served as affirmation.
  • Sisters celebrate calls to serve — A San Diego newspaper profiled two St. Joseph of Carondelet sisters last month on the occasion of their 50th and 60th jubilees (full article). Sr. Suzanne Ensminger now works with refugees through Catholic Charities and first experienced religious life growing up with the women religious at Sacred Heart Parish in Prescott.
  • Sr. Pamela (courtesy photo)
    Sr. Pamela (courtesy photo)

    Perpetual profession — Sr. Pamela Catherine Peasel professed her final vows in the Congregation of Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Aug. 2. Her siblings and other family members were there for the occasion.

    The Michigan native entered Holy Family Convent in 2008 and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Teacher Leadership which she has applied the last three years as a teacher at St. Peter Indian Mission School in Bapchule, Ariz.

  • Crosiers welcome new postulant — Nadin William Ospino entered the postulancy program of the Crosier Fathers and Brothers, presumably some time last month. The ceremony was in Phoenix which serves as headquarters for one of the order’s three provinces. He is originally from Colombia and is finishing a teaching assignment in Denver this year, but will visit Crosier communities as much as he can. He will apply to the novitiate next summer.He is the fifth person to enter into the postulancy program in the last few years with two men discerning their call in Phoenix. See full press release.
  • Desert nun postulant — Jennifer is in her fourth month as a postulant with the Poor Clare Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Tonopah. She previously completed a three-month candidacy program earlier in the year and desires further discernment with the “Desert Nuns.” More about Jennifer from the Desert Nuns. She is from the San Francisco area where she worked as a park ranger.
  • Jesuit novices — The Society of Jesus, which has a Jesuit influenced parish, elementary, junior and high school in the Diocese of Phoenix, welcomed a good Catholic number of men into this year’s Novice class: 33. Their average age is 28 with nearly 40 percent having attended a Jesuit high school or university, but their bios are varied. Some are newly graduated. Others are season professionals.All of them will spend the next two years praying, working and learning about their faith, themselves and the Jesuits. The full journey from novice to Jesuit priest or brother can take 7-13 years and involves academic formation and service to the marginalized in homeless shelters, hospitals and prisons. They also experience Jesuit life in another country, complete a pilgrimage and often serve at a Jesuit school or retreat house.