DIGHTON — With great joy, Claudia Lorena Redondo professed her first vows as a Dominican Sister of the Presentation during a Eucharistic Liturgy on May 31, at the Chapel of the Dominican Sisters in Dighton. The Dominican Sisters of the Presentation were founded in 1696 in Sainville, France, by Blessed Marie Poussepin. The United States Vice-Province was founded in 1905 when Sisters arrived in Fall River for the foundation of Saint Anne’s Hospital.
Sister Claudia was born and brought up in Durango, Mexico and was the only girl with eight brothers. Her mother died when she was only 12 and Sister Claudia became responsible for helping care for her father and brothers.
As Sister Claudia expressed, a vocation is a mystery. At an early age, Sister Claudia experienced a calling and a longing and thirst for the Lord. She said for so many years she wanted to be a Sister. She had only met one religious Sister in Mexico. However, when she was 16, she expressed her desire to her father who told her that she had to finish her high school; that her education was very important. Sister Claudia met a priest originally from her town, who used to go back for vacation, who helped her discern her vocation and she was able to share with him her intentions and motivations for wanting to enter religious life.
This priest wanted to start an institute of religious life and Sister Claudia joined them for a several years. She realized that the Lord was not calling her to join this institute. Her journey continued all the while with this yearning to be a religious Sister. When she was 20 years old Sister Claudia moved to Denver, Colo. with a younger brother to join her father and brothers already in Denver.
Sister Claudia was working in Denver and continued helping her father and brothers. She was always active in her Parish, St. Anthony of Padua, in various ministries including music ministry.
She was many years in Denver before she encountered a religious Sister. When she was 34 years old, she met the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at Mother Cabrini’s Shrine in Denver. She went for a Come and See experience and lived with the Sisters in community and ministered with immigrants. After two years, she discerned that was not the community that the Lord was calling her to.
Meanwhile, her heart continued to experience the Lord’s call to religious life and Sister Claudia continued praying that the Lord would somehow show her His will.
Sister Claudia, inspired by the Holy Spirit, decided to search on the Internet and was directed to the webpage of the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation and became interested in the community. She was touched by the Sisters living the Charism of Blessed Marie Poussepin in community and that the Dominican Community that Marie Poussepin wanted was to have charity as its soul. She also liked that the Sisters wore the habit.
Sister Claudia said that she called the contact number and the Sister who answered the telephone was so welcoming and happy to answer her questions and concerns. She was directed to the vocation director who invited her to come to Dighton. She said that the Sister was kind, welcoming and able to listen to her and what she was looking for. Sister Claudia came and spent a week in Dighton and began her discernment with the Community.
After some time of discernment, Sister Claudia began the process to join the Congregation and when she was 38, she began the postulancy. While a postulant she spent some time with the order in Brownsville, Texas working with immigrants. Next followed two years of novitiate in Dighton, which one year, the canonical year, was a more intense time of prayer and study of religious life and the charism of the Congregation. During her second year of Novitiate, Sister Claudia spent six months in the Novitiate in Mexico where she experienced life in a community in Chiapas, Mexico.
While Sister Claudia was in Mexico, her father became very ill with COVID-19 and he passed away in Denver. Her brothers brought his body back to Mexico and Sister Claudia was able to be present at his funeral Mass with her family.
Sister Claudia returned to Dighton in April 2021 and began an intense preparation for her religious profession. She shared that it has been a long journey but one in which she chose freely and consciously to respond to the Lord within a Dominican Community for the service of charity.
At present, Sister Claudia is assigned to Brownsville, Texas where she will minister in Parish Ministry and with immigrant youth.