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Dominican Dialogue — Sister Mary Therese Perez

s m t head

How has preaching connected you with different communities?

As a Dominican sister, preaching God’s love brings me encounters with a variety of people. This is one of the things I love most about religious life! I never know who I will meet, and I’m always delighted to find new ways of understanding God and the world through these people. Teaching Flintridge Sacred Heart high school girls is joyful as I accompany them in their faith journeys. I’ve also formed relationships with their families and am even more convinced of the importance of community in supporting youth. Most recently, I have been volunteering at Central Juvenile Hall in Los Angeles. I have witnessed honest searching for goodness in darkness. Receiving the stories and questions from the teens I meet is a profound privilege.

What advice would you give to younger women religious?

Entering religious life is a great adventure. The unknown future ahead will continue to surprise us. My advice to women entering today is:
  • Develop a discerning heart and a listening spirit. We must always listen for God’s movement in and around us.
  • Learn well the stories and history of the Congregation. Being rooted in our charism and history will help us hear our call into the future.
  • Maintain relationships with friends and family. These keep us grounded and true to ourselves.
  • Find creative outlets. Artistic, musical, or crafty hobbies help our spirits thrive.
  • Avail yourself of the opportunities to develop relationships with other newer, younger women religious. These women are so inspiring as together we live into a global sisterhood!