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Ana Gonzalez


Religious Community
Dominican Sisters of Peace


El Paso, Texas


Loyola University, New Orleans

How important was education to your growth in your faith?
My mother insisted on the importance of education, but she always expected me to have children. But she kept encouraging my siblings and me to get a good education. Subconsciously, I probably also went to college to prove I could do it on my own.


When did you feel called to religious life?
On my 30th birthday the person giving the Mass had no lectors and asked me to read. As I get up to read it hit me: This is for me. I read this passage from Colossians: 

Brothers and sisters: If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.


That was the last straw. I remember sitting in my pew and crying. It was a bit terrifying because all of the sudden my life was starting to take a different path. The following day I contacted the Dominican Sisters, who I knew from my time at Loyola.


What is the most surprising part about adjusting to the life of the sisters?
I thought sisters would be lonely. I didn’t see the role community played. Now as a candidate living in a community I know sisters are never alone. There is that sisterly and spiritual bond. They are not behind closed doors just praying. They pray a lot, but they are out fighting for social justice and educating and saving and changing the world. 


What role did the vocation director play in your discernment?
She was incredibly open to giving me options. She never twisted my arm. Regretfully, movies and television portray an image of religious life through the mean nun who slaps you with a ruler. Real nuns are the opposite. 


What would you tell someone considering a religious vocation but unsure of next steps?
If you don’t already participate you should come give it a try. Visit us. Come to a retreat. Learn about religious life. If you don’t try, you won’t know what you are missing out on. 

What is your favorite prayer?

I can’t pick one prayer, but I do have my little mantra I always say: “I’m too blessed to be stressed, too anointed to be disappointed, and there is no spot where God is not.”


What do you do for fun?

I have recently discovered hiking and absolutely love it. Connecticut has many wonderful national parks with beautiful trails. It’s wonderful. I’m also a film buff and I love cooking. I have this knack for discovering new dishes.


What would you like to say to the Hilton Foundation, who made this grant possible?

This grant is so liberating in my discernment—I’m forever in their debt. Can you please put this in capitalized letters in really big font? THANK YOU! I am grateful for this opportunity to discern religious life 100 percent, without having to worry. They made this possible and I am eternally thankful. They’ll have my prayers forever.

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