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Professing perpetual vows amidst a pandemic

Sister Laura shares her journey to the Sisters of the Holy Cross

by Sister Laura Guadalupe Tiburcio Santos, CSC 

I was born and raised in Altotonga, Veracruz, Mexico. My parents wanted me to go to college and pursue a degree in business administration. But one night, we had dinner with a religious sister. Such was the impact she had on me that I suddenly said I wanted to become a nun. Everybody said I was crazy. The sister backed me up saying that the church needed crazy people because there were enough boring and bitter religious people already. 

My journey begins

I joined a Mexican religious community in 2000 and 10 years later found myself discerning whether to continue my calling there. I found three religious communities that seemed appealing to me. I let the Holy Spirit do its job. I was going to join the first community that emailed me back. The Holy Cross sisters did, and here I am. 

“I cannot conquer the whole world for Jesus, but what I can do is commit myself in whichever endeavor I’m called to do and do it well, to the best of my abilities, and with my mind and heart set on the One who called me to be his disciple.”

—Sister Laura

After professing my temporary vows in Holy Cross in 2015, I came to Utah. At the beginning of 2020, I had in mind to participate in the graduation ceremony at the University of Utah where I had earned my bachelor’s degree in social work. But things changed on March 13 when I learned that I wasn’t going back to school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I did have a virtual graduation ceremony, though. 

Changing plans

Initially, the celebration of my perpetual vows was going to be held at our motherhouse in Notre Dame, Indiana, but since traveling had become risky, it was decided to have the ceremony in Utah. In a way, I was happy because people who have journeyed with me would be able to be with me on this day. 

The Congregation has allowed me to prepare myself not just in terms of religious life, but also professionally to attend to those in need. We, Sisters of the Holy Cross, are called to look at the signs of the times and respond to them, and my perpetual commitment is one way to respond to today’s situation in the world. I realize that I cannot conquer the whole world for Jesus, but what I can do is commit myself in whichever endeavor I’m called to do and do it well, to the best of my abilities, and with my mind and heart set on the One who called me to be his disciple. 

 During the profession ceremony, Sister Laura Guadalupe Tiburcio Santos, CSC, signs her perpetual vows in the Congregation. In accepting the challenge of a vowed life in community, the sisters choose to follow Jesus’ example and teachings in how they regard people, possessions and power. 
During the profession ceremony, Sister Laura Guadalupe Tiburcio Santos, CSC, signs her perpetual vows in the Congregation. In accepting the challenge of a vowed life in community, the sisters choose to follow Jesus’ example and teachings in how they regard people, possessions and power. 

To learn more about vocation opportunities with the Sisters of the Holy Cross, please read about the International Novitiate Program and the Vocation Coordinators.

Sister Laura Guadalupe Tiburcio Santos, CSC, (center) professed perpetual vows on May 30, 2020, at the chapel of the Pastoral Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Celebrating with her, while adhering to physical distancing precautions, are from left, Holy Cross Sisters M. Patrice (McGee), M. Genevra (Rolf), Catherine Kamphaus and Mary Ann Pajakowski.

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