Friday, April 18, 2008

Our Contemplative Nuns and Their Stories

Meet the Sisters Series #3

Sister Lydia Lojo-Cruz, OSsR

I am a Puerto Rican by birth and never wanted to leave my beautiful Island. But one day I was in a Carmelite Monastery in San Juan where I had taken a friend who thought she had a call to be a Carmelite. I went to their Church while she was talking with the Superior. While praying there, I heard a noise of people walking, and then the beautiful singing and recitation of prayer. I was moved interiorly. When I went back, to get my friend, the Superior embraced me, and said. “Your friend is not ready, but you are.” Wow! I laughed at this comment! What did she know that I didn’t?

Well, not too long after I learned about the Redemptoristines in New York! All along I was thinking of the Carmelites, but when Redemptorist Fr. John Schomber (a.k.a. Fr. Clemente in P.R. whom I used to go with to teach First Communion classes, visit homes and go to the beach with the children to have a good time) mentioned ‘their Sisters were contemplatives,’ I didn’t even have to think about it. That was all I needed to know: there were Redemptoristines! And I was going to be one! It took me about 3 months to come to Esopus! I had to resign my job in Social Security Administration. The most painful thing to do was to tell my family and friends about my decision. But the worst of all was telling my dearest Mom and Dad! But here I am, over 40 years away from my beloved Island and family! During that time I have been privileged to work on the Viva Memoria Magazine for our Order and help with the OSsR Secretariat. Wow! Those were exiting years where we did a lot of work to build unity in the Order

My special place in the Monastery now is to be in our Chapel close to Jesus at Mass and adoring Him in the Blessed Sacrament and praying with Our Mother of Perpetual Help interceding for our world in war and for the most abandoned. I am so grateful to Jesus our Redeemer for each day that I have lived as a Redemptoristine, and grateful to all the Sisters that have been part of my religious life, and those who are with me in the present day as we continue this wonderful vocation to be one with our Redeemer and continue His work of salvation on earth.

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