In a recent article in the Angelus, Sister Cecilia Canales, O.P., Vicar for Women Religious of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, gave a breakdown, with her personal perspective, of the many forms of consecrated life and the great cultural diversity now present in religious life in the Los Angeles area.
Canales shared that the sisters who serve the Archdiocese of Los Angeles come from Africa, Armenia, India, China, the Philippines, Haiti, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Middle East countries, Poland, Slovakia, Vietnam, and almost every nation in Latin America. In addition to the cultural diversity, the religious women are part of a variety of consecrated communities including cloistered Carmelites, Dominicans, and Poor Clares as well as apostolic communities that have been in Los Angeles for a few hundred years. Some of the earliest groups in foundation who minister there, Canales said, were the Sisters of the Company of Mary (1607), Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul (1633), and the Sisters of the Good Shepherd (1641). The first of the sisters to come to Southern California were the Daughters of Charity in 1856, to open hospitals, and the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, both in 1889 to open schools. Additionally, Canales explained that secular institutes, as well as newer communities, are establishing themselves and ministering to those in need in the archdiocese.
Discover more about religious communities becoming more culturally diverse in this recent VISION 2016 article: ¡Viva la diferencia! The colorful future of religious life.