Sister Claudia Cano: Her ‘yes’ to Mercy is definite

December 9, 2013

By Amanda LePoire, South Central Communications Department

Sister Claudia Cano, who entered the Sisters of  Mercy in 2008, is a nursing student at Cincinnati  State College.

Sister Claudia Cano, who entered the Sisters of
Mercy in 2008, is a nursing student at Cincinnati
State College.

As a 19-year parishioner at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Raymondville, Texas, Claudia Cano met Sister Emily Morgan, a Sister of Mercy, while volunteering with the RCIA program. After working with Sister Emily for a year or two, Sister Emily told Claudia she’d make a great Sister of Mercy. While Claudia laughed about it at the time, Sister Emily’s words stayed with her as her life continued to unfold.

Claudia left Raymondville to accompany the family for which she worked as a nanny. After a few years, she realized that soon, all the family’s children would be in school and she’d have fewer responsibilities. Claudia knew she had to think about her future.

“The idea and interest of religious life came into my discernment. At the time, I didn’t even know what discernment was,” she says.

In 2006, Claudia prayed to God that she’d know her plans by the end of the year. While attending a Catholic Women’s Conference in San Antonio, Texas, that year, she prayed before the Blessed Sacrament, opening herself to the idea of religious life and waiting for a sign. She heard a voice say, “Everything’s going to be OK. Everything’s going to be alright.”

As the oldest of four children, Claudia’s parents planned to leave their house and finances to her when they moved into senior living in the future. This had been a concern for Claudia, but the reassurance she heard during that moment of prayer eased her mind.

Claudia admits it took her six months to “own what happened in that prayer and go to Sister Emily.” Sister Emily was overjoyed and shared information about the mission of the Sisters of Mercy and Catherine McAuley. In her research of religious communities, Mercy had stuck with Claudia.

“I really felt connected to the values,” she says. “I saw Emily’s actions and her passion for what she was doing.”

Claudia entered the South Central Community in July 2008. Today, Sister Claudia is in her second year of first vows and lives “in community” with other Sisters of Mercy in Cincinnati, Ohio, while attending classes full time in the nursing program at Cincinnati State College. She previously volunteered at Mercy Neighborhood Ministry in Cincinnati before realizing she needed to focus on her education.

“It was hard to let go of what ministry meant, but it’s been transformed for me,” she says. “It’s showing compassion in everyday life to the people I meet.”

While adjusting to a different type of ministry, Sister Claudia has found other ways to direct her energy, spending a lot of time in her community’s shared garden. The garden became her sanctuary during the summer.

“I miss getting my hands dirty figuratively, so I was getting them dirty, literally, in the garden,” she says.

Sister Claudia is still deciding what path she will take in her nursing ministry, but she’s considering geriatrics or working in an outreach setting. While she’s not sure what her ministry will look like in the future, she knows that she will be part of Mercy.

“My yes is a definite yes, and even from God my yes was affirmed,” she says.

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  1. Rosemary McCloskey

    This is a wonderful story of Sr Claudia’s vocation. My only advice is what an old Sister of Mercy gave me when I was a young sister. She advised me to never choose my own cross Just accept what comes your way and try it out . Our Yes was the important part I think in our way of Mercy.
    That old sister has since gone to her reward but her words have stayed with me. Just trust in God and all will be well and that is so true! God bless you all.

  2. Jeff

    Comment NO…Prayer YES. Dear Sister, This is my promise for you, I have put your name in my breviary and will on Mondays during my morning office, offer prayers for your discernment. That GOD may bless you. jp

  3. Emily Morgan, RSM

    Claudia… better choose geriatrics…..I’m getting old! Proud of you! Love!

  4. Richard Mary Burke, RSM

    Dearest Claudia, YOU and your journey to/in Mercy continue to be a source of inspiration to us all. It is our blessing and privilege here in Springifled to have been able to share with you on this path. May god continue to deepen your peace and strengthen your spirit to gently respond to the pressing needs of our times. Much love…

  5. Sister Ellen Fink

    Claudia, your story and “yes” touched me deeply. You have been a gift to Mercy and when I visit Cincinnati I love to see your smile and hear so many good things about you.

  6. Denise Sausville

    I know Claudia well, and that her YES is composed of hundreds of little “yeses” along the way. She has been a real inspiration to the Sisters of South Texas. (We consider ourselves her, “home group”.) If you could have the gift of meeting her mother, (I don’t know her father that well,) you would know a woman who reflects the beatitude, “blessed are the pure of heart.” She is a woman of strong faith, of service, of integrity, and transparency. I have often told Claudia, that no matter what she is learning in the convent, she can always use what her mother has taught her a barometer from which to gauge things. As we celebrate Claudia’s journey, we must look at the tradition of the Mexican culture, which does not single-out individuals, but looks at the collective. We must also celebrate her family.

  7. Martha Meyer, RSM

    Thank you so very much , Claudia, for sharing your story with us. It touches my heart. I am truly blessed to know you.