~ A compassionate heartbeat in the world ~

Tracy, California

Tracy Associates, CaliforniaI feel privileged and honoured to have been an Associate of the Daughters of the Cross since its inception years ago. It has given a feeling of closeness with the Sisters and their mission. They have been wonderful examples of holiness, sacrifice, humility, compassion. They emanate Christ’s love to all with whom they come into contact. Praying with the Sisters, working with them and having fun with them has added much to my life. They have been a blessing to me and all to whom they minister.

Glorianne Piatek, Tracy, California

I am a life-long resident of Tracy, California and have always been a parishioner of St. Bernard's Catholic Church. I was fortunate to see the Daughters of the Cross come to Tracy to staff our newly built First through Eighth grade school in 1958. That was an exciting event and I can still remember feeling so proud to have the Sisters come to our parish. After they settled in, I was told that one of the Sisters, Madeleine Louise Hanot, was interested in learning to speak Spanish, as there are many Spanish-speaking people in California, especially in our agricultural area, where the Latinos come to work in the fields. I'm bi-lingual Hispanic, and someone recommended me for the task and I wondered "why me?" as I had no special qualifications. I was a young woman of 21 working as a stenographer for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. But I remember being honored to have the opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with one of the "new" Sisters at the convent. I loved working with Sister, and admired her eagerness to learn the language. Eventually we had to end the sessions because of a change in Sister's schedule and assignment. Shortly thereafter I met and married a wonder- ful man and we had five children, all of whom attended St. Bernard's School. It was then that my direct contact with the Sisters resumed, and I loved all those years at St. Bernard's School. I always loved the Sisters, being around them, meeting with them, knowing that they truly cared about my children and all the children, for that matter. They were not only good teachers, but became good friends to our family. When our youngest child finished her 8th grade year at St. Bernard's School, I cried, knowing that after 15 years, my involvement at St. Bernard's School and my direct contact with the Sisters had come to an end. Of course it didn't; I just wasn't around them as much as before.

So years later when I was invited to become an Associate of the Daughters of the Cross, I was thrilled! It was such an honor to be invited to be a part of their Congregation, to be asked to join them in their mission. I have enjoyed learning about the Congregation of the Daughters of the Cross, their history, reading about the lives of the Foundress of the Congregation and Sr. Emilie, and learning about their mission throughout the world. I enjoy our monthly meetings when we come together to share prayer and spiritual reflection/experiences, and to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. We share events in each others lives, and support one another, especially in times of need. We enjoy a yearly retreat day together in the fall, and an outing just for fun in the spring. I count my association with the Daughters of the Cross as one of my greatest blessings, and I thank God for that!

Jennie Ryan

As an Associate of the Daughters of the Cross, has brought a deeper peace and love to my soul. I find my prayer life has increased to the point that now I understand what I always heard, to have a special and close relationship with Jesus. The Trinity is on my lips daily, whether to thank the Father, Jesus or the Holy Spirit for a new day or to say a prayer for a loved one or the whole world. I feel much safer when there are no footprints of mine in the sand, just Jesus'. I have an awe feeling of love for each one I meet or know in my life.

I am grateful to the Daughters of the Cross, especially Sister Marlene Sylas for extending an invitation for me to join and be an Associate. I feel guilty in a way because what I do, such as taking Holy Communion to a shut-in, I sometimes feel I get more out of it than the individual receiving Jesus.

Mary Coleman