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In 1958, the Adrian Dominican Sisters missioned in Roy, New Mexico, had a rather unlikely prospective postulant come their way: Maria Carmen Gonzales, who at the age of thirty-two was considerably older than most who have entered the Congregation.
Maria Carmen was born on July 16, 1926, in Albert, New Mexico, to Desiderio and Vicenta (Montaño) Gonzales. When she was about six months old, however, her mother became quite ill, and so the little girl was raised by an aunt and uncle whom she called her mother and father. She did not even know until it was time to enroll in school that her aunt and uncle were not actually her parents.
She attended a one-room schoolhouse for grades one through eight and then went to Mosquero High School, from which she graduated in 1945. Her uncle died around that time, and as the oldest of nine children – eight girls and a boy – she took on the responsibility of helping support the family. She worked in a number of jobs, including a grocery store, a cleaner, a laundry, and the local post office. According to her autobiography, she actually dreamed of joining the Air Force, but “I was too short and didn’t weigh enough.”
Read more about Sister Marie Carmen (pdf)
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