Sister Santina DeLuca celebrates jubilee

Sister Santina DeLuca was born in Chicago to Joe and Florence DeLuca and raised with her brothers, Frank and Tony. She holds the distinction of being a member of the premier graduating class from Marian Catholic High School, Chicago Heights, in 1962. She joined the Dominican Sisters of Springfield and made her profession of vows June 19, 1964. After a year spent in study she taught third grade at Cathedral School, Springfield, Ill., 1965-1968, then moved on to Our Saviour School, Jacksonville, 1968-1973, teaching grades 2 and 3. For the next ten years she taught first grade successively at St. Edward School, Chicago, St James School, Sauk Village, Ill., and Ss. Peter & Paul, Cary, Ill. She tutored primary students at St. Lawrence O’Toole School, Matteson, Ill., 1984-1985, then taught at St. Charles Borromeo school, Hampshire, Ill., 1985-1987.

In 1987 she taught third grade at Cathedral School, Springfield, then spent some time supporting the community at Sacred Heart Convent, Springfield, before moving on to Marian Catholic High School, Chicago Heights, Ill., where she supported a large community of Springfield Dominican Sisters, 1988-1991. From 1991-1997 she worked with remedial students at St. James, Sauk Village, and provided administrative assistance. From 1997-2013 she was the religion teacher for all grades at St. Kieran School in Chicago Heights. Finally, after teaching religion to all grades at St. Agnes School, Chicago Heights, 2013-2018, Sister Santina returned to Springfield to provide support services to the sisters at Sacred Heart Convent. She is on the editorial board for JUST Words, the congregational magazine.

In Dominican circles, Sister Santina is renown for her one-woman portrayals of St. Catherine of Siena, a 14th century mystic and Doctor of the Church, which she often performed for Dominican high school events.

Sister Santina portrays St. Catherine of Siena.

You can watch Sister Santina’s performance here.

When asked to reflect on the meaning of her life’s vocation, Sister Santina tuned eloquent:

“In listening to one’s heart, in responding to signs from The Other, a vocation is nurtured,” she wrote. “When I knew I would accept this unusual invitation—entering the Springfield Dominican congregation—I was at peace. All the relationships of the previous 18 yeas of my life were important. I chose to give to God the best gifts god first gave tome: life, all my beloved ones, the gift of my womanhood and probably marriage and family.

“What great gifts to give! Initially ALL was given. Each day the gift is renews. New insights. New challenges. New experiences. The breadth of my life widened. Unknowns became actual. New realities became part of the total gift. And all the persons I have known and loved and care about have become part of my gift to God as well! God, the source of love and life, knows and cares for and loves all my dear ones in ways that amaze me. God assures me that all those relationships are already in God’s loving plan,” she concluded, then added this prayer:

“Dear God, I give you all that I am and all that I will be. May I deepen my life’s vow to you. For love of You! For the life of all in this world! You strengthen me to share with others the delight of Your deep and lasting love. You are our center. We offer You a humble gift. Your gift to us is complete. Now. Forever.”


4 thoughts on “Sister Santina DeLuca celebrates jubilee”

  1. Maddalena C. Werner

    Sister Santina,
    I have known you all my life. I remember visiting you and the wonderful Florence in the kitchen and you putting an apron on me so I wouldn’t get dirty. You said it was yours when you were small! I thought I was so specially wearing that apron! Every time I see you I leave feeling so at peace. You are truly a BLESSING!
    Maddalena Camilleri Werner

  2. Carla (Segala) Pariseau

    My dear Sister Santina,
    Will never forget the time we spent together in grade school and high school – so long ago. All that we shared. Congratulations on your 60 years and may God continue to bless you and give you the strength to continue fulfilling His will. Love you always,

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