I Am CCA /// Delia Herrera, Chaplain and Roman Catholic Nun in Texas

By | August 31, 2019

(delia herrera) I’m driving along
and I’m thinking about the day.
Sometimes, I start
thinking about my community
and where we’re at and
the journey that we’re on
and so it’s a form
of prayer, really.
I rarely get that
time sometimes,
but I try to enjoy
it when I get it.
(narrator) We come
from all walks of life
and we all have a story.That’s what connects us.These are the stories
that make us CCA.
(delia herrera) My
name is Delia Herrera
and I am a chaplain in Texas.In high school is when I
had a religious experience.
God was telling me, I
want you to be a nun.
And I met a Missionary Catechist
of Divine Providence sister.
She was a nun, not in the habit,
dressed just like you and me,
and very human.I thought, that’s someone I
could be because I’m– I am
very human.My mom, she feels blessed
to have a nun in the family.
However, I’m not in the habit.So it’s hard for her to explain
to people that I am a nun
and we don’t wear a habit,
and not since the ’60s.
This to her says “nun.”It’s like, she loves it.And this is the one that
she always will show to me.
“This is my daughter, the nun.”But that’s not who I am.My church is still Saint
Joseph’s, Saint Joseph’s
Catholic Church.It’s my home church.I’ve been attending here
since we moved to San Angelo,
since I was about
five years old.
Yeah, it does bring
back memories.
In our community,
what we usually do
is that we enter into a
period of discernment,
where we seek God’s will as
to where we’re supposed to go,
how we’re supposed
to go where we go.
I have never worked in
prison ministry before.
And so I went ahead and applied.Well, I finally received a call
for an interview with Eden.
I was offered the position.I thought, well, I guess
God wants me there.
I thought it was very unusual.So I accepted the position.Ministry in a prison
is a different type
of compassionate presence.Senor?(prisoner 1) Muy bien.Buenos dias.So how are things going for you?OK?(prisoner 2) I said,
one day at a time.
That is true.(prisoner 2) How about you?How are you doing?I’m doing good.I’m doing very good.My job as the chaplain
is really to be
able to facilitate the
religious needs of the inmates.
There’s something about being a
chaplain that frees up people.
There’s almost an instantaneous
trust in some aspect of it.
For the staff, I
provide a way for them
to just be able to
vent their frustration.
What I assist the
facility in really
is being able to create that
stable environment to where
inmates are able to be
doing something constructive
and fill up their time and
they’re able to live and do
their time peacefully.One of the things that
they do in hobby craft
is that they go ahead
and they make things.
And sometimes, it’s
as a gift for family.
A lot of times,
what they do is this
is how they earn a
little bit of more money.
He’s planning to go
back home and open up
his own little stand and be
able to create these products
and sell them and be able
to support himself and not
get involved with criminal
activity that will send him
back to prison.So it’s all for a good thing.The best thing that I can
hope for an inmate who
comes through here is that
he develops that connection
with the sacred, whatever
that may be for him.
There’s gotta be that connection
to God, whoever God is for you.
And I would hope that
that is what they get out
of here, that they get
that deepening relationship
aspect, because that will
address everything else they’ve
got.Community, family,
their job, whatever
it is– if that’s
the basic foundation,
then they’ve got the world.My name is Sister
Delia Herrera and I
am a chaplain in Texas
and a Roman Catholic nun
and I am CCA.

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