About Vicar for Women Religious

Consecrated Women in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

As disciples of Jesus and women of the Gospel, we are called to share our faith, hope and joy with an active presence that is reconciling, compassionate and prophetic in our Church and our world.

Women Religious congregations are made of beautifully inclusive ethnic backgrounds. These ethnicities include: African/African American, Anglo, Armenian, Asian/Asian Pacific, Asian Indian, Chinese/Chinese American, Filipina, Haitian, Hawaiian, Hispanic, Japanese, Korean, Middle Eastern, Polish, Slovakian, and Vietnamese.   This continues the rich history and tradition of the contributions made by religious congregations from all over the world to the Church in the United States.

As of April 2018, there are 1,376 Women Religious who live and work in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as members of:

  • 120 active Congregations-Religious Institutes
  • 3 Cloistered Communities
  • 14 Associations of the Faithful
  • 3 Societies of Apostolic life
  • 3 Secular Institutes
  • 1 Consecrated Virgin Living in the World
  • And ever-forming Diverse Forms of Consecrated Life


Meet Sr. Maria Carlos-Valdez, E.I.N.

The title “Vicar for Women Religious” identifies the person who represents the Ordinary of the Archdiocese to those who are members of religious communities within it and carries out the responsibilities he sees as related to their lives as consecrated religious. 

Sister Maria Carlos-Valdez was appointed as the Vicar for Women Religious by Archbishop José H. Gomez.  Sister Maria is a member of the community Esclavas de la Inmaculada Niña serving in Boyle Heights, where she has been the local superior for the past six years. Previously she served in the Diocese of San Bernardino for 10 years as Parish Ministers Formation Coordinator, has been in Catechetical ministry and was part of the Council of Religious in the Diocese of San Bernardino. She is Master Catechist, Spiritual Director, and has a Certificate on Pastoral Care from Loyola Marymount University.

In this new ministry, Sister Maria serves the general population of women religious in her work with the Archdiocesan Association of Consecrated Women Coordinating Council in the development of programs and events for the on-going formation of consecrated women including the annual archdiocesan celebration of religious jubilees, World Day for Consecrated Life and on-going lecture and retreat presentations.  She officially represents consecrated women working and living in the Archdiocese in all matters directly related to the local Church by communicating their needs to the appropriate archdiocesan administrative office, by being their representative presence at official archdiocesan functions, as well as visiting with individual consecrated women and with religious communities, as appropriate.

The variety of ethnic populations within the Los Angeles Archdiocese is reflected in the diverse ethnicity of the women religious ministering among the people. The ethnic composite of this group is approximately three-fifths European American and European, one-fifth Hispanic and one-fifth other cultures, predominantly Asian. The vicar provides an orientation and on-going assistance for women religious coming from other countries; coordinates special programs designed to meet their needs.

In her own words to the sisters: “With a trembling “Yes”, I am here to journey with you in this adventure of life. In the Archdiocese, we are a Community of Communities; of many we are one.”

Discerning Women:

Need advice?  Have questions about a community?

Contact the Office of the Vicar for Women Religious:

(213) 637-7559



During the year of consecrated life, Pope Francis invited us to live our vocation with joy and be the light of the world with joyful heart. Now in his new encyclical once again the invitation is extended, “Rejoice and be Glad.”


Prayer for Vocations


Creator of the Universe, God of the Nations,

Your people are longing to hear your word.

Send laborers into your harvest –

men and women on fire with your love:

Dedicated single people –

who incarnate your presence

in their daily lives,

whose availability enables them

to respond to a diversity of needs.

Religious sisters and brothers –

whose life in community foreshadows

our eternal unity in Christ,

whose service brings your life to the world.


we ask you

to send more servants to your people.

Choose from our parishes,

from our homes,

from our schools and colleges,

an abundant harvest

of apostles for your Kingdom:

sisters, brothers, deacons and lay ministers.

We pray that those you call

may never lose awareness of the 

dignity and need of their vocation.

0 Virgin Mary,

Mother of the Church,

teach all those the Master calls

to say a joyful “yes”

as you did at the Annunciation.