2019 Mission Immersion Retreat
The 2019 Mission Immersion is in the books. Six women joined the Vocations Team for a weeklong program of prayer, service, reflection, and fun. Our Lake House in Blacklick, Ohio was our “home base” for the week. On Saturday, June 1, the women arrived from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Iowa to join Sisters June, Bea and Mai-Dung. Each day we focused on one of our Chapter Commitments as the theme, which informed our prayer and action.
On the first day, we focused on our first Chapter Commitment: “Create welcoming communities, inviting others to join us as vowed members, associates, volunteers, and partners in our mission to be the Holy Preaching.” Settling in together, we consciously prepared our prayer space, assigned rooms, and discussed ways we would form community during the week. After an opening session focusing on Dominican history and mission at large, we then looked at who we are as Dominican Sisters of Peace. That evening, we joined the House of Welcome community for dinner, prayer, and meaningful conversation. Thank you Sisters Margie, Robin and Bea. Our day ended with a reflection on our experiences of the day.
On Day 2, we centered on our second Chapter Commitment: “To be women of peace who study, contemplate, and preach God’s revelation discovered in the unfolding mystery of creation and in Sacred Scripture.” We had the opportunity to pray at home, to chant Morning Prayer with the Sisters at the Motherhouse, to participate in Mass with the Sisters and tour the Motherhouse with Sr. Mattie Sterner. We then walked across the street to learn from Sr. Anne Lythgoe about using art (specifically clay) to aid contemplation and created our own pinch pot. We visited our Sisters at Mohun for refreshments and conversation. The Sisters shared about their lives and ministries and engaged the women in conversation about their own dreams and discernment. Some had time to walk the meditation trail at Shepherd’s Corner, to pray at the lake before dinner, and then we all prayed and reflected on the day together.
On Day 3, we centered on our third Chapter Commitment: “To be women of peace who promote justice through solidarity with those who are marginalized, especially women and children, and work with others to identify and transform oppressive systems.” Sr. Barbara Kane gave us a presentation about promoting peace through advocacy and service, and she challenged us to think about what qualities a peaceful world would have. In the afternoon, we helped at the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, where we worked on team building and service. In the evening, Sisters Diane Kozlowski and Barbara Lolli joined us for dinner. We enjoyed meeting them, learning about their ministries, and sharing some laughs together.
On Day 4, we centered on our fourth Chapter Commitment: “Foster God’s web of life personally, communally and ministerially by advocating and supporting just policies and decisions to reduce the impact of global climate change.” We started the day outside with a guided meditation on the web of life and about our interconnectedness within the universe. Then, we went to Shepherd’s Corner to learn about their mission, ministry, and the joys and responsibilities of caring for all of God’s creation (land, life, and spirit.) We weeded, harvested kale, and planted peppers. We had a delicious pizza and brownies for lunch. In the evening, we had a sheesh-kabab cookout with Sr. Rosie and Sr. Marguerite, and Associate Diane LeMay. Later, we enjoyed s’mores and stories around the campfire. We closed the day with prayer and sharing.
On the last day of our Mission Immersion, we focused on our fifth Chapter Commitment: “To be women of peace who create environments of peace by promoting non-violence, unity in diversity, and reconciliation among ourselves, in the Church and throughout the world.” We started the day with a Morning Prayer and meditation, made peace-rosaries, and then we reflected on and shared the fruits of our Mission Immersion experience. Afterward, we closed with prayer and sang the Dominican blessing
On the last day, as we blessed each other there came a realization that the Spirit of God had been with us guiding us and lifting us up each step of this experience. We pray that the women who joined us for this program will continue to listen to God’s movement within their hearts and follow where it will lead.
Some comments from the participants:
“What I found most helpful was the care that was obviously invested in planning the whole event – choosing a theme (Chapter Commitments) that helped us understand what guides the Dominican life, coordinating activities to each daily theme, and planning / writing prayer services and meditations to pull it all together.” K. Wolf
“It was cool to eat the kale right after picking it. It was truly a ‘farm to mouth’ experience.” A.K.
While we have included a few photos here, we have many more to share — please click here.