LOUIS, MO – April 12, 2015. The Dominican Sisters of Peace convened their Second General Chapter at the Marriott Hotel in St. Louis, April 6-12, 2015.
The congregation elected new leaders for the term 2015-2021. Sr. Pat Twohill, OP, was elected Prioress, along with Srs. Therese Leckert, OP, Gemma Doll, OP, Gene Poore, OP, and Anne Lythgoe, OP, Councilors. Srs. Therese, Gemma and Gene were elected to a second term.
Srs. Margaret Ormond, OP, Prioress, and Joan Scanlon, OP, will complete their terms August 8.
Reflecting on the theme Unfolding a Future Full of Hope, Sr. Margaret opened the meeting by inviting over 250 Sisters and Associates to “dance first, think later.” She used the metaphor of dance to describe her approach to the gathering, and asked the group to come with adaptability, balance, confidence, courage, and civility. She also offered the Easter story of doubting Thomas to remind those gathered that it was the community of believers who shaped his faith.
Carolyn Woo, PhD, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services inspired the assembly with her deeply expressed appreciation for the role Catholic Sisters play in bringing relief and comfort around the world. CRS is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. Carolyn recalled the Maryknoll Sisters in Hong Kong who taught her not only how to read and learn, but also how to care for others.
It is easy to be overwhelmed, Carolyn said, “Pick a spot and work on that, follow the politics and issues of a particular area and identify it with one thing related to your ministry. Learn as much as you can about it.”
Leverage the power of many. We are good at starting projects but very poor in connecting up, with no instinct for collaborating – a proliferation of initiatives that do not connect with each other. We will be less overwhelmed when we focus on something we agree on and use the power of our numbers and our resources to make a difference.”
Carolyn’s remarks were a perfect introduction to the congregation’s discussion of mission and its direction setting. The members approved Chapter Commitments for the next six years which include a statement that called the members to:
- Study, contemplate, and preach God’s revelation discovered in the unfolding mystery of creation and in Sacred Scripture.
- Create environments of peace by promoting non-violence, unity in diversity, and reconciliation among ourselves, in the Church and throughout the world.
- Promote justice through solidarity with those who are marginalized, especially women and children, and work with others to identify and transform oppressive systems.
- Create welcoming communities, inviting others to join us as vowed members, associates, volunteers, and partners in our mission to be the Holy Preaching.
- 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.
The mission of the Dominican Sisters of Peace is to bring the Gospel to the world by being peace, building peace, and preaching peace. They number 540 Sisters and 625 Associates. They minister in 26 states in many ministerial areas, including education, health care, spirituality, pastoral care, prison ministry, and care of creation as well as in Peru, Honduras and Nigeria. The congregational offices are in Columbus, OH.