On July 22, the Church celebrates the feast day of St. Mary Magdalen, a close personal companion and follower of Jesus, and one of the women present at the crucifixion. She is the only person of whom it is reported in all four Gospels, as having been a witness to the resurrection of Jesus. On that Easter morning, Jesus told Mary to go and tell the apostles that he had risen and thus, she is considered the Apostle to the Apostles. “Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, ‘I have seen the Lord!’ Then she gave them his message” (John 20:18). Among Dominicans, she is treasured as the first to preach the Good News of the Risen Jesus. Continue reading →
MOMS Demand Action for Gunsense in America is on a mission and people are listening. Founded after the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012 by Shannon Watts, this organization of determined women has not slowed in its campaign for common sense, responsible gun legislation. They have taken on corporations around the country asking them to enact policies that prohibit the carrying of rifles and other guns openly. Target, Panera Bread, Sonic, Chipotle and Starbucks are just a few of those who have responded positively to MOMS’ request. On September 18, 2013, Starbucks’ CEO announced that guns were no longer welcome in Starbucks stores, reversing the company’s previous policy of allowing open and concealed carry. The CEO stated: “Guns should not be part of the Starbucks experience.” Continue reading →
While I do have some introvert tendencies, I score higher on the extroverted side. That fact, coupled with my previous experiences of retreats where the sharing and fellowship were key, led me to steer clear of silent retreats. After all, I took plenty of silent time daily to pray and be by myself. Continue reading →
Saturday, July 11, 2015 was a wonderful day for the family of the Dominican Sisters of Peace! Not only was it the first beautiful sunny day in almost a week of clouds and rain, it was the day of the First Profession of Vows for Sr. Beata Tiboldi, into the congregation of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. Sr. Bea professed the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience for the next three years, promising to live faithfully her call to religious life as a Dominican sister. Many of her Dominican sisters and Associates, family and friends were on hand to witness and celebrate this wonderful event. And what a celebration! The Mass was beautiful and was a wonderful reflection of the culture and personality of Sr. Bea, who also gifted us with a beautiful preaching about why someone would want to profess religious vows in today’s culture.
The Mass of First Profession is such an inspiring event, and as a vocation minister, it is gratifying to be able to share this special occasion with others who are discerning a possible religious vocation. I was grateful to be able to invite other discerning women to participate in the festivities and they shared what a blessing it was to be part of the celebration. Sr. Bea’s preaching was so insightful about the call to religious life, and in particular, the call to Dominican life. Her words shared thoughts and ideas that could be very helpful to others who feel that God may be calling them to consider religious life. And so, with Sr. Bea’s permission, I would like to share with you her preaching from the Mass (click here) and some wonderful photos from the celebration of her First Profession (click here).
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Recently, the Peace Center of the Dominican Sisters of Peace in New Orleans sponsored a Peace Camp for a group of boys between the ages of seven and ten for five days. The center has been blessed with 13 computers which have been used for adult computer classes and online job applications; the center has been cursed with 13 computers where the neighborhood kids come to play computer games. The blessing has been that we have a good base for relationships with the neighbors and a safe place for the kids to come. The curse has been the game choices the kids will make. No matter how many times we tell them they may not play games with any kind of violent activities or sexual content as a part of them, the kids somehow get back around to them. We have said no guns, no fighting of any kind, no war games, no violence, etc. Still they persist. We keep trying. Then we learned some new perspectives. When we again said the violent games had to stop, we heard that the games really were not violent. There was no blood. New definition of violence: no visible blood shed? Is this a new twist on a well known word?
Back in the day, the expression “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me” was our defense against the rough treatment and physical stuff that the bullies used to do. Now, we have found that real power does come from the name calling, the labelling; the verbal abuse has become much more powerful in making us feel less than human. Words evoke fear in us and we feel less secure on all levels. We worry about what others think of us, how they describe us to other people, whether we will measure up to some imaginary expectation. Words have become more powerful than ever. Words have become even greater tools for violence towards others.
People can try to put words into our mouths, but we decide if those are the words that will eventually come out or not. We choose the words we are going to use. As we look around at all that is happening in our own towns, states and country, what are the words we are using?
Is the Word of God part of our vocabulary these days? Jesus gave us powerful words to guide us: “Turn the other cheek,” “Judge not lest you be judged,” “Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me,” “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Those are just a few, but sometimes they have just become meaningless. We can live our lives by the guidance of these words and that can make a difference in so many ways. I say, let’s use words like these a lot more and let Jesus speak through us and our actions.