COLUMBUS, OH – The new Leadership Team of the Dominican Sisters of Peace began their six-year term in a ceremony at the Martin de Porres Center on Saturday, August 8, the feast day of St. Dominic, the founder of the Dominican Order. About 250 Sisters, Associates, family members and friends attended the celebration that was webcast live to five other motherhouses and numerous other locations around the US and the world.
At its April General Chapter, 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, complete their terms August 8.
In her remarks, Sr. Pat encouraged the Sisters and Associates of the congregation to live in the present moment with passion and to remain focused on the direction set by the Second General Chapter. That direction, described in a number of Chapter Commitments, includes a call 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.
Sr. Pat continued saying that “Pope Francis tells us that we are called to create a culture of encounter, a culture of friendship and relationship; a culture that fosters peaceful dialogue with those who think or believe differently that we and with those in need.”
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 528 Sisters and 600 Associates and minister in 26 states in many areas, including education, health care, spirituality, pastoral care, prison ministry, and care of creation as well as in Peru, Honduras and Nigeria. Their congregational offices are in Columbus, OH.
Below are brief biographies of the new team members:
2015-2021 Leadership Team
Sr. Pat Twohill, OP, from New Haven, CT, will serve as the second Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. She holds a MA degree in Systematic Theology from The Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, MO, and a BS degree in English and Secondary Education from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. Most recently, Sr. Pat established a “House of Welcome” at St. Stanislaus Parish in New Haven where women called to Dominican Life and Mission reside in order to continue their vocational discernment. Previously Sr. Pat worked in education and pastoral ministry in New York, Ohio, and Virginia, and for almost 30 years as a vocation and formation minister for her community. From 2001 to 2009, Sr. Pat served as a member of the General Council of the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs, Columbus, OH, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace.
Sr. Therese Leckert, OP, is a native of New Orleans and will serve on the Leadership Team, being elected to a second term. Sr. Therese holds a MA in Religious Education from Loyola University in New Orleans, LA; an MA from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, in Fundamental Catholic Spirituality, and a BA from St. Mary’s Dominican College, New Orleans, LA, in Secondary Education with certification in French and Spanish. Sr. Therese has ministry experiences in Ilave, Peru, and with the Hispanic community in Louisiana. She has served as vocation minister and formation minister and directed community service outreach programs for high school students as well as worked with volunteers who came to New Orleans to help with post-Hurricane Katrina rebuilding. Formerly, she served as prioress for the Dominican Sisters Congregation of St. Mary in New Orleans, LA, now Dominican Sisters of Peace.
Sr. Gemma Doll, OP, will also serve on the Leadership Team, being elected to a second term. Sr. Gemma was born and raised in Southwestern Kansas on a large ranch. She attended the Dominican Sisters Prep School and joined the Dominican community in Great Bend. She holds a BSN from Marymount of Kansas and worked in pediatric nursing in rural and urban settings before responding to the invitation to go to Nigeria to teach nursing. She returned to the United States and earned a MS in Nursing and began to teach as a Nurse Practitioner. She served as medical director of several Head Start programs and directed an indigent care clinic. She has served on short-term missions with Catholic Relief Services in Thailand and Lebanon. Sr. Gemma has served as Assistant Prioress and Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Great Bend, Kansas, congregation before becoming Dominican Sisters of Peace.
Sr. Gene Poore, OP, was elected to a second term on the Leadership Team. She is originally from Philadelphia and spent most of her life in Michigan. Sr. Gene holds a MS degree in Kinesiology from the University of Michigan, a BS in Health, Physical Education and Recreation from Ball State University, Muncie, IN, a Certificate in Advanced Spiritual Direction from the Dominican Consultation Center in Schoolcraft, MI, and a Certificate in the Formation of Women for the Dominican Mission of Preaching from Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, MO. Formerly she served as Councilor and Prioress for the Dominican Sisters of Oxford. She has been involved with the St. Pius X Summer Program in West Kingston, Jamaica for over 20 years.
Sr. Anne Lythgoe, OP, a native of Philadelphia, PA, is newly elected to the Leadership Team, having served in a number of leadership positions including President and in congregational leadership for the Dominican Sisters of Catherine de’ Ricci, now Dominican Sisters of Peace. Sr. Anne holds a MA in Public Communications from Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, a BA in Religious Studies from Siena College, Loudonville, NY, a certificate in Law and Religious Life from College Misericordia, Dallas, PA, and a certificate in Process Facilitation. Sr. Anne served as the Communications Coordinator for the Dominican Leadership Conference from 2002-2009 and for eight years was the founding editor of Dominican Life USA, an online news portal for Dominicans in the United States. She served in vocation ministry and retreat ministry in Pennsylvania and Virginia.