During our July Assembly in Columbus Associates Morris and Debbie Stilson received the tragic news that their grandson had died. As the news spread through the Assembly, all hearts were one with them in their grief, praying with and for them. One of the most moving moments was when the next day despite their loss, they stood before the Assembly during the Associates’ panel and to share with Dominican Sisters of Peace and Associates how they live out our 4th Chapter Commitment: To create welcoming communities, inviting others to join us as vowed members, associates, volunteers, and partners in our mission to be the Holy Preaching. As they paused a few times in silent tears and loving support of each other, there was a felt sense of solidarity and unity. Below is their mutual sharing. Continue reading →
Dominican Sister of Peace Teresa Wolfe died August 7, 2016, at Sansbury Care Center, St. Catharine, KY just one week short of her 73rd year of religious profession. Teresa was professed in the former Kentucky Dominican Congregation. She was the only child of Tom and Winona Wolfe and is survived by several cousins.
Sr. Teresa earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education/English/Philosophy and a Masters degree in Education/English from Creighton University in Omaha, NE. She also earned certification as a Chaplain at the National Association of Catholic Chaplains from St. Joseph Hospital in Omaha. She ministered as a teacher and principal in schools in Nebraska, Illinois, and Iowa. Continue reading →
(Jesus) replied “Give them something to eat yourselves.” – Mark 6:37
At the opening Mass for Marian Days in Carthage, Missouri on Thursday, August 4, 2016, Bishop Carl A Kemme of the Wichita, Kansas diocese, preached on the Gospel of Mark recounting the first miracle of loaves. This Gospel states that Jesus had his disciples feed the hungry crowd that was estimated to number “five thousand men” who had come to the hillside to hear him preach.
The people at this Mass were some of the Vietnamese emigre community in the United States – men, women and children – and they numbered around 80,000.
One of the greatest things about America is its diversity. People come from all over the world and put down roots in this nation, even while they bring a little bit of their homeland to contribute to the commonwealth of ideas.
For thirty-nine years, Vietnamese Catholics have celebrated Marian Days in Carthage, Missouri. It is a pilgrimage of Vietnamese Catholics and their descendants done in honor of the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary, as well as in memory of their homeland across the Pacific. It is hosted by the Fathers and Brothers of the Congregation of Mary Co-Redemptrix, who came to the U.S. as some of the many “boat people” after the fall of Saigon in 1975. With the help of Cardinal Bernard Law, then Bishop of the Springfield Diocese, they purchased a Seminary in Carthage for $1 from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate Fathers. They now number over 250 in the U.S. with about 100 Fathers and Seminarians living in Carthage.
These pilgrims last week had arrived from Virginia and California; from Montana and Florida, and places between, and for three days would pray at Mass and Reconciliation stations; celebrate, attend faith teaching sessions, and visit Vocation Booths set up on the campus; share food, music and stories, and reunite with friends of earlier Marian Days.
As Bishop Kemme looked out over the crowd in the open area facing the main altar, he saw what Jesus saw that day on the hillside: folks hungry for the word of God, for healing and hope. And just as Jesus had pity on them and preached God’s love and mercy to them, so did the Bishops and religious ministering this week-end in Carthage, Missouri.
Sr. June Fitzgerald from the Dominican Sisters of Peace Vocation Team, Candidate Phuong Vu, Sr. Mai-Dung Nguyen, and Sr. Terry Wasinger were kept busy with people visiting our Vocation booth to learn more about Dominican Sisters of Peace, to write prayer requests in a notebook that will be shared with our retired Sisters, and to receive prayer cards and other items identifying our congregation and how to get in touch for more information. It was at the Marian Days pilgrimage some years before that both Sr. Mai-Dung Nguyen and Sr. Mary Vuong first learned about Dominican Sisters.
Jesus told his disciples to give the large crowd something to eat, even though they had only five loaves and three fish. Jesus blessed what they had, and it was more than enough.
I felt like the disciples of Jesus: I had so little to give to these wonderful people. Yet, with the blessing of Jesus, maybe it would be enough.
Sometimes do you feel that Jesus is telling you to “give them something to eat?” Would you like to learn to trust that it is possible to answer that request? Why not give from your abundance and share your gifts with others by responding to God’s call to become a sister. Why not contact one of our vocation ministers today to begin a conversation.
Click here for photos from our Marian Day experience.
It’s a difficult time. The politicians are riling the voters. Terrorist attacks, overflowing refugee camps, gun deaths, the threat of an unstable Middle East. As the daily news floods over us, we can’t begin to number the evils that beset our world. Humanity’s sins are enormous and growing; what we have thought to be progress has hurt and exploited countless human beings and God’s beloved earth in ways we never considered. We pray as Dominic prayed,”O Mercy! What will become of sinners?”
We try to be good servants of the Gospel. We are good citizens. We read. We listen. We have a call to seek and preach the truth, to bear the Gospel of Peace. But in this seething and starving world we are so small, so sinful and needy ourselves. We are vowed as Preachers of Grace, living Gospels. We pray urgently with Dominic, the man who preached by day and wept by night: What will become of a sinful world? What would you have us, me, do, to show your Mercy?
Even at its best, humanity has never been able to erase human error, cruelty and suffering—it all keeps coming back. We never have been able to reach far enough for long enough with energy enough. All our lives, dedicated as they are, are circumscribed in time and place and the limits of our bodies, minds and spirits. All people, including Jesus himself lived, as we do, the scandal of particularity.
God knows we daughters and sons of Dominic have tried: study, prayer, common life, preaching. We have served as we can, gone where we were sent. We have written, spoken out, rallied. Successes? Failures? There is no way to tally. The apostle Paul, Preacher Dominic, our saints, our foundresses were– as Mother Teresa has been quoted– not asked by God to be successful, only faithful. And this is why Dominic stayed up nights pleading with God.
In the long view, in God’s time, what we have accomplished will be
revealed. But in the mystery of God’s grace, our accomplishment is beside the point. The work is God’s, the energy is the Spirit’s, the victory is Christ’s. Such a mercy! Such a freedom! So every day we can claim the call to praise, to bless, to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ as best we can to the small worlds we are given, in the days we are allotted, with the ambiguities that bedevil us. And we continue, with the groaning of creation, and the Spirit groaning with us, Dominic’s vigil of prayer for the world.
When we pray, the aim is not (as popularly presented), to center ourselves into some private peace, but to break our hearts open—as did Christ Jesus– to share the agony of God’s people, the unspeakable, the unbearable, the seemingly relentless. Prayer is the worldwide web in which we are driven to dwell as was Dominic, an immediacy of presence to God and neighbor and a ravaged earth.
Prayer is the silent word in the vows we pronounce, our life’s work, witness to an ever-so-much-more relentless presence: God’s power and promise, a Word of hope for a future where there will be “no death, no mourning, no crying or pain….” Holy Father Dominic, pray for your sons and daughters, pray. Be with us in our tears, our vigils, our labors for the Gospel in a broken world; your voice, your weeping, your steadfast confidence loud over time as your sons and daughters plead and witness, “Champions of faith and true lights for the world.”
We are witnessing the highest level of human suffering since the Second World War. That is why, for the first time in the 70 year history of the United Nations, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convened the World Humanitarian Summit to generate commitments to reduce suffering and deliver better for people around the globe. The Summit took place in Istanbul on May 23-24, 2016. As participants in this first of its kind summit, leaders of nations and agencies and ordinary citizens were asked to place at the heart of global decision-making all people’s safety, dignity and right to thrive.
The Secretary-General proposed an agenda with five core responsibilities:
1. PREVENT AND END CONFLICT
2. RESPECT RULES OF WAR
3. LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND
4. WORK DIFFERENTLY TO END NEED
5. INVEST IN HUMANITY.
Some priority issues that were addressed are:
• A new global approach to manage forced displacement, with an emphasis on ensuring hope and dignity for refugees or internally displaced people, and support of host countries and communities. Conflict- displaced people rose to 60 million in 2014.
• Empowering women and girls, and catalyzing action to gender equality. Gender inequality prevents women and girls from leading safe, healthy and dignified lives. Only 0.5% of humanitarian funding went to gender-based violence support.
• Adapting new approaches to respond to protracted crises and recurrent disasters, reduce vulnerability, and manage risk, by bridging the divide between development and humanitarian partners.
‘• Secure adequate and predictable finance to save lives and alleviate suffering. The UN humanitarian appeal requirements have increased by four times in 10 years. The year 2015 was the lowest funding year with the largest needs, only 55% funded.
In researching this unique gathering of leaders and citizens of the global community, I am struck by the connections that can be made with our own Chapter commitments, our Justice committees’ endeavors, the work of Network and LCWR. This is only a sampling of the issues that cry out for our prayer and action as well as our outrage.
To read more and view the rich videos please search “World Humanitarian Summit.”
Finally, we may ask ourselves in this politically intense environment “Will we make our contribution to global humanitarian needs as we give our attention to the crying needs of US citizens? Will we welcome the displaced?”