Peace and Justice Weekly Updates

 From Catholic Nonviolence Initiative:

Three dates in the month of May have been chosen in the United States to ask Catholics to share their hope for greater teaching and commitment to active nonviolence with their bishop and invite him to affirm active nonviolence as the nucleus of the Christian revolution. During the month of May, write your bishop, using the sample letter provided (click here).  Share with him, as your Shepherd in the Lord, your call for a greater commitment to active nonviolence. Individual hard copy letters mailed directly to the bishop are more powerful than form letters, emails, or one letter signed by many. For more information, click here.

From Win Without War:

With an unpredictable administration, corporations amassing ever more power, and authoritarianism around the world on the rise, now more than ever, we need internet freedom. A free internet is not only the cornerstone of a free and open society, it is also an essential tool in how our movement makes our voices heard. We simply cannot fight militarism and work for peace without a free internet, and that’s why we need your help. Net neutrality is the cornerstone of the idea of the internet: that all web traffic is treated and delivered equally. As it stands now, all internet sites are delivered with equal speed when you type their name into the address bar or click on a link. Everyone is equal. The FCC will vote on a disastrous plan to gut net neutrality protections and allow Internet Service Providers to block content, control the pathways to information, and create pay-to-play schemes. Click here to sign this petition and tell the FCC that you want net neutrality protected.

Good news for our Earth! In a surprising victory for former President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy, the Senate voted last week not to consider repealing a climate change regulation on the release of methane from oil and gas wells on public land. Read more here.

Oppose discrimination and violence against all. Each year on May 17th, organizations around the world mark the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). Click here for more information from New Ways Ministry.

If you haven’t read the Final Statement from the Salamanca Congress that was held in the Fall of 2016, you can read the Statement here. This Statement will help guide a collaborative Dominican effort to work on peace and justice issues.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

A Revolution of Tenderness: An Invitation of Hope from Pope Francis

Blog by Justice Promoter Kelly Litt

In late April, the Pope again surprised the world when an unexpected TED Talk was released. According to their website, “TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment, and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages.”

TED Talks are powerful tools to convey critical messages to a global community. In this digital age, these short motivational films have inspired individuals of all ages to become more aware of their environment, to develop leadership skills, and to understand different cultures and ideas.

At 80 years old, the Pope is very much ahead of the curve when it comes to technology and is even active on Twitter with a large following. This TED Talk shows that the Pope sees the value in technology and embraces its ability to be used for good and for the conversion of hearts.

The Pope’s simple yet profound message was more surprising to me than the mere fact that he produced a TED Talk. Pope Francis spoke about solidarity, inclusiveness, and the importance of using power to help others rather than suppress. In his talk, the Pope challenged the audience: “How wonderful would it be if solidarity, this beautiful and, at times, inconvenient word, were not simply reduced to social work, and became, instead, the default attitude in political, economic and scientific choices, as well as in the relationships among individuals, peoples and countries.”

While holding the troubles and difficulties of the world in his heart, Pope Francis left the audience with a song of hope as well as a challenge: “Through the darkness of today’s conflicts, each and every one of us can become a bright candle, a reminder that light will overcome darkness, and never the other way around.”

As we continue working toward peace and justice in our world, this simple yet necessary message from Pope Francis can reignite our flame and fill our hearts with hope so that we can continue working as the Body of Christ. Hope is essential, and as Pope Francis said, “Hope is the virtue of a heart that doesn’t lock itself into darkness, that doesn’t dwell on the past, does not simply get by in the present, but is able to see a tomorrow.” Let us all continue seeing a tomorrow filled with peace.

You can watch the full TED Talk here or read the transcript here.

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

The Zip Line of Faith

Blog by Sr. Amy McFrederick, OP

“It is not easy to entrust oneself to God’s mercy, because it is an abyss beyond our comprehension. But we must!”  –Pope Francis, March 2013

I read this quote the other day in one of the LCWR Prayer Journals, and it struck me as so true. I’m sure most persons of faith can think of times in one’s life when they feel they are standing on the brink of the great abyss of God’s mercy, and know their faith demands that they make that fearful leap into the incomprehensible. It’s a moment that puts their faith in God to test.

It could be during a retreat or moment of grace when one is gripped by a deep realization of one’s sin—whether in thought, word, deed, or omission—and is overwhelmed by feelings of confusion, guilt, the helpless need for forgiveness and mercy. The fearful choice is to stay paralyzed in unworthiness, self-loathing, and condemnation, or to leap into the abyss of God’s incomprehensible mercy. We question: do we dare believe that the God-Who-Is truly loves us unconditionally with infinite mercy, and is not the God-of-my-own-making who waits to punish?

For me, it was a little less than two months ago when I was about to undergo surgery for breast cancer. The doctors and nurses in making sure that I understood all that was going to happen, the risks, the possibilities, and all the choices that I would need to make, plied me with booklets, print-outs, and more information than I ever hoped to have. Having read it all, and making the best choices I could, I then faced the moment of truth, and was admitted to the surgery unit. I remember the feeling of being completely in the hands of others as I watched the surgery staff strap first the left arm, then the right to arm extensions, as others efficiently applied pressure wraps to my legs, and the anesthetist told me he was going to start the medication that would put me to sleep. It was the moment to leap into the abyss of God’s mercy, entrusting all…

Today as I imagine myself standing again and again at the brink of the abyss of God’s mercy, I am aware that I don’t just foolishly presume to leap recklessly from a high place to test God (as the devil would have Jesus leap from the tower, testing God to keep him from dashing a foot against a stone.) No, if I’m going to take such a leap, I want to make sure I have a trusted ZIP line to which I am firmly secured. My ZIP LINE is God’s Word and God’s Promises – especially the God preached by Christ in the Gospels; and it’s my FAITH in Christ, the unfolding Word of God – that attaches me firmly to that ZIP LINE. Only then can I confidently -though maybe a bit nervously – make that leap. And so far it has always proven to be quite a ride!

Posted in Associate Blog

Sr. Mary Elizabeth Myers, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Mary Elizabeth Myers, OP (82), died at Mohun Health Care Center, Columbus, OH, on Saturday, May 6, 2017. She was born in 1935 in Jennings, LA, and was the oldest of nine children. Her parents, Luke and Mamie Kinney Myers, were rice farmers. She delighted in her rich Cajun French, German, Irish, and Native American heritage. In 1954 Lizzie, as she liked to be called, entered the Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Dominic, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace.

Sr. Mary Elizabeth first trained in the culinary arts and cooked at the motherhouse for a few years. Later she trained as a licensed practical nurse and ministered in hospitals and care centers in New Orleans, Houma and Jennings, LA. However, she said her greatest joy was caring for her parents in their final years, and also caring for her Dominican Sisters and their families. After her retirement, she served as a Congregational Volunteer at the motherhouse in Oxford, MI. Continue reading →

Posted in Obituaries

Encountering the Holy… from a Different Perspective

Pat Dual
Blog by Sr. Pat Dual, OP

I’m a “city girl” raised in the Tidewater area of Virginia surrounded by waterways and on the coast of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.  Looking out over a lake, bay or ocean was a peaceful meditation on the Holy for me.  I definitely encounter the Holy One in the Eucharist, through scripture, music, and people. However, there is just a different kind of encounter with the Holy when I face the immensity of waters stretching beyond the horizon.  Many people may encounter a sense of the Holy through nature walks through beautiful paths in the woods.  For me, an encounter with the Holy was a coastal view of a beautiful sea meeting the sky in a distant horizon…until I met the Rockies.

Recently, I visited Denver, CO for the first time.  The view of the Rocky Mountains was stunning. While we only had time to explore the foothills of the Rockies and to admire the mountains from a distance, it was an experience allowed me to encounter the Holy from a uniquely different perspective. Being surrounded by the majesty of the Rocky Mountains was a “WOW” moment with God.  It was, for me, a new encounter with the Holy. In what ways do you encounter the Holy One?  Have you had a recent “WOW” moment with God?

Have you recently had an opportunity to experience God in a new way or through a new experience, or from a different perspective?  Why not consider joining the Dominican Sisters of Peace to experience a few days of prayer, volunteer service, and theological reflection during our Mission Immersion event on May 18-21, 2017!   Space is limited.  You can find more details here. You can also check out some of my pictures from the foothills of the Rockies here.  Enjoy!

Posted in God Calling?