Sister Petrona Stockemer

Sister Petrona Stockemer, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Petrona Stockemer, OP, (98), died at the Great Bend Motherhouse on June 25, 2017.  She was born in 1918 in Cunningham, KS, to Katherine Fischer and Peter Stockemer.  She made her first profession in 1936 and celebrated 80 years of service to her Church and her Community in 2016.

Sr. Petrona earned a Bachelor of Arts in German Education from Marymount College in Salina, KS, and Masters of Education from Creighton University in Omaha, NE.

Sr. Petrona shared her knowledge and love of learning throughout her life. Her ministry took her all over the state of Kansas as a teacher, principal, and a librarian, working with elementary and high school students. She was named an Outstanding Secondary Educator of America in 1975.

On the occasion of her 73 anniversary of profession, Sister Betty Werner, OP, said of Sr. Petrona, “So many of your students remember you with joy and love.” Sr. Petrona truly did love learning and teaching, so much that she took a “Sarah Sabbatical” at the age of 78 to learn to manage the challenges of aging and continue her ministry. She served as a tutor and in prayer and presence at the Great Bend Motherhouse until her death.

Sr. Petrona was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Sister Malachy (Elizabeth) Stockemer, OP.  She is survived by the Community of her Dominican Sisters.

A Vigil of Remembrance was held on June 27, 2017. The Mass of Christian Burial was held on June 28 at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse in Great Bend, KS. She is interred at the Sisters Resurrection Cemetery, also in Great Bend.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Petrona’s memory may be submitted securely online or sent to:
Dominican Sisters of Peace
Office of Mission Advancement
2320 Airport Drive
Columbus, OH 43219.

Posted in News, Obituaries

God Calling: Mission in Mexico

Members of the Mission of Welcome team and novices at the Inside Mexico Immersion Program.

Several members of the Ministry of Welcome team, our novices and our candidates are attending the Inside Mexico Immersion Program in Mexico City. Sr. June Fitzgerald has been chronicling their experiences on Facebook; here is one of her posts about why our Congregation has chosen to attend this program.

We are overjoyed to begin our second week here in Mexico City, attending the Inside Mexico immersion program at Casa Xitla.

We have had some questions about why we chose to bring our Sisters to this program, and I hope that I can answer them here.

The Inside Mexico program is truly an immersion experience. While here, our sisters are learning to speak Spanish, studying Mexican history & culture, and being introduced to the social justice, environmental and human rights issues at the forefront in Mexico today.

We are present here for several reasons:

First, we believe that it is important for our sisters to have a global understanding of Church and issues that affect all of us. This cross-cultural experience is an important educational opportunity for our sisters in various stages of initial formation.

Second, we believe that we must grow and change in response to changes in the Church. Hispanic Youth are the fastest-growing membership group in the Church in America. This immersion language program will help us learn to communicate with this important population in the Church and to preach the Gospel in the language in which they are most comfortable.

Third, in order for us to, in the words of the Holy Father, build bridges of communication with our most populous neighbor, we must understand their history and culture. Understanding is the first step to peace.

Finally, as Dominican Sisters of Peace, we are committed to building, preaching and embodying peace. By immersing ourselves in the social justice, environmental and human rights issues in Mexico, we can partner wth them in transformative dialog, breaking barriers and realizing a world without borders.

Click here to see photos of their travels.

Posted in God Calling?, News

Mind the Gap

Blog by Sr. Pat Thomas, OP

Anybody reading this who is familiar with train travel on the East coast will recognize this phrase. When the commuter trains come to station stops, there is always a gap between the train car and the platform, and the disembodied voice is heard “Mind the Gap” or “Watch the Gap” so no one will put a foot down the wrong way. It has happened, and often with dire consequences. No matter how many times you ride the trains, the voice will be heard until you want to say “OK. OK. I get it”, but it is relentless. Yet, no matter how many times it is said, people have still tripped or put a foot down too soon. Not good.

We have lots of gaps in our world. There is the wage gap, the gender gap, the age gap, the achievement gap, and even the gap analysis. We can look all of these up online, google or whatever to try to understand them better.

But how are we mindful of the gaps in our lives? Maybe they are gaps in communications with a friend or loved one. We need to call someone and know it will be a difficult conversation and that gap grows wider the longer we put it off. Can we ever bridge it? What is holding us back?

Is there a gap between us and God for some reason? We may say we want to get closer to God, to know God better, and what do we do about that? Most of the time, we fill that gap with words piled on words piled on words. We go to adoration with our rosaries, devotional books, wonderful prayers that we have said since we were children; that is all good, we know it. But, how do we get to know someone better if we are filling the conversation with our words? How many times have we just sat down in a quiet place at home, in a church, in a park, on the shore, in the forest,  and just it let it be us and God? Sometimes that little knocking we hear inside is God trying to fill the gap. Be mindful.

Posted in News, Weekly Word

Peace and Justice Updates, June 27, 2017

From the Friends in Solidarity of South Sudan:
South Sudan’s Independence Day is July 9. We invite you to pray for South Sudan in this time of deep violence and need. Click here for the prayer.

From Global Catholic Climate Movement:
The first component of the Laudato Si Pledge is: ‘Pray for and with creation.’ As Pope Francis has shown us in Laudato Si’, our ecological crisis is also a spiritual crisis. We need to praise God the Creator and celebrate creation. We need to recognize and mourn what parts of nature we are losing through our current lifestyle. We need to pray for ecological conversion. Click here for a prayer card or here for more prayer resources.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Warrior Vs. Healer

Blog by Justice Promoter Kelly Litt

I recently attended a faith leaders’ gathering that meets monthly to discuss various justice issues here in Columbus. We are currently focusing on race relations and are working to set up a meeting between members of the group and the Mayor of Columbus. During our recent meeting, our conversation ranged from figuring out meeting logistics, discussing effective messaging, and establishing our meeting goals or desired outcomes. The conversation, however, gently led us to discuss our roles as church leaders and people of faith.

One faith leader brought up the importance of both words and the way in which we identify ourselves. When we go into a meeting or begin a conversation with someone with an opposing view, do we enter the conversation as a “justice warrior” ready to save the day and explain why our solutions are the best for the common good? Perhaps we need to shift our own interpretation of our identity. Working for justice is good, necessary, and our Gospel mandate, but doing so as a “warrior” may be counterproductive.

Are we starting from a position of violence (internal or external) when we enter into conversations or relationships with the idea that we can fix the problem as the warrior for good, as the one fighting the good fight? We know how impactful peace can be in our own lives and in the world, and perhaps we need to approach our work for justice with intentional peace as well. Can we be healers rather than warriors? Can we be peacebuilders for truth and justice rather than fighters for justice?

Entering a space as someone who wants to heal rather than fight allows us to begin with peace and persevere with love as we meet others where they are and work to find common ground. The power words have is important, perhaps now more than ever. In the time of fake news, post-truth, and alternative facts, working, living, and praying as healers, as peacemakers, and as disciples will provide an example of love and solidarity to the world.

How can you heal the world today?

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog