Sister Ann Bell, OP


Sister Ann Bell, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Sister Ann Bell, OP, died on July 24 at the Sansbury Care Center in St. Catharine, KY. She was 90 years old. One of six children, she was born in 1927 in Springfield, KY, to Ann Hill and Miles Bell. She entered the Dominican Sisters of St. Catharine in Kentucky, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace, in 1946.

Sr. Ann earned a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics/Science from Spalding College in Louisville, KY and a Masters of Education in Home Economics from St. Louis University in St. Louis, MO. She also received a certificate of Theological Studies from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, IL.

Sr. Ann was an elementary school teacher in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia before she was named the Director of Food Services for Louisville Catholic Schools. She also served as Registrar at St. Catharine College in St. Catharine, KY;  as Assistant VP for Academic Affairs at Pikeville College in Pikeville, KY;  and as Graduate Registrar at Spalding University in Louisville, KY.

Sr. Ann was also very active in her Dominican Community. She was selected as the Coordinator of the Motherhouse Community in St. Catharine KY, and was appointed a Regional Superior, working with Sisters in 6 states and 7 dioceses. She was also elected a Member of the Governing Board of the St. Catharine congregation.

In her preaching at the Funeral Mass, Sister Catherine Mahady, OP,  remembered Sr. Ann not only for her strong professional skills, but for her love for her Community, her dedication to the Dominican charism of study and learning, and her unshakable faith in God.

Sr. Ann is survived by three sisters Jane and Pat Bell, and Margaret Riney of Louisville, KY, as well as several nieces and nephews.

A Vigil of Remembrance and the Mass of Christian Burial were held on Friday, July 28 at the Sansbury Care Center. Chapel. Sr. Ann was buried at the St. Catharine Motherhouse Cemetery in St. Catharine, KY.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Ann’s memory may be submitted securely online at, or sent to:

Dominican Sisters of Peace
Office of Mission Advancement
2320 Airport Drive, Columbus, OH 43219


Posted in Obituaries

AMEN to Welcome and Inclusivity in the Church

Blog by Associate Colette Parker, OPA – Co-Director

A few weeks ago, I drove past a church with a sign describing it as “an intentionally welcoming community.” It was not the first time I’ve witnessed the message nor was it the first time my thought response was “Duh! Shouldn’t all churches be intentionally welcoming communities?”

I do understand that the message is intended to cultivate inclusivity by inviting people of every age, economic condition, ethnic and racial background, physical and mental ability, marital status, sexual orientation, and gender identity into the community.

I thought I had put the idea of “the intentionally welcoming church” out of my mind, until last week, when I heard about the tweet from our Commander in Chief advising that “the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”

(Sidebar: Interestingly, the tweet came on the 69th anniversary of President Harry S. Truman’s executive order to desegregate our troops.)

The tweet brought the whole notion of the open and affirming statements of churches of intentional welcome back to the forefront of my mind because those statements tend to focus on extending an invitation to LBGT people, who have experienced exclusion and lack of welcome.

In fact, some branches of our church family have been downright hateful toward LBGT people.

What would Jesus say or do?

I believe Jesus would say let’s meet, greet, welcome, and love everyone. And I believe that Jesus would do just that – meet, greet, welcome, and love everyone.

I felt a need to intentionally repeat those four words – meet, greet, welcome, and love – because I have learned that sometimes “The Church” has selective hearing.

I guess that’s why churches need to say out loud that they are “intentionally welcoming” – to remind itself of the duty to meet, greet, welcome, and love everyone.

I am convinced that if we can bring ourselves to a place where we respect the human dignity of all persons, we can begin to take steps toward a more peaceful world — a world in which labels no longer divide and separate us.

Labels make it easy to view people as different from us. They make it easy to dislike the people we view as different from us. They prevent us from seeing one human family. They prevent us from building relationships. They prevent us from being understanding and compassionate.

I have evolved from my “Duh!” of a few weeks ago to an “Aha!” moment of thinking that the intentional welcome message is as much for the people inside the church as the people outside the church.

Inclusivity and welcome should be hallmarks of “The Church”. But until we truly get there, perhaps reminders are necessary.

Let “The Church” say: Amen?

Posted in Associate Blog, News

Sister Charles Francis McOsker, OP

Sister Charles Francis McOsker, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Charles Francis McOsker, OP, 93 died on July 13, 2017, at the Sansbury Care Center, St. Catharine, KY. She was born in 1924 in Lowell, MA, to Rose Geoffry and Charles McOsker.  Sr. Charles Francis entered the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace, in 1946, and celebrated 70 years of vowed religious life this year.

Sr. Charles Francis earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies/English from St. Francis College, in Brooklyn, NY and a certificate in Theology from Providence College in Providence, RI.

Sister took the Dominican call to itinerancy to heart, ministering as a teacher in parish schools in Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, Indiana, New York and Massachusetts. She also coordinated CCD classes and served as Parish Minister/Associate at St. Michael’s Parish in Lowell, MA.  Later, Sr. Charles Francis provided community service at Sansbury Care Center in St. Catharine, KY, and served as Assistant Coordinator at the facility until 2005. She entered a ministry of prayer and presence at the Sansbury Care Center in 2009.

In her preaching prepared for the funeral Mass, Sister Norah Guy, OP, recalled Sr. Charles Francis’ robust laugh, calling it a reflection of her happy and joyful heart. The joy that Sr. Charles Francis felt in serving God was shared with the thousands of children that she taught, the many homebound elders to whom she ministered, and with everyone that she met.

Sr. Charles Francis is survived by one sister, Ms. Rosemary McOsker and several nieces and nephews.

A Vigil of Remembrance and the Mass of Christian Burial were held on July 21 at the Sansbury Care Center Chapel in St. Catharine, KY. Sr. Charles Francis was laid to rest at the St. Catharine Motherhouse Cemetery.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Charles Francis McOsker’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 Obituaries

Sister Dorothy Sarachene, OP

Sister Dorothy Sarachene, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Sister Dorothy Sarachene, OP, formerly Sister Josette, died at the Regina Health Center in Richfield, OH, on June 29, 2017.  She was 82 years old.

She was born in 1934 in Massillon, OH, the eldest and the only daughter of Inez Rugini and John Sarachene. She entered the Sisters of St. Dominic of Akron, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace, in 1954.

Sr. Dorothy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics from Ohio Dominican in Columbus, OH, a Masters in American History from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY, and a Master of Theological Studies in Pastoral Mission from St. Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology in St. Meinrad, IN. She also earned several professional development certificates from the Diocese of Cleveland, where she spent most of her ministry.

Sr. Dorothy served as a high school teacher in Akron and Mentor, OH for more than 20 years. She spent another 17 years in parish work, serving the people of God in the St. Michael and St. Dominic parishes in the Cleveland diocese. She was also called to serve her Congregation, both as Directress of Novices and as a member of Leadership.

Even after her retirement, Sr. Dorothy was moved to help others. She assisted single mothers and their children at the Beatitude House, directed study groups for Congregation associates and was an active volunteer at the Crown Point Ecology Center in Bath, OH.

In her preaching at the funeral, Sr. Diana Culbertson, OP, remembered with fondness Sr. Dorothy’s self-effacing manner with this anecdote: “A few days before her death, Sr. Dorothy asked me if I would be preaching at her wake. I told her yes, I would, and she responded – ‘Well, keep it short.’ ”  Despite her modesty, Sr. Dorothy’s strong will and determination, combined with her desire to work for the greater glory of God and the good of souls, made her a quiet but mighty force among her Sisters in the Congregation.

Sr. Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Joseph. She is survived by a brother, John, nieces, and nephews.

A Vigil of Remembrance and the Mass of Christian Burial were held on July 15 at the Motherhouse in Akron, OH.  She was interred at the Holy Cross Cemetery, also in Akron.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Dorothy Sarachene’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 Obituaries

I climbed a pyramid…

Sr. Anna and June at the top of the pyramid
Blog by Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP

I climbed a pyramid . . .

and other adventures in the life of a Dominican Sister of Peace.

It’s all about perspective you know.  Photographers and theologians alike know that one’s perspective directly influences what one sees and how it is interpreted.  Yet, how often are we consciously aware of our own perspective?

For a moment, I invite you to think about your perspective.  Where do you live?  What cultural lens, physical condition, gender, values and religious beliefs make up your “view” of the world around you?

Ponder that for a moment, look around you.  How often do you/we really look around ourselves fully conscious of our perspective on the world?  I’d like to share a recent adventure where my perspective of the world required seeing from a different lens.

Last month, when visiting Mexico City for a cultural and language immersion program, I had the opportunity to climb the Pyramid of Cuicuilco which is the oldest pyramid in Mesoamerica.  The pyramid was built around 6,000 BC and it was used for religious ceremonies and cultural gatherings.  The legends tell that it was a place, “where they make songs and dances”.  It was buried under volcanic rock and ash after the eruption of the volcano Xitli around 60 BC.

The site has been excavated and some of the pyramid has been repaired to represent its original shape and size.  It is one of the few pyramids that were built in the shape of a circle or a cone.  Actually, the people of this area believed that at the center of the pyramid was the place where all civilization had emerged.  That point was believed to be the “belly-button” of the earth and that they were the first people.  That was their perspective, as coming from and being in the center of all creation.

Fast forward to a hot day in June 2017, standing at the apex of the pyramid we were able to see for many miles in each direction.  We could see the ancient volcanoes, open fields, and a dense city-scape circling out around us.  From our perspective we could imagine being in the center of all creation.  Yet . . . we know that we are not – we are a part of the whole of creation.  God is at the center.

If I live out of that reality – that God is at the center – then, my perspective changes.  My life changes focus, as do all of my choices.  Today, as I stand where my feet are, I turn to my center – take God’s hand and step out in faith.

What is your perspective?  Where is your center?

Discerning a call from God can sometimes feel like being called out onto a new vista – a new perspective.  If you find yourself being called to this something new, this something more why not explore this call with one of our vocation ministers?  Be bold in your response to God.

Posted in Just Reflecting, News