Leaving the Costumes Behind at the Voting Booth

Blog by Justice Promoter Kelly Litt

Many children look forward to celebrating Halloween. They get to dress up in costume, often representing their favorite cartoon character or superhero. Along with their parents and friends, they walk their neighborhoods and fill their pumpkin-shaped buckets with sweets and treats.

As we enjoy the cute and creative costumes that many families craft, through Halloween we are also given a time to step away from reality, if for just a moment, and enter the world of make-believe with jack-o-lanterns and too much candy.

Yet just one week from today after the costumes are put away and the candy wrappers are cleaned up, we will be completely submerged back into our current reality as we show up to the voting polls. Unlike Halloween, it’s not endearing if issues or candidates are shrouded in costume and mystery. It then becomes our job to look for the truth.

As engaged, responsible citizens, we are tasked with de-masking these issues and candidates, and as Dominicans, again our commitment for searching for truth becomes the cornerstone of our research and voting.

It is both frustrating and unfortunate that now many issues and candidates are confusing and misleading, but that is our current reality. We must do what we can, where we are, with the resources we have to research and learn the truth behind each issue and position on our ballot that we vote on.

Do your research. Have conversations. Pray and reflect on the issues. Then please vote! Let us use our collective voice and voting power to bring peace to our communities.

For those in Ohio, Issue 2 has been especially illusive and confusing this year. See this flyer for information on Issue 2 and find out what Nuns on the Bus Ohio is recommending you do. (ATTACHED)

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

Blessed To Be A Blessing

Blog by Sr. Amy McFrederick, OP

This morning in our Dominican Praise Morning Prayer  I read:

“Listen to the prayer of your servants,

  The people who know your blessing” –Sirach 36:21

This latter phrase stayed with me long after I closed my prayer book. Yes, I thought, I certainly do know God’s blessing, permeating every moment of my life–the gift of restful sleep, life-giving air, waking up to another day of  life on this planet, the light that makes Earth’s wonders visible, food and drink, warmth and shelter, health, friends, family and community, shared faith in Christ…

As I first began listing for myself the countless ways I know and feel God’s blessings, I was simultaneously aware that millions of my brothers and sisters throughout the world and here in our own country do not experience many of these things that first came to my mind as blessings.

Then my eyes fell on these words from Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, who blesses us with every spiritual blessing in Christ…”  I was reminded of the way Jesus poured out blessing upon blessings throughout his life: healing the sick, freeing those imprisoned by demons of all kinds, preaching and teaching the Good News of the Reign of God, his Abba—fully aware that his words and actions would cause his suffering and death.  When he taught the BEATITUDES he named some of the spiritual blessings that he knew as blessings, but that we may not experience or consider as “blessings” –but they are blessings that enable us not only to receive and know God’s blessings, but to BE a blessing to others.

Blessed are the poor in spirit…

Blessed are the pure of heart…

Blessed are the merciful…

Blessed are the sorrowing…

Blessed are the peacemakers…

Blessed are those thirsting for justice…

Blessed are those persecuted…

Think about it. How might these “spiritual blessings” free you to BE A BLESSING?

Posted in Associate Blog, News

Sister Patricia (Pat) Marie Sigler, OP (Sister Assumpta)

Dominican Sister of Peace Patricia “Pat” Marie Sigler, OP, (Sister Assumpta), 83, died on October 17, 2017, at the Regina Health Center in Richfield, OH. Sr. Pat Marie, the eldest child of five born to Roy Sigler and Evelyn Chenevey, was born on August 31, 1934, in Wooster, OH. In 1951 she entered the Sisters of St. Dominic of Akron, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace.

Sister Patricia (Pat) Marie Sigler, OP (Sister Assumpta)

Sr. Pat Marie graduated from Our Lady of the Elms High School, a founded ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. She received her Bachelor of Science in Education from St. John College, Cleveland, OH, in 1962 and Master of Science in Education from Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, in 1972.

Sr. Pat Marie ministered as an educator for nearly 28 years, serving in a number of Northeast Ohio schools including St. Matthew, St. Hilary, St. Paul, St. Felicitas, St. Dominic and SS Peter and Paul Schools. But teaching was just one of Sr. Pat Marie’s many talents.  Referred to as a “Jill” of all trades by the late Sr. Ann Bailie, OP, Sr. Pat Marie was active in a variety of ministries that followed the Commitments of the Congregation and the Order.

Sr. Patricia Marie served as treasurer for her alma mater Our Lady of the Elms and on the school’s Board. She also served in the Dominican Sisters of Akron Leadership team and in other capacities within the Akron Motherhouse, even sewing habits for Sisters.

She was a passionate advocate for the protection of Creation.  Sr. Pat Marie was a co-founder and staff member of the Crown Point Ecology Learning Center in Bath, OH, and an advisory board member of the Revere Land Conservancy. She also facilitated the first gathering of the Dominican Alliance for ecology issues.

Sr. Pat Marie helped establish and served on the Board of the Good Samaritan Hunger Center in Akron, and was instrumental in founding the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank as well.

Sr. Pat Marie was a recipient of the Meister Eckhart Award presented by Crown Point and was named “Woman of the Year” by the Women’s History Project of the Summit County Historical Society.

Sr. Pat Marie is survived by a brother, Loren, and sisters, Nancy Sprosty, Barbara Graver and many nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Elizabeth Palko.

A Vigil of Remembrance and Wake were held on October 20, 2017, at Our Lady of the Elms Motherhouse in Akron, OH. The Mass of Resurrection was celebrated at the Elms Chapel on October 21. Sr. Pat Marie was interred at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Akron, OH.

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

Posted in Obituaries

A Bridge Over Troubled Water

Sr. Pat Thomas, OP
Blog by Sr. Pat Thomas, OP

It is harder than I thought to work with the poor and disenfranchised. They have very little confidence in any system or institution and we, in our ministry with them, have to get things done through those very same systems and institutions.

When we have to report back to the folks and say that we have not found the right person to help us or were on hold for an hour before being told that some form or other still had to be filled out, and the person knows he/she completed it and mailed it in, the person just smiles and says, no problem; they pretty much figured that would happen. They just accept that the system hardly ever works for them.

Sometimes we pull out the “Sister” card when we have to deal with the system, and sometimes that merits a somewhat different response, but in the long run, a day of waiting in line, online or on the phone is the usual plan.

Being poor and voiceless usually leads to more anger, more sadness, more depression, more anxiety  and less hope, less health, less peace.

But you know what these folks do say they have? Faith. Faith in all things human, not so much; but faith in the one who made them, ALL THE TIME!  In response to “How are you today?” the answer might be “I am blessed” or “Every day above the ground is a good day.”. Most of us, would answer, “ I’m OK” or  “Not so bad”. Faith is their bridge over the troubled waters they may experience. Go visit a Baptist church service some Sunday morning and see if you do not leave feeling like a very blessed sinner who has the immense power to change every day.

I know we have all experienced hard times on some level, but to live that way every day is hard to imagine. To work with the poor is to learn a lot about  Faith and to grow stronger because of it.

 

Posted in News, Weekly Word

Imagining the Potential in Diversity

Blog by Justice Promoter Kelly Litt

John Lennon’s well-known song “Imagine” is about global peace and unity. He sings,

“Imagine all the people living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will be as one”

Wouldn’t it be great if we had an institution that brought together representatives from across the globe to collaborate and work toward the common good together? Well, we do! Today, on United Nations Day, we celebrate that very institution. On this day in 1945, the United Nations was established after the UN Charter was ratified.

The United Nations holds the ability to be the vehicle for positive change that will bring us closer to the world John Lennon hoped for, one that will see all people living in peace and harmony.

Just like any institution or governing body, the United Nations is not perfect. While it brings together 193 countries from around the world, each representative is still accountable to its home government. The United Nations as whole is, therefore, is only as powerful as its weakest member. We know that various leaders hold different views about the collaborative work and ability to successfully combat global issues.

Occasionally, we hear from individuals or groups who doubt the effectiveness of the UN or who call for the total end of its work altogether. Yet if the United Nations was closed, what would we do? Sr. Margaret Mayce, OP (the Dominican Leadership Conference NGO representative at the United Nations) once told me that if the United Nations didn’t exist, we would create something just like it. It is comforting to think that humans desire collaboration and peace and will work together for the betterment of all societies.

It may not be perfect, but it has made an impact. Look back on this blog about the United Nations’ work to ban nuclear weapons. Recently, the International campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, an NGO working closely with member states at the UN, received the Nobel Peace Prize.

This year, the theme for the UN Day is “Potential in Diversity.” As we think about the United Nations on this day, let us continue to pray that countries, governments, and peoples come together for peace, positive change, and celebration in diversity.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog