Becoming Peacemakers – A New Day for Columbia

Blog by Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP

Think about this quote for a moment, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism.

If that is true, then this is as well, “Sign a peace accord and you have peace for a day, teach the people to be peacemakers and you can create a culture of peace for a lifetime.”

As Kelly Litt, Promoter of Justice and Peace, shared last week, Fr. Bruno Cadore, the Master of the Dominican Order, named December the Dominican Month for Peace. This year the Order is focusing on the country of Colombia.  Why Colombia?  There are several reasons that this country was chosen from among so many who are struggling for peace or have recently begun to know peace and want to learn how to sustain it.

Colombia was chosen because in 2016 a Peace Accord was signed between the government and the members of FARC, the most prominent guerilla group functioning there.  For 50 years the people of Colombia have only known war.  They know how to exist amidst the constant fighting and daily insecurity.  Now, they need to learn how to live, grow and teach peace so it will continue and they can begin to live again in freedom.

The second reason Colombia was chosen was because we Dominicans have begun a project already to promote peace in that country.  Dominicans in the province of Catatumbo (Diocese of Tibu), Colombia, have begun to create a Diocesan Institute for Peace.  Here they will train laypeople and others to promote a culture of peace.  This will inspire significant action to bring the goals of the Peace Accord to fruition.

We are excited to share this project with you as it aligns perfectly with our (Dominican Sisters of Peace) Congregational charism, “Be Peace, Preach Peace, Build Peace.”  Additionally, we have an ongoing program to teach Peace Leadership to students, Sisters and Associates.  Peace doesn’t just spring up from the ground – lasting peace takes work, prayer, networking and commitment to the work through challenges and successes.

The Dominican Order and the Dominican Sisters of Peace and Associates have committed themselves to preaching, building, teaching and being peace.  Come and join us in this adventure of a lifetime.  Together let us make Peace a reality.  (To contact one of our vocation ministers, click here and begin the conversation.)

Dominican Order Logo
Posted in God Calling?, News

An Angel Came From Where I am Not Sure

Blog by Sr. Anne Lythgoe, OP

An angel came from where I am not sure, sent to this Nazareth town, to seek an answer in the gray mists of night. What far off starlit kingdom sent him here? How did he know to visit me? Was he on his own? He seemed to know his mission, although I was not at all sure of what his message meant. Who told him to come here and disturb me with his words?

“The Lord is with you”, he said in a whisper that pierced me in my soul. God’s favor? Is not every daughter of Judah special in the eyes of the Lord? Do we not all seek to serve?

An angel came — was sent to me, — from where I am not sure, and I cannot tell you what he looked like, so bathed was he in light and so veiled in mystery.

This visit was an enveloping, a cocooning in light and darkness all at once. I felt swaddled in the power of the Lord, in the angel’s coming, and although I was thrilled and fearful, puzzled and curious all at the same time, all was strangely well. He made nothing clear, no plan, so few details, only that I would bear a son in the same way Elizabeth came to be with child. No more a miracle could there be but that which came to Zachariah and my sweet kinswoman! Elizabeth and I would be co-conspirators with God. Emmanuel, “God with us.” An ancient promise kept.

An angel came, from where I am not sure, but nothing is impossible with God. Nothing is impossible with God, of that I am sure.

Then the angel left vanishing like a whisper in the night, just as I was realizing I had been visited. The angel left. Disappeared like footprints in a puddle, leaving barely a trace of evidence behind. He left no assurances that my family would understand or that Joseph would know what to do or even accept such a story. The angel did not tell me his name, so I’m not sure he actually spoke in words to me. But I know what stirred in my soul, a something or someone came to me in this forsaken place where nothing of consequence ever happens.

What did I say yes to?

Tanner Annunciation
Posted in News, Weekly Word

Dominican Month for Peace: Being Peace with our Dominican Family

Blog by Justice Promoter Kelly Litt

In the United States, we like to recognize days, weeks, and months for both important observances such as the Poverty Awareness Month in January and Earth Day in April and silly promotions like National Doughnut Day and Squirrel Appreciation Day (yes, these are actually recognized and come complete with fun-facts and how-to-celebrate guides).

As much as I enjoy National Doughnut Day (because you can typically find many places that give away free doughnuts), I was even more excited when Fr. Bruno Cadore, the Master of the Dominican Order, named December the Dominican Month for Peace. Each year will focus on a different country, and the Dominican Order is encouraged to get involved through prayer and preaching to promote peace and unity. This year the country of focus is Colombia.

In a world where National Doughnut Day goes viral, yet days honoring those who have worked to change systems and overcome injustices are barely mentioned, it’s hopeful to join part of a larger movement within the entire Order to practice peace, pray about peace, and preach peace through our words and actions. It is more than obvious that our communities need peace.

Let us continue working toward peace in our country and also pray and advocate for peace in Colombia (read more about Colombia in Sr. Barb Kane’s recent blog here).

As the Order of Preachers, how critical, how appropriate, how truth-filled is a month of peace for our world today! As the Dominican Sisters of Peace and Associates, we commit to living and promoting peace-filled lives, and now we can continue to preach peace alongside the rest of the Dominican Order, prayerfully, thoughtfully, and intentionally throughout the month of December.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

Sister Margaret (Mary Ronald) Sunic, OP

Sr. Margaret (Mary Ronald) Sunic, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Margaret (Mary Ronald) Sunic, OP, (93) died at Mount Carmel East Hospital in Columbus, OH, on December 5, 2017. She was born in 1924, one of six children born to Ruth Daugherty and George Sunic in East McKeesport, PA.

Sister Mary Ronald, then Margaret Sunic, worked for two years in a defense plant before entering Dominican life in 1944. She took her final vows in 1949 and served God’s people as a Dominican Sister for more than 70 years.

Sr. Mary Ronald earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Saint Mary of the Springs College, now Ohio Dominican University. She taught elementary school in Ohio, New York, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania for more than 20 years, working mainly with fourth and fifth graders.

In 1969, Sr. Mary Ronald returned to school herself, earning a Master of Science in Education and Library Science from Duquesne University. She served as a librarian at St. Thomas High School in Braddock, Pennsylvania, and Dominican Academy in New York City.

After a brief return to teaching in the 1980’s, Sr. Mary Ronald became a licensed nurse’s aide in 1992. She served as a nursing assistant in New York for two years, and then returned to Columbus, OH, to work with the residents of Mohun Health Care Center until her retirement in 2002.

She became a resident at Mohun in 2007, where she was known and loved for her dry wit and her dedication to the Steelers and the Pirates. At her Diamond Jubilee, Sr. Mary Ronald celebrated God’s grace in her life.

Sr. Mary Ronald was preceded in death by her parents,  George and Ruth Daugherty Sunic, her brothers, George and John, her sisters, Elizabeth Clontz, Ruth and Mary Sunic. She is survived by her nieces and nephews.

A Vigil of Remembrance Service was held at the Columbus Motherhouse Chapel on Tuesday, December 12. The funeral liturgy was held at the Columbus Motherhouse Chapel on Wednesday, December 13. Sr. Mary Ronald is interred at St. Joseph Cemetery in Columbus, OH.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Mary Ronald’s memory may be submitted securely online or sent to:

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

To download a PDF of the memorial for Sr. Margaret (Mary Ronald) Sunic, OP, click here.

Posted in Obituaries


Blog by Associate Colette Parker

Over the weekend, I watched an old holiday classic – the original black and white version of Miracle on 34th Street.

I watch it every year before Christmas to remind myself that there is something restorative about having faith in the goodness of humanity.

In the 70-year-old film, Kris Kringle shows up amid the hustle and bustle of New York City during the holiday season to remind us that what makes Christmas special is the happiness of people, not commercialism.

He reminds us that belief with a childlike simplicity can be healing and even energizing.

The short storyline: Kringle fills in for an intoxicated Santa in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and becomes so popular that he is hired to appear regularly at the Macy’s store in midtown Manhattan. When Kringle claims that he really is Santa Claus, it leads to a court case to determine his mental stability and authenticity.

Throughout the film, the characters – the mother, the daughter, the neighbor, the judge — struggle to find the balance between faith and reason.

The young daughter of the (single mother) advertising executive strives to reconcile her mother’s determination to raise her without “filling her mind with fantasies” and Kringle’s perseverance in trying to show her that imagination is important.

The neighbor of the mother and daughter (the lawyer who defends Kringle) is all about ideals and finds himself at odds with the mother’s realistic approach.

At one point, the neighbor tells the disapproving mother: “Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to. Don’t you see? It’s not just Kris that’s on trial, it’s everything he stands for. It’s kindness and joy and love and all the other intangibles.”

Ah, the intangibles – the things that can’t be touched or seen or bought or sold — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faith, hope, self-control, goodness, etc.

The neighbor goes on to tell the mother “… someday you’re going to find that your way of facing this realistic world just doesn’t work. And when you do, don’t overlook those lovely intangibles. You’ll discover those are the only things that are worthwhile.”

I choose to believe that the intangibles are real, powerful, and worthwhile.

I choose to believe in the Santa that Kringle represents in Miracle on 34th Street – the human ability to suppress selfish and hateful tendencies and replace them with compassion and goodwill.

I choose to keep believing.

Posted in News