“Peace Be With You”

John 20: 19-22: “On the evening of the first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”  When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.  The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.  Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you.”

Prayer of Peace by David Haas

Opening prayer:
Loving God, the resurrection of Jesus sustains our conviction that the world is sustained by your love.  Deepen our faith in the resurrection of Jesus which urges us to overcome resentment with pardon, to transform our self-centeredness into the embrace of everyone, to substitute violence with the rule of law, and to change hopelessness to the assurance that our future is in your hands.  Amen.  (From Praying for Peace Around the Globe by James McGinnis)

The presence of Jesus with the disciples in John’s gospel brings to mind a powerful experience that happened nine years ago when our new congregation was discerning a name for the union of the seven Dominican congregations during the Octave of Easter.  The experience of Jesus in our midst was palpable.  It was as if the message, “Peace be with you, as the Father sent me, so I send you,” was the affirmation by Jesus of our decision to become Dominican Sisters of Peace.  To this day, we have continued to live a life of peace, striving to be peace, build peace and preach peace in a world in need of prayer and contemplation.

(Pause for a moment of silent reflection)

Reflection Question:  Reflect on a time when someone brought peace to you or you brought peace to another.  How did this experience impact you?  What feelings surround the experience?

Prayer Intentions:
Lord, hear us.

(This prayer was modified from 2018 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website:

Closing Prayer:  

Your ways, O God, make known to me; teach me your paths, guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior.  (Psalm 25: 4-5)

Dominican Blessing:  May God the Creator bless us, May God Redeemer heal us and May God, the Holy Spirit, fill us with peace.

Suggested Practice: Intentionally reflect on your day and think about when you experienced peace, and respond to God in prayer, either verbally or through journaling, about what this peace meant to you.

Optional SongLet There Be Peace on Earth.  (You may use this song as a meditative reflection.”

Join us to Be Peace, Build Peace, and Preach Peace. You can reach us via email at

Please share this Novena on your Facebook page and forward it to at least 5 people, and join us on April 3 as we Pray for Peace through Communication.

To download a PDF this prayer and reflection, click here.

Prepared by Sister Julia Grey, OP, New Haven, CT

Posted in God Calling?

This is What Democracy Looks Like!

Blog by Sr. Barbara Kane, OP

“This is what democracy looks like!”  There were many chants on the way from West Bank Park to the Statehouse in Columbus.  Thousands participated in the Columbus March for our Lives event on Saturday… young and old… families and singles… seniors and students… Christian, Muslim, Jew, None.  It was a great day to celebrate the meaning of America – a country that values free speech and participation in government.

It was also inspiring to see young people taking an interest in such an important issue.  Their enthusiasm and energy instills hope in me that perhaps change will happen.  One question is will it happen with the current legislators or new ones?  Another sign read “Students Today… Voters in November… We are change .”  The sentiment is very clear; if congressmen and senators do not act, they will be voted out of office.  To make this happen, the Parkland students will work to ensure that 4 out of young people vote in November’s midterm elections.  Voter-registration groups were very visible at the march registering young people.  It’s an uphill battle since only 39% of voters between 18 and 20 voted in 2016 and only 14% voted in the 2014 midterms but could make a huge impact in the next few elections.  We should also be ready to vote in November.

Many teachers participated in the march.  “Arm Teachers with Resources Not Guns” was a common theme.  So many schools don’t have enough resources to help students with academic and mental health issues so how do legislators justify the expense to train and equip teachers to protect students?   

Perhaps the saddest banner for me was “Thought and prayers  ACTION”.  I could feel the frustration expressed, understand that it was directed to the people in congress, and even agree that we need to take action, but we believe strongly in the power of prayer.  Many of our sisters and associates joined our march through prayer on Saturday.

The march is over but the movement has begun.  Call, write, vote.  Now is the time for action.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

Sr. Elizabeth Anne Heery, OP

Sr. Elizabeth Anne Heery, OP

Sr. Dominican Sister of Peace Elizabeth Anne Heery, 84, died at the Mohun Health Care Center, Columbus, OH on March 8, 2018. She was born Eileen Heery in 1934 in Astoria, LI, NY, to Elizabeth Kiernan and James Heery.  One of nine children, she was already accustomed to community life when, in 1956, she moved to Columbus and entered the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace.

Sr. Elizabeth started her career with the New York Telephone Company. After joining the Congregation, she was moved to minister to the elderly and ill at the infirmary of the original Columbus Motherhouse, the Saint George Hospital in Cincinnati, OH, and at the Mohun Health Care Center in Columbus, OH.

She wanted to do even more to serve the Community and took Pharmacology courses as part of working towards her LPN, which she earned in 1969.

Even after physical problems made it difficult for her to work as a nurse, she continued to care for her Sisters and her community. She often drove Sisters to medical appointments, and also served as a receptionist at the Motherhouse and in the library and the Springs Press.

Sr. Elizabeth’s love for her special ministry with the elderly and ill was summed up in this statement that she made when speaking about her ministry at Mohun Health Care Center, “I have great love and respect for the old and sick in Mohun Hall and St. Mary’s. I cannot think of a greater place to spend one’s self than in this service.”

Sr. Elizabeth was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers James, Anthony, and John, her sisters Mary Emslie and Kathleen Pitarra. She is survived by her brothers, Joseph, and Philip; her sister, Rita Churpita; and many nieces and nephews.

A Vigil of Remembrance and the Mass of Christian Burial was held on March 14 at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse Chapel in Columbus, OH. The funeral was held on March 15, 2018. Sr. Elizabeth Ann is interred at St. Joseph Cemetery in Columbus, OH.

To download a printable PDF of this memorial, please click here.   

Memorial gifts in Sr. Elizabeth Anne’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

Purpose, Passion and Moving Forward

Blog by Associate Colette Parker

I’ve been thinking a lot about purpose lately.

Here’s the thing: I am at a place in my life where I believe my ministry is allowing me to follow my passions while living out my purpose – to make a positive difference in the world by impacting others through service. But I still find myself wondering if there is a way to live out a deeper expression of my purpose.

My contemplation has reminded me that I have spent years going through a process of discovery to find and understand my purpose – the deep reason for my existence.

It has reminded me that my purpose has been expressed differently over the years — sometimes depending on what I was doing to at the time; sometimes depending on whom I was serving at the time; sometimes depending on what was needed at the time, etc.

It has reminded me that some of my passions have evolved, shifted or changed over the years.

It has reminded me that I have one purpose, but many passions.

It has reminded me not to confuse my passions with my purpose.

I believe that passion and purpose go hand-in-hand and that the ideal is to follow my passions while living out my purpose. I also believe that it is important to understand that passion fuels and energizes, while purpose is the meaning behind it all.

During the process of my reflection, I began to discover that my pondering was triggered by the need to know that I am fulfilling my purpose and, perhaps more importantly, the need to know that the expression of my purpose is not lessening.

In my estimation, it is not enough to find your purpose. You must be committed to growing it and sharing it with the world.

Our lives truly become more meaningful through the impact we make on others.

As we grow our purpose, it is important not to lose sight of the need to inspire the passions of others and the need to encourage others to discover and live out their life’s purpose.

We each have a purpose to fulfill in life. Living purposefully inevitably generates happiness.

Even when we are in a place where purpose and passion connect, it is important to embrace the ongoing process of self-clarity and purpose. It is through the process that we discover what pushes us forward.

Posted in Associate Blog, News


©Rebeka Maples, written after the shooting in Parkland, Florida, February 14, 2018

Students at St. Mary’s Dominican High School in New Orleans hold a memorial prayer service.

The safety locks are off, the demons are out
Moving wherever hate leads
In and out of love’s resting places
Running loose where madness wills.

Does love not care?
Has humanity retreated from the good it knows?
Will this madness forever reign,
Making the street into a shooting range?

Have you not seen? Have you not heard?
What love can do?
Have all who hold peace in their hearts fallen asleep?
Will this weariness not be lifted, when morning comes?
Will the light that shines through,
Not bring this everlasting search into everlasting hope?

Students at St. Mary’s Dominican High School in New Orleans hold a memorial prayer service.

For heaven’s sake, the murmurs of the dying ring into the night,
Yet the warring mongers take their cries for more weapons
And follow where innocents linger,
Dashing them against the walls and spilling dreams,
Never dreamed they remain covered by the whims of time,
Leaving shells of empty souls crying out for love to enter.

Walking through the veil from life to death, earth to heaven,
Death meets life and stalks the living from birth to now and beyond.
Those who wield their armor strike the breath that longs to breathe
In places that have yet to live,
While places that yet should die live with no regard for life.

Why must the living, who are always dying,
Face this mutilation of a season before its time?
Why, the heart cries?
Why, the soul laments?

Students and staff at Our Lady of the Elms Primary and High Schools in Akron, OH, tie orange ribbons to a tree in the school courtyard as part of their memorial service.

Where is mercy?
Where is grace?
Is this metal that burns out life the treasure you hold above all else?
For if this be your treasure, there your heart is also.

A heart that pounds inside this death trap,
Where guns are stored in a treasure trove
For war and death, not love and life.

And now that heart beats for children whose voices cry out,
For those who would take the step and dare to lead another way.

Sad be the day, when the young can no longer trust the old,
They must find where love has gone and help the nation save its soul.
What is this freedom that appeases the worshiper of guns?
Is it for love of country, of humanity, or of God?
What God upholds this freedom that you pledge?

When anger rises, and it will in every living soul,
The gun is ever ready, cocked and loaded to kill a child, a man, a woman.
Where does this anger dwell? It lives in every heart and so does love.
What is this madness that gives freedom to a gun?
Is the maker of the gun the Maker of that nation’s soul?
If this be the case, then killings will continue with guns upon the altar.

Oh may the day come, and come it will to every nation and every soul,
When death will not reason with the living,
But the living will seek reason to avoid death.

And may the guns that control the nation be a nightmare from the past,
That a people’s freedom may aspire to greater heights and brighter days,
For glory comes in morning light, not in bullets blazing through the night.

Guns will not a hero make.
It is love that flows through the heart of freedom,
And it is love that will break the chokehold on the nation’s gasping breath.
Bringing hope and love to restore a nation’s bleeding heart.

Posted in News