THE POWER OF (PURPOSEFUL) LOVE

Blog by Associate Colette Parker

I made no plans to watch the Royal Wedding this past weekend.

But when my internal clock awakened me at 6:30 a.m., I decided to turn on the television.

I am certainly glad that I did because I got an unexpected surprise when Presiding Episcopal Bishop Michael B. Curry delivered the wedding homily (I had not followed the preliminary coverage of the wedding, so I had no idea he was on program. When I saw him, I knew that the millions of people watching were about to receive something special because Bishop Curry, one of the leading progressive theological voices in America, preaches with fire).

It appears that Bishop Curry surprised, awed and stunned some of those listening to his sermon (which some described as “unconventional”  or “unorthodox” for St. George’s Chapel). Some of them had no idea what they were witnessing or experiencing – the black preaching tradition.

That tradition helped to end slavery and to birth the Civil Rights movement. It continues to call people and communities to account for their social deeds and misdeeds. It continues to inspire and encourage people to keep hoping against hope in turbulent times.

Bishop Curry delivered a prophetic call – not only to those in the chapel at Windsor Castle, but to the world — to let the radical and transformative power of love guide us. He reminded us that justice is rooted in love. He challenged us to commit to loving our neighbors as ourselves. He challenged us to be better.

He drew on liberation theology to describe love as a necessary social and political force that provides hope in the face of social injustice and that serves as the power to eradicate those injustices:

“When love is the way, then no child will go to bed hungry in this world ever again. When love is the way, we will let justice roll down like a mighty stream and righteousness like an ever-flowing brook. When love is the way, poverty will become history. When love is the way, the earth will be a sanctuary. When love is the way, we will lay down our swords and shields down, down by the riverside to study war no more. When love is the way, there’s plenty good room, plenty good room, for all of God’s children. Because when love is the way, we actually treat each other, well, like we are actually family.”

Bishop Curry lifted up a faith that believes love ultimately triumphs over hatred, a faith that believes love can change the world, a faith rooted in the radical power of redemptive love.

Thank you, Bishop Curry for reminding the Church of its social responsibility and of the need for religious engagement.

Let the Church say: Amen!

Posted in Associate Blog, News

A Discussion Around the ‘Coffee Table’ on Religious Life Discernment

  1. I’ve never thought of being a sister, but I want to give myself an opportunity to be exposed to an experience of religious life, just in case God is calling me to this way of life. What should I do?

    Blog by Sr. Mai Dung Nguyen

I appreciate your openness to God’s call, no matter how it will turn out. God calls each person differently. One way to explore this is to listen to vocation stories of some sisters on our website (https://oppeace.org/become-a-sister/vocation-stories/). Then, be  courageous and contact one of our vocation ministers who can  help you to clarify/discern your call. At the same time, ask God to help you be open to all possible pathways.

The Dominican Sisters of Peace offer various opportunities for you to discern your call and to get familiar with religious life. You and your friends (single women) can join us for:

  • “Come and See” Discernment weekend retreat to share, pray, and learn more about your personal call and the sisters’ lives and missions. “Come and See” is offered twice a year. The up-coming Come and See will be September 7 – 9, 2018, at our Motherhouse in St. Catharine, KY.
  • Mission Immersion Experience involves spending a few days or up to a week with the Dominican Sisters of Peace and other women in discernment in one of our convents. You will have the opportunity to pray and work with us, and also to experience what it’s like to live in a religious community.
  • Mini Live-In Experience are arranged individually and range from a few days to two weeks living with sisters in community. You will join in our day-to-day life of prayer, ministry, and community life.  You can learn more about it here: (https://oppeace.org/get-involved/discernment-opportunities/)
  1. Do you have a place for people like me who just want to live with sisters a few months to experience religious life?

For a more extended experience, the Dominican Sisters of peace operate a house of welcome in New Heaven, CT. Women may apply to spend a semester or two with us to discern and explore their calling, while pursuing their studies or continuing to work in their current job. without making a commitment to join our congregation. Contact our vocation ministers (call or text) to discuss this possibility.  If the New Haven location isn’t convenient for you, we have other locations where we may be able to arrange for this experience on an individual basis.

  1. You have said previously that Religious Life is blessed and fulfilling, and may be how God is calling you to become the best person you can be. Can you tell me more about your congregation’s formation program?

A great question! First, you must be deeply aware that the call to Religious Life is a call that grows out of the love between you and God. The more open and flexible you are, the more God can work in you through community, and the more you will be fulfilled and accept who you are and work for God’s mission on the earth.

During the discernment process, before you apply to enter the congregation as a Candidate, the vocation ministers will meet with you monthly to explore various themes of discernment and prayer.  You will be invited to some of the different events listed above. You will also be invited to visit our sisters located in various parts of the country.  This discernment process will help you deepen your call and help both you and the community determine if this congregation is the best fit for you. It is a mutual discernment.

Once you enter a religious congregation, a formation director will journey with you. We treat new members as mature adults, therefore, you will live with different groups of sisters to learn more about community life while working, studying or doing some volunteer works. You will also be exposed to different ways of prayer, engage more in congregational missions, such as promoting peace and justice, and learn how to reflect and develop your gifts while accepting your limitations and areas of growth. All of this will help you grow spiritually and intellectually, be competent and yet compassionate, build your sense of belonging, and inspire you to respond freely to this call. For more information about this process, go to https://oppeace.org/become-a-sister/how-do-i-know/

I believe that Religious Life is a blessing and a fulfilling life because through service, prayer, study and community, you will grow and flourish in various dimensions beyond your imagination. Thus, instead of doubt, focus your energy to build trust in this call, yourself and trust in God who will unfold a future full of hope for you.

Posted in God Calling?, News

Dominican Sister of Peace Lucille (Lucilla) Winstel, OP

Sr. Lucille Winstel, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Lucille (Lucilla) Winstel, OP, (96)  died at Mohun Health Care Center on May 6, 2018. She was born in 1922 in Steubenville, OH, to Florence Gilmore and George Winstel. In 1941 she entered the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace. She entered the Kingdom of Heaven on the day she was to have celebrated her 75th Jubilee.

Sister Lucille earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from Saint Mary of the Springs College, now Ohio Dominican University, in 1953. She earned her Master of Arts in Religious Education from Manhattanville College, New York, NY, in 1969. Sr. Lucille loved to teach and to study, and so continued her education to earn a certification in Clinical Pastoral Education from Mount Carmel Hospital. She even studied Spanish to better serve the people of New Mexico and Texas, where she ministered for eight years.

Sister Lucille was a teacher and administrator in New York, Ohio, Texas, and New Mexico for thirty years. Education was her favorite ministry because, as she said, “Teaching enabled me to freely talk about God to others.”

For six years, she was the Administrator of Mohun Hall and worked for a year as Assistant Development Director of Ohio Dominican College.  She also served as a nurse’s aide at both the Saint George Hospital in Cincinnati and Mohun Health Care Center.

The organizational skills and attention to detail that made her a great educator also helped her to serve the communication needs of the Columbus Diocese as an editorial assistant at the Catholic Times and to effectively manage the Springs Press, the Congregation’s printing office, for eight years. She continued her ministry as a typist for Sr. Camilla Mullay, the author of A Place of Springs, a congregational history of St. Mary of the Springs.

In later years she served the Congregation and God’s people through her ministry of prayer and presence at the Columbus Motherhouse and at the Mohun Health Care Center.

“She was a person of deep faith, and she lived her life without fear,” said Sister Barbara Kolesar in her preaching at Sr. Lucille’s funeral. “She also loved to laugh, and get the rest to giggle too.”

She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Florence Gilmore Winstel, and her sister, Helen Winstel.

A Vigil of Remembrance and the Mass of Christian Burial were held on May 10 and May 11, respectively, at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse Chapel in Columbus, OH. Sr. Lucille is interred at St. Joseph Cemetery in Columbus.

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

Memorial gifts in Sr. Lucille’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

Dominican Sister of Peace Thomas Joseph Nacy, OP

Sr. Thomas Joseph Nacy, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Thomas Joseph (Mary Patricia) Nacy, OP, (91) died at Sansbury Care Center on May 1, 2018. Sister Thomas Joseph was born in Mattoon, IL, to Mary Scott Mead and Patrick J. Nacy in 1923. She entered the Dominican Sisters of St. Catharine, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace, in 1953, and celebrated 65 years of religious life this year.

Sr. Thomas Joseph, or Sr. TJ, earned a Bachelor of Science in History/Education and Social Science from Siena College in Memphis and a certificate in Retreat and Pastoral Ministry from the University of Notre Dame in Great Bend, IN.

She spent nearly 40 years as a teacher in Kentucky, Illinois, New Jersey, and Nebraska. As much as she loved to teach, she also loved to learn, and even as she worked as an educator, she continued to educate herself in courses focusing on reading, science, and teaching those with learning disabilities.

After retiring from teaching, Sr. TJ returned to St. Catharine, KY, where she served her sisters as a receptionist and volunteer at Sansbury Care Center and the St. Catharine Motherhouse. She spent her final years in prayer and presence at the Sansbury Care Center

In her preaching at the funeral, Sister Helen McCarthy reminded us that Sr. Thomas Joseph was chosen by God. She was a woman of great faith and has arrived at last to the place God has prepared for her.

Sr. Thomas Joseph was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Nora. She is survived by several cousins.

The visitation was held on May 9 at the Sansbury Care Center Chapel.  The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on May 10 at Sansbury Care Center Chapel. Sr. Thomas Joseph is interred in the St. Catharine Motherhouse cemetery.

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

Memorial gifts in Sr Thomas Joseph’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

Don’t Keep Us Waiting Too Long

Blog by Sr. Anne Lythgoe, OP

I write this in the time between Ascension and Pentecost, an awkward moment in the Liturgical Year, when Easter is beginning to feel like a distant memory, and Pentecost, when we await a great birthing of the Spirit.  There are other in-between moments in our faith, Holy Saturday is an obvious good example.

A friend of mine shared with me a little book called Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson, winner of the PEN/Hemmingway Award. Although I have not started it yet, the piece I want to share with you from the book is a pensive and beautifully written description of the life of Jesus. It is a wonderful pondering of this very in-between moment. A pondering of what it must have been like to have Jesus be with us in the flesh and then feel his “lack”.

Read this slowly and with care for the words.

“And while He was on earth He mended families. He gave Lazarus back to his mother, and to the centurion he gave his daughter again. He even restored the severed ear of the soldier who came to arrest Him—a fact that allows us to hope the resurrection will reflect a considerable attention to detail. Yet this was no more than tinkering. Being man [Jesus] felt the pull of death, and being God He must have wondered more than we do what it would be like. He is known to have walked upon water, but He was not born to drown. And when He did die it was sad—such a young man, so full of promise, and His mother wept and His friends could not believe the loss, and the story spread everywhere and [those who were] mourning would not be comforted, until He was so sharply lacked and so powerfully remembered that his friends felt Him beside them as they walked along the road, and saw someone cooking fish on the shore and knew it to be Him, and sat down to supper with Him, all wounded as He was. There is so little to remember of anyone—an anecdote, a conversation at table. But every memory is turned over and over again, every word, however chance, written in the heart in the hope that memory will fulfill itself, and become flesh, and that the wanderers will find a way home, and the perished, whose lack we always feel, will step through the door finally and stroke our hair with dreaming, habitual fondness, not having meant to keep us waiting long.”

I hope Pentecost does not keep us waiting too long.

Posted in News, Weekly Word