The Right to Live

Blog by Sr. Barbara Kane, OP

Have you seen any of the political ads during this primary season?  In Ohio, I’ve noticed interesting endorsements for several candidates – from the NRA and Right to Life. They appear to be connected at the hip, which is problematic because they seem like opposites to me.   What does it really mean to have a right to life?  One definition declares that each individual has a right to live from conception to natural death.  The Right to Life organization is obviously concerned about the rights of the unborn child – allowing a child to be born – to ending abortions – and this is good.  But what happens after the child is born?  What rights does this ‘born’ child have?

Currently, the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are reauthorizing the Farm Bill.  This includes SNAP – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – that provides funds for Food Stamps and other programs providing assistance to ensure all children, nearly four million of them, have enough and healthy food to eat.  Proposed changes in the House version will eliminate or reduce benefits to over two millions of our most vulnerable neighbors.  So do our ‘born’ children have a right to food?

Or take healthcare… when a child is born, do they have a right to medical care if they are sick or injured?  After a scare where CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) federal funding expired, Congress passed a six year extension of the program including federal matching that does diminish over time.  This is important funding for many states and provides healthcare for over 9 million children. Healthcare benefits are still in danger in this current administration. So do ‘born’ children have a right to be healthy?

Finally, I wonder about how our ‘born’ child benefits from representatives with an alliance with the NRA? Forty-six children are shot in murders, assaults, suicides and suicide attempts, unintentional shooting, and police intervention. That’s 2,737 children and teens killed each year because of gun violence. (Brady Organization) Yet, the NRA continues to fight against common sense gun safety measures like Red Flag Laws and universal background checks.  Do our ‘born’ children have a right to live?

The right to life is not limited to the unborn.  It lasts one’s entire life. I’m not sure how our state and federal representatives can say they believe in life and yet don’t promote programs that provide it.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

Cultivate the Pearls Given to Us by Our Mothers

Blog by Associate Colette Parker

I was recently watching an interview with Denzel Hayes Washington Jr., as he called himself.

The interviewer recited a list of awards he had received and asked: “What’s left for Denzel Washington?”

Denzel, as we call him, said “Man gives the award. God gives the reward. That’s what my mother raised me on. So, I like awards. We all wanna be loved! You know, you work hard and you want people to appreciate what you do. But that’s not what I live for.”

Kudos to Denzel’s mom for her words of wisdom.

A week later, those words still reverberate in my mind and heart and cause me to reflect on the pearls of wisdom that my own mother shared with me.

With Mother’s Day coming on Sunday, perhaps this is a fitting time for all of us to reflect on the lessons that we learned from our Mothers.

Here are a few of my mother’s gems (some of which I’m sure you’ve heard before):

Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Never lose sight of who you are. Be true to yourself. Never change who you are for someone else.

Learn to say no. You can’t do everything.

Have faith in God and trust yourself to do what is right.

You don’t have to look up to anyone, but never look down on anyone.

People who seem to be the least lovable, need love the most.

Listen (and think) before you speak.

Be the best that you can be.

There are certainly many more and I hope, by now, some that were passed on to you by your mother have come to mind (Always wear clean underwear. Learn to laugh at yourself. Be grateful for what you have. Never eat yellow snow. Mind your manners, etc.).

This will be my third Mother’s Day without the physical presence of my Mother. But the things she instilled in me will remain with me forever and live on through my daughter (as I strive to pass on the wisdom).

If you are blessed to still have your Mother with you, take the time to show her love each day.

If, like me, you can no longer pick up the phone to call her or feel the warmth and comfort of her embrace, know that she lives on through you. You are her legacy.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the strong women who have made us who we are.

Posted in Associate Blog, News

Reconciliation

Blog by Sr. Pat Connick, OP

During the Olympics and just this past weekend, we saw the Presidents of the Koreas, Kim Jong-Un and Moon Jae-in, shake hands after 65 years of their countries’ animosity and suspicion. Many people are saying it’s too good to be true.  Lest we get hurt or taken advantage of (again) it’s better to put up defenses.  You cannot trust someone who’s hurt you THAT much or THAT deeply.

On the other hand, it reminds me to look back at my own life and reflect on the reconciliations that I’ve been a part of and ask:

  • “Wasn’t it awkward at first even to go to the other’s house or have them to mine? Maybe even it was awkward to meet in a public place.”
  • “Weren’t the conversations difficult in the beginning and just not that comfortable?”
  • “Wasn’t common ground misplaced and in need of being sought after once again?”

My sense of suspicion was a sign of the brokenness of the relationship; my desire for peace at these times a sign of hope that healing was possible. So, as often as I could I decided to stay in the process and let the remedy work on me and the other person(s).  Sure, if both of us remain the same as before, nothing will change.  But people do change…I, and they, as well.

And so, I live in hope.  It may not always work out the way I want.  After all, I cannot control what the other does.  I can only be responsible for my own actions.  Yet, if I am closed to the possibility for a better relationship it will not happen.  It takes BOTH parties to participate in the risk of being hurt again.  I, for my part, will chose to be a risk-taker for peace.  And I must trust in good faith, once I’ve shaken hands with the other, that they will as well!

Posted in News

Sister Martin Damien Miquelon, OP

Sr. Martin Damien Miquelon, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Martin Damien Miquelon died at Mohun Health Care Center, Columbus, OH, on Monday, April 16, 2018.

Sister Martin Damien was born Joan Marie Miquelon on April 25, 1933, to Marion Twomey and Oliver Cyr Miquelon in Boston, MA. She entered the Dominican Congregation of St. Catharine of Siena, St. Catharine, Kentucky, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace, in 1955. In her letter requesting entrance to the postulancy she wrote:  “I have enjoyed a wonderful life in knowing God and would like to let others share it with me.” She celebrated 60 years of religious life in 2017.

Sister Martin Damien earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology/Education from Regis College in 1967 and her Masters of Education in Religious Studies from Boston College in 1976.

Sister Martin Damien was a teacher at a number of schools in Illinois and Massachusetts, and the Prefect of Boys at the St. Dominic Academy in Belmont, MA.  After earning her Master’s Degree, she became a CCD Coordinator and later served as a Director of Religious Education, Administrator at Dominican Center in Plainville, and sacristan at Youville Hospital in Watertown.

In her final ministry, she offered prayer for the intentions of the Congregation and its friends while in care at Rosary Manor and Mohun Health Care Center.

Sr. Martin Damien was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Joseph. She is survived by her brother Paul and her sister, Marie Clark.

A vigil of Remembrance Service was held on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse Chapel, Columbus, OH. The funeral liturgy was held at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse Chapel on Thursday, April 19. Sr. Martin Damien was buried at St. Joseph Cemetery in Columbus, OH.

To view a printable copy of this memorial, please click here.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Martin Damien’s memory may be sent to:

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

or submitted securely at www.oppeace.org.

Posted in Obituaries

Women’s Reality – Has It Changed That Much?

Blog by Sr. Roberta Miller, OP

Once upon a time in the U.S., women attended college to become educated wives and mothers. They were expected to be married by age 25 or be considered ‘spinsters’. In Mexico, in that era, women attended school for skills as an insurance against loss of a husband. Women and marriage went together as ‘a horse and carriage’.  Have ideas changed much in today’s world? Are we women respected for who each is as a person—with dignity, with mind and reason, desires and ambitions? Or are we viewed first through expectations of service or useful commodity?

These basic issues underlay the recent UN sponsored Commission on the Empowerment of Rural Women and Girls. A related topic was the changing climate whose relational impact is far-reaching in today’s world of violence, migrations, and resource injustices connected to water and living conditions. A woman or daughter often must walk miles to the water well at 4:00 am and return carrying the filled container. The ever present danger is being raped. Then, if her supply does not last the day for cooking, washing, etc., she is liable to a beating by her husband who expects to wash himself after work. When rains don’t come as expected or all at once, crops are ruined. With no income, the man leaves in hope of getting work elsewhere with the women and children on their own or eventually following him—migrating. These days a relative or friend persuades the teen to take an offer of work far away—she/he becomes trafficked as a commodity. Or else a daughter is offered in marriage to an older man as a source of income—unless the family understands how an educated girl is worth more.

In our technological world economy whole villages of rural families lose their land, their way of life, their values and support systems to the actions of international corporations in league with governments for plantations, dams, or mining. Women  and children in their resilience, creativity, and experiences can often cope with droughts, floods, pollution but just as Earth cannot withstand constant negative bombardment, neither can they.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog