“It’s a wonderful life.”
That’s what Sister Barbara Rapp, OP, Columbus, OH, has to say about living her vocation as a Dominican Sister of Peace. Sister Barbara celebrates 50 years of religious life this year, having made her first profession as a Dominican Sister of St. Catharine, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace, in 1968.
Growing up in Louisville, KY, Sister Barbara attended Sts. Simon and Jude School as well as Holy Rosary Academy, schools taught by the Dominican Sisters. She was inspired by their presence in her life, but it was a comment made by her mother that seemed to be almost prophetic for Sr. Barbara.
“They always seem to be so happy,” she said. And Sister Barbara says that she has found joy in every ministry since she entered religious life.
Teaching was Sister Barbara’s first ministry; working with children at the Congregation’s founded schools in Memphis, TN. She served in administration at St. John Berchmans School and St. Priscilla School in Chicago, and then returned to school herself at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis.
Upon completion of her studies there, she initiated the Department of Institutional Advancement at the Aquinas Institute, first as assistant to the President and later as Director of Institutional Advancement. She returned to St. Catharine in 1996 to serve on the Leadership Team of the congregation until 2009.
As Director of Continuing and Community Education at St. Catharine College in St. Catharine, KY, Sr. Barbara created classes for non-traditional students in the St. Catharine area, from art classes for adults to ACT prep for college-bound high school students.
Since 2015, Sr. Barbara has ministered at the Congregational Offices in Columbus, OH. In her role as Donor Relations Coordinator, she has been able to use her experience in Advancement and fundraising to assist the Congregation in supporting its many ministries. She has also served on the Boards of Trustees at Ohio Dominican University and St. Catharine College, both founded ministries of the Dominican Sisters of Peace.
“If you believe that God is calling you to religious life,” Sister Barbara says, “LISTEN! Follow your heart and let God lead you. You will not be disappointed.”