It’s Silence That Kills the World

Blog by Sr. Amy McFrederick, OP

It seems that every day I read or watch our daily news, I am grieved to learn more about what is being done in the name of Homeland Security to persons fleeing to our country to escape violence, oppression and poverty. The dream of building a new life for themselves and their family in a land of opportunity and freedom impels them to walk miles to reach their goal.  But upon arrival, our military meets them at our borders and treats them as criminals; separating their families, taking their children from them, and holding them indefinitely in detention. Thousands of these children are unaccounted for and may never be reunited with their parents and family again. What happens to them?

It seems we are adopting tactics used in the concentration camps by European Leaders determined to eliminate the Jews. Millions of non-Jews remained silent during the ‘holocaust’. What kept them silent? Was it fear? A learned powerlessness? Indifference? Preferred ignorance? What about us?

Conni Dubick, OPA

Associate Conni Dubick, Chair of  our Immigration Reform Congregational Committee, participated in the 16th annual Ecumenical Advocacy National Gathering taking place in Washington, D.C. last April 20 – 22 weekend. I asked her to write a short blog about her  experience to share with our readers.

Preach Truth With Our Voices And Break the Silence by Conni Dubick, OPA

Please find a quiet place to sit and then read and ponder these words:

  • “Go forth from your country and I will be with you.”
  • “I don’t want to walk no more.”
  • “I had to leave a piece of myself at the door.”
  • “They thought that they buried us, but they didn’t know we were seeds.”
  • “It eats me alive every day.”
  • “It cannot be from God that some have all and others have nothing.”
  • “We have forgotten how to weep.”
  • “The fierce urgency of now.”

These quotations and phrases are taken from my list of 59 which touched my heart, mind and soul at the Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington DC in April 2018. Ecumenical Advocacy Days were two days of meetings and presentations which culminated in a march to Capitol Hill to meet our representatives with our “EAD Ask”.  Please read this EAD statement and consider sending it in an email (your voice) to your congressional representatives.

(https://advocacydays.org/2018/04/18/ead2018-week-congressional-ask-announced/

Preaching Truth and breaking the silence with emails, letters, peaceful protest actions and engaging in prayerful dialog with others who disagree with us is living the Dominican charism.

Many Dominicans today ‘carry Scripture in one hand and the newspaper in the other’ to preach the Word of God in this complex world.  In a recent Sojourner magazine article/video entitled “What About Jesus?” several Christian elders from across many traditions proclaimed the need to “reclaim Jesus” rather than be “complicit and silent”.   Richard Rohr OFM stated in the video that “Each human being is made in God’s image……we cannot accept neglect of the poor and children……we must reclaim His holy name.”         https://sojo.net/articles/what-about-jesus

Posted in Associate Blog, News

2018 Jubilarian Sr. Rosemary Loomis, OP

“Dominic’s innate joy remains contagious.”
2018 Jubilarian Sr. Rosemary Loomis, OP

That’s how Sr. Rosemary Loomis, Columbus, OH, describes herself after 50 years of consecrated life. The Dominican Sisters of Peace congratulate Sr. Rosemary on the Golden Jubilee of her profession of vows as a Dominican Sister of Peace.

Sister Rosemary, a native of Columbus, OH, says that she has “a deep desire to BE God’s blessing to someone.” She has done just that, spending her entire ministry helping families at different life stages. She moved around Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois as a middle school teacher and principal before returning to Ohio to serve on the staff at the Congregation of St. Mary of The Springs. She also served on the staff and as a Resident Life Director of the Mohun Health Care Center, a founded ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, for seven years.

After a brief sabbatical, God called Sister Rosemary to a new ministry, and she served as a Pastoral Associate in Clymer, PA, for three years before returning to Columbus to begin work with Egan-Ryan Funeral Home as a Grief Minister. Through her work there, she became involved with the Central Ohio Chapter of the Parents of Murdered Children/Other Survivors of Homicide Victims, where she has been an instrument of God’s peace to people suffering this painful loss.

During this time, she also served in her Congregation’s Vocation ministry and as a Pastoral Visitor for St. Timothy Parish in Columbus, OH.

Today, Sister Rosemary is the Manager of the Springs Press, the in-house media center for the Dominican Sisters of Peace. She is also on her way to becoming a published author of four children’s books. One of them draws on her experience as a grief counselor, written to help children deal with the loss of a loved one and other childhood trauma.

In her 50 years since making profession, Sr. Rosemary says, she has never been disappointed with the joy and community she found as a Dominican. She also has some advice for women considering their own vocation.

“If you are discerning religious life,” she says, “be patient – be patient with God, be patient with the religious Community and be patient with yourself. Any vocation is what we make it, and we must work to make it come alive every day.”

Yes, I want to make a donation to the Congregation in Sister Rosemary’s honor!

Posted in Jubilees, News

Interdependent

Blog by Sr. Pat Connick, OP

I know it’s been over a week, and a lot has happened since, but, this past Memorial Day 2018 we recalled all those who have sacrificed their lives for our national freedom.  Perhaps then TODAY is a great day to recall again how our own lives are built on the sacrifices of others and how our own sacrifices lead to the common good.  We are more than a group of individuals who live, work, and play side-by-side. We are a community of human beings whose journeys are intertwined.  We rise and fall on the success and failures of others.  We are INTERDEPENDENT, not just independent.

We are MORE than the sum of our parts.  Sure, we can accomplish great things as individuals.  When we engage our whole being: body, mind and soul, there is little outside our grasp as persons. Yet, how do we engage our entire self?  By the encouragement and inspiration of others.  Literally they give us heart and spirit!  Even when we think we’re working alone, we’re not!

Today, and every day, may we acknowledge and embrace the intentional engagement of our synergy, so we can realize even more significant things TOGETHER.  And perhaps our instinct for this human togetherness will eventually remind of the UNITY of our God in the Trinity.  On that day, we will truly become more fully CORPUS CHRISTI!  Happy Feasts!

“The more we get together, together, together,

the more we do together, the happier we’ll be.

‘Cause your friends are my friends, and my friends are your friends,

the more we do together, the happier we’ll be.”

Posted in News, Weekly Word

World Environment Day

Blog by Sr. Barbara Kane, OP

Today is World Environment Day and it got me thinking about what’s happening on the environmental scene. The big news is the impact of plastics on our world especially our oceans.  I’m heartsick when I see the pictures of it covered in plastic.  It seems overwhelming but there is good news also.  This morning I heard something great – Bon Appétit announced that it will ban plastic straws and stirrers in it’s 1,000 cafes and restaurants in 33 states.  The phase out will be completed by September 2019.  Isn’t that great news?

More and more restaurants are joining the trend of asking customers if they want a straw and many are saying NO.  Some cities are banning plastic straws altogether such as Seattle, WA and Miami, FL.  McDonald’s will stop using plastic straws in their restaurants in England.  Sadly, the shareholders at McDonald’s annual meeting rejected a proposal to study a ban on plastic straws, a proposal that environmental activists had argued could help save marine life. Perhaps it’s time to send a message to McDonald’s that we want this change.  When you stop at any fast food restaurant, remember “Just say NO to a straw.”

In the United States, 2,906 million pounds of plastic bottles were recycled in 2016.  This might seem a lot but it was only 29.7% of the total plastic bottles on the shelves.  We might be putting bottles and other items in our recycling bins but much of it is being thrown in the trash rather than recycled.

But there are some good news stories around plastic recycling.  Green Tree Plastics in Evansville, IN has a program called ABC Promise Partnership. It is a cap and lid program where children collect plastic lids and caps that are recycled into benches that are then used by the schools. Students learn about caring for the earth and for green living.  Several of our sisters saw these benches on a visit to University of Kentucky.  Check out their pictures.  This is good news.

Even though Mr. Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, over 2,700 leaders from states, cities, and businesses – representing 159 million Americans, have continued to act on climate issues, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing renuewables, and creating jobs and economic growth.  Deployment of clean enery technologies continues to grow. Although Mr. Trump keeps pushing coal, municipalities and utilities are seeing that clean energy is more effective and efficient than coal burning plants.  In fact, 84 cities and counties have committed to sourcing 100% of their electricity from renewable energy.  That’s great news.  Boston, New Haven, New Orleans, and Schenectady are included in these cities.  Perhaps it’s time to encourage our local governments to move toward renewable energy to power our cities.

It’s easy to be discouraged about what our government is doing to the strides made on the environmental front.  But many, many individuals, cities, and businesses are determined to move forward on the path to a cleaner world.  Each of us can make a difference too.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

Live Your Truth: Dare to Be Yourself

Blog by Associate Colette Parker

The NBA finals are in full swing, but something that LeBron James said at the end of Game 7 in the semi-finals has stuck with me.

He said that at the end of the day, he has to be true to himself.

It’s not the first time I’ve heard him say that. But this time it got me thinking about the importance of allowing my truth to flow through me and into the world.

It seems to me that being true to yourself is a good thing – something that makes us positive, healthy, strong, peaceful and happy.

To be true to ourselves, we must first know who we are and accept that reality (the good and bad of it). That takes commitment and recommitment as we grow and evolve along life’s journey. Being true to ourselves means being faithful to and honest about the truth of who we are.

Being true to ourselves requires some reflection. We have to examine our lives and determine whether the things we are involved in are healthy for us. We have to ask ourselves “Am I being true to myself?” – if not, we have to find the courage and strength to change it. Being true to ourselves also means recognizing our shortcomings and fixing them.

Don’t be afraid to tell people “This is who I am.” But do it responsibly by holding yourself accountable for your thoughts and actions because being true to yourself also means being truthful to others

As we live, we are always discovering who we are. As we find our way, we sometimes falter and fall. But as LeBron also said: “It’s how you pick yourself up. It’s how you get back in the game.”

It’s up to each of us to be courageous enough to develop a greater awareness of who we are, to pay attention to the things that we value deeply, to know our truth fully, and to express it authentically.

There is something liberating about knowing it is okay to be me and to live my truth.

Posted in Associate Blog, News