SEEKING PEACE IN THE MIDST OF TRAGEDY: BLACK LIVES DO MATTER

Blog by Associate Marybeth Irvine

Man Caught After Two Slain — on most mornings, this headline would have just received a glance from me. I, like I assume many others, have begun to see it as a normal day in the big city.

But this time was different for me. I became a news junkie. I listened and read everything that was written about the violent actions of the gunman who left Vickie Jones and Maurice Stallard dead — dead just because they were black.

Maurice and Vickie were going about the normal events of a normal day, stopping at the neighborhood Kroger — a thing we all do; but they were black. I believe that Maurice symbolized all the black males that the gunman hates.

The Dominican Sisters of Peace congregational study of racism and gun violence became real for me on October 24. – the day that Vickie and Maurice, both grandparents, were gunned down (Maurice, right in front of his 12-year-old grandson).

But why this shooting?

This shooting and death held significance for me because I knew Maurice and his wife, Charlotte. This was not just the death of another black male; it was the killing of a black male that I knew. A man that I celebrated Eucharist with in our common parish; a man I spoke to often and saw even more frequently, as he served the parish in many roles. This killing killed a relationship and it mattered to me.

Being a part of the activities that honored Vickie and Maurice mattered to me; I needed to participate. I attended the vigil held in the Kroger parking lot. I did not anticipate the fear arising in me as I stood in the open space. Fear that became palpable as I watched the armed police officer on the rooftop and wondered if there could be more violence?

I found comfort as I observed the mingling of blacks, browns, whites — why does it take a killing to bring us together?

And there was disbelief as I went into the store finding myself in aisle 37, not because I needed to visit the scene of Maurice’s death but because I was picking up cat food, which happened to be in the next aisle. The disbelief surfaced because this was a small secluded aisle. The killer had to intentionally follow Maurice.

I also attended the visitation because I needed to hug Charlotte. It took two hours to wind my way into the funeral home. What I observed in the parking lot made the wait a blessing. Standing in line, I observed, again, respect for others, calm, long-time friends greeting one another and conversation among strangers. Why do our best manners only get dusted off in the midst of tragedy?

The news coverage has not ended. Charges have been filed but the most significant, that of being a hate crime, has to find its way through the justice system. According to news reports, prior to the shooting, the gunman allegedly tried to enter a predominantly black church nearby but was unable to get inside. When that attempt failed, he went to Kroger instead and opened fire in the store.

As the days pass, I sit with sadness. Maurice’s life mattered to me; his black male life mattered to me. The relationship I had with him makes all the difference.

I pray with the words of the Kaddish that we have heard so often recently: May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life for us all…may the One who creates harmony on high bring peace to us.

Posted in Associate Blog, News

Sister Elaine Osborne, OP

Sister Elaine Osborne, OP
Dominican Sister of Peace Elaine Osborne, OP, (Frances Jeanette) (79) died October 28, 2018 at the Great Bend Motherhouse in Great Bend, KS. Sister Elaine, one of two children, was born in 1938 in Shattuck, OK, to Helen Tillemans and Edward McClain Osborne. Elaine entered consecrated life in 1954 as a high school student, and faithfully lived her vows for more than 60 years. Sister Elaine earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Marymount College and a Master of Arts in English from Oklahoma State University. She spent 25 years teaching elementary and junior high students in Kansas and Oklahoma. She took a great deal of joy in sharing her love of writing with them, making sure her that first graders had a solid foundation and a love of learning. A poet and writer, Elaine was a consistent and creative participant in the development of the Dominican Cluster, which ultimately led to the founding of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. She was also the Great Bend KS representative to the Dominican Communication Network, and among the first communicators to form the OPCOMNET in 1995. Sister Elaine might be best remembered for her own writing.  She spent many years at the Pilgrim House of Praise writing and in the Communications Office in the Great Bend Motherhouse, where she served the founding and present Congregation as its communicator for more than 30 years. Her work can be found throughout the writings of the Congregation, including its Constitution and several annual reports. From her childhood, Sr. Elaine was connected and passionate about Earth and nature. It was a constant theme in her writing, and her personal journals featured not only writings but lovely pencil drawings. She delighted in any opportunity to commune quietly in God’s creation, and to record it in her poems and writings. A Vigil service for Sr. Elaine was held on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at the Great Bend Motherhouse. The Funeral mass was held on Wednesday, October 31. Sr. Elaine Osborne was laid to rest at the Sisters’ Resurrection Cemetery in Great Bend, KS. Memorial gifts in Sr. Elaine Osborne’s memory may be sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr., Columbus, OH, 43219 or submitted securely at oppeace.org. To download and print a copy of this memorial, please click here. 
Posted in News, Obituaries

Sister Mary Carla Golom, OP

Sr. Mary Carla Golom, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Mary Carla Golom, OP, (Gertrude Ann) (87) died at the Sansbury Care Center in St. Catharine, KY, on October 27, 2018.

Sr. Mary Carla was born in1931 in Chicago, IL. She was the daughter of Elizabeth Smith and John Conrad Golom, and one of three siblings. She entered religious life in 1948. Sr. Mary Carla earned a Bachelor of Arts in English, Theatre Arts and Education from Regis College in Weston, MA, and a Master of Arts in Speech Education from Emerson College, Boston, MA. Sister Carla ministered as an educator on the elementary, high school and college levels in Kentucky, Massachusetts, Ohio and West Virginia for nearly 20 years. After taking a brief sabbatical to care for her parents, Sr. Mary Carla served as a teacher of ESL with the Hispanic community at Saint John Berchman and the Aquinas Literacy Center. She also served as a resource person while studying in the Office for Divine Worship in Chicago. Sr. Mary Carla loved working with both St. John Berchman and the Aquinas Center, as it afforded her the opportunity to truly serve the marginalized, and to be part of a welcoming community. SisterCarla also served her Community as the Midwest Regional Coordinator, as an English tutor at St. Catharine College, and as a volunteer at the St. Catharine Motherhouse. In her reflection at Sr. Mary Carla’s service, Sr. Elaine DesRosiers recalls that many of her students in Kentucky still credit her for her skill as a writer and an instructor. Sr. Mary Carla is survived by her brother, John Golom, and nieces and nephews. A Vigil of Remembrance Service was held at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Sansbury Care Center Chapel in St. Catharine, KY, on Tuesday, October 30, 2018. The Mass of Christian Burial was also held at the Sansbury Care Center Chapel, on Wednesday, October 31, 2018. Sr. Mary Carla Golom was interred at the St. Catharine Motherhouse Cemetery. Memorial gifts in Sr. Mary Carla Golom’s memory may be sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr., Columbus, OH, 43219 or submitted securely at oppeace.org. If you would like to download and print a copy of Sr. Mary Carla’s memorial, please click here, 
Posted in News, Obituaries

Sister Elaine Marie Carey, OP

Sr. Elaine Carey, OP
Dominican Sister of Peace Elaine Marie Carey, OP,(Elaine Jean) (94) died at the Sansbury Care Center in St. Catharine, KY, on October 26, 2018.
Sr. Elaine Marie was born in 1924, one of the two children of Cecile Frederick and Raymond Charles Carey of Memphis, TN. She entered religious life in 1944. Sr. Elaine Marie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Home Economics, English, Education and Philosophy from Siena College in Memphis, TN, and a Master of Arts in Religious Education from Catherine Spalding College in Louisville, KY. She also studied Theology and Pastoral Counseling at St. Louis University as well.
Sr. Elaine Marie served as a teacher and administrator in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Nebraska for twenty-five years. In her reflection at Sr. Elaine Marie’s service, Sr. Rose Cummins, who had her as a teacher and later lived with her as a Sister, described her as, “A teacher who expected the best from her students and challenged them to move beyond their comfort zones… but the twinkle in her eye and her smile told us that while she meant business, she enjoyed a little monkey business.” Sr. Elaine Marie followed both her God and the needs of the times, answering the call to change her personal ministry as the community required. She served as a religious Education Consultant in Omaha, NE, then as a Director of Religious Education in Illinois and Kentucky, then returned to study at St. Louis University to prepare for ministries as a Chaplain at two Louisville hospitals. She also served her Community as a volunteer at the St. Catharine Motherhouse and Sansbury Care Center. In 2005, she became a resident of Sansbury Care Center and began her final ministry of prayer and presence. Sr. Elaine Marie was preceded in death by her parents and her brother. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Audrey Carey, and nieces and nephews. A Vigil of Remembrance Service was held at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Sansbury Care Center Chapel in St. Catharine, KY, on Thursday, November 1, 2018. The funeral liturgy was also held at the Sansbury Care Center Chapel on Friday, November 2, 2018. Sr. Elaine Marie Carey was interred at the St. Catharine Motherhouse Cemetery. Memorial gifts in Sr. Elaine Marie Carey’s memory may be sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr., Columbus, OH, 43219or submitted securely at oppeace.org. To view or download a copy of this memorial, please click here.
Posted in Obituaries

Companions on the Journey

Blog by Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP

As a Vocation Director, I often meet with discerning women over a cup of coffee, tea or even the occasional bowl of vegan lentil-kale soup.  It does not matter what it is that we are eating or drinking – it is the conversation and being together on the journey that matters.  

I remember such meetings when I was discerning my call.  My sister companion and I would meet in a local restaurant over steaming platters of Chinese food, wonton soup and fortune cookies.  We would settle into the vinyl booth and talk for hours about the vows, what it really meant to live in community, how it is possible for four women to share two cars and not get into fights…then in between those topics we settled the problems of the world. 

Since entering the congregation I continue to cherish extended community dinners where we take the time to savor our food and the company of each other.  On any given day the conversation may be about ministry, a family gathering, the “Nuns on the Bus,” or whether or not the Sox are going to win the World Series – which they did!  Go Sox! 

Religious life is about many things but, one of the significant elements that ties it all together is community.  It isn’t always without conflict, but it is the best place for me to become all that God wants me to be and to do it with companions on the journey. 

God Calling?? Call us to begin the conversation with one of our vocation ministers. 

Posted in God Calling?, News