Sister Joanne Baltz, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Joanne Baltz

Dominican Sister of Peace Joanne Baltz (89) died at Regina Care Center in Akron, OH on December 18, 2018. Born August 25, 1929, Sr. Joanne was the daughter of Margaret Thimmes and Albert Baltz of Lancaster, OH.  She felt called by God from a very early age but worked as a bookkeeper for a short while before entering religious life 1948.

Sr. Joanne began her ministry as a primary school teacher in Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Ohio Dominican University in 1958, taking classes at the same time that she was teaching primary school in Ohio. She earned her Master of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Notre Dame in 1966, as well as additional courses in administration, supervision and child psychology at Xavier and the University of Dayton. She truly loved working with little children and did her best to be as prepared as possible to give her students a quality academic and moral grounding.

Sr. Joanne served as a principal for 23 years at St. Francis, Newark, OH, and St. Mary in Lancaster, OH.

After leaving teaching, Sr. Joanne served as the Administrator of the Columbus, OH, Motherhouse and the Fleet Manager for the Community. Her organizational and administrative skills were a true asset in these important roles!

She spent several years caring for her own family members before she moved to the Mohun Health Care Center, where she served as a volunteer as well as in prayer and presence. She was particularly helpful to our Activities Director, helping to set up and offer assistance to other Sisters.

Sr. Joanne was preceded in death by her parents, Margaret Thimmes and Thomas Baltz, her brothers Albert and John, and her sisters Mary and Dorothy. She is survived by her nieces and nephews.

Sr. Joanne was remembered at a December 19 wake and December 20 Funeral Mass at the Chapel in the Columbus Motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. She was interred at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Columbus, OH.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Joanne Baltz’s memory may be submitted securely online at  or sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Drive, Columbus, OH 43219.

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


Posted in Obituaries


Blog by Sr. Beata Tiboldi

Has anyone said to you? “Wait!”

Ironically, in the business world, holidays are rushed. We see holiday items in the stores two months before the actual holiday. Two weeks before the holiday, the items start to go on sale, and the day after the holiday, they need to be marked down because they are considered outdated.

In my daily life, at times, I catch myself rushing internally. Wait, what does that mean? I would catch myself rushing internally when I wished for a traffic light to change to green, or when I am in the doctors office, I like to be called in on time instead of waiting. Both are out of my control, and I just have to go with the flow.

As a discerner, I think waiting was one of the hardest tasks because my heart was on fire and my heart kept asking: “Are we there yet?” During this “waiting time,” I had the opportunity to explore and take the necessary “steps” of growing through prayer and reflection, processing what I was experiencing, becoming part of the community, and gaining a deeper sense of mission and ministry.

Waiting has its value of having time to evolve and to process.  While “advent” means “coming,” many people think of Advent as a season of waiting – waiting for Jesus’ second coming. We don’t just wait. We await Jesus’ second coming by preparing the way of the Lord.

How do you await in hope?

While you await, we invite you to pray Jan Richardson’s blessings with us for those in need.

Blessing for Waiting
Who wait for the night to end
bless them.

Who wait for the night to begin
bless them.

Who wait in the hospital room who wait in the cell
who wait, in prayer,
bless them.

Who wait for news
who wait for the phone call
who wait for a word
who wait for a job, a house, a child
bless them.

Who wait for one who will come home
who wait for one who will not come home
bless them.

Who wait with fear
who wait with joy
who wait with peace
who wait with rage
who wait for the end
who wait for the beginning
who wait alone
who wait together
bless them.

Who wait without knowing
what they wait for or why
bless them.

Who wait when they should not wait
who wait when they should be in motion
who wait when they need to rise
who wait when they need to set out
bless them.

Who wait for the end
of waiting who wait for the fullness of time
who wait emptied and open and ready
who wait for you,
o bless.

Posted in God Calling?, News

Dr. Cynthia Thomas of St. Mary’s Dominican Honored by the Southern Dominican Province

Dr. Cynthia Thomas, OPA, accepts the Martin de Porres award from the Southern Dominican Province, USA. Shown left to right: Fr. Juan Torres, OP, Director of Development, Southern Dominican Province; Mrs. Michie Bissel, Adv. Brd. Pres.; Dr. Cynthia Thomas, OPA; Fr. Tom Condon, OP, Provincial.

Dr. Cynthia Thomas, an Associate of the Dominican Sisters of Peace and President of St. Mary’s Dominican High School, a sponsored school of the Congregation, was awarded the 2018 St. Martin de Porres Award at the Southern Dominican Province Gala on November 8, 2018.

The Martin de Porres award recognizes individuals who are dedicated to the mission of the Dominican Order and who emulate St. Martin’s spirit of compassion, mercy and the search for truth.

Thomas was introduced to the Dominican life at a young age. Growing up in Independence, Louisiana, she worshipped at a parish church staffed by the Dominican Friars and was taught by St. Mary Dominican Sisters at Mater Dolorosa Elementary.

Thomas received her bachelor’s degree at Nicholls State University, then began discernment with the St. Mary Dominican Sisters. She completed five years of the congregation’s initial formation program. Thomas was named the first lay Principal of St. Mary’s Dominican High in 1992, and continued to serve the Order and the people of the Church by working with the Sisters as the high school’s first lay President in 1997.

In partnership with the Dominican Sisters of Peace and Dominican’s Board of Directors, school leadership and administration, Thomas is responsible for developing and implementing strategic plans, goals and objectives for St. Mary’s Dominican High School, viewed through the Dominican lens.

Thomas holds a doctorate in education from Spalding University as well as two master’s degrees: a master of education from the University of Holy Cross; and a master of religious education from Loyola University.

Thomas is currently a Dominican Associate (OPA) with the Dominican Sisters of Peace. At the ceremony on November 8, Dr. Thomas spoke of St. Martin de Porres, his message and his mission. “St. Martin de Porres offers another way of preaching the Gospel … So many preachers use many words to preach the Gospel, but with St. Martin de Porres, we have a beautiful example of someone … his generosity, his charity, his holiness could speak to people in a way that words could never speak.”

She went on to say, “We have so many WORDS today … but it is really, truly in our actions, and in our charity, and in generosity, in our prayer that we grow closer to God.”

Thomas also serves on the Executive Board of the Dominican Association of Secondary Schools, the Board of Directors for Boys Hope/Girls Hope of Greater New Orleans, and on the Advisory Council of Archbishop Shaw High School.

Left to right, back row: Fr. Juan Torres, OP, Director of Development, Southern Dominican Province; Dominican Sisters of Peace Ceal Warner, Pat Thomas, Dominic Savio; Fr. Tom Condon, OP, Provincial, Southern Dominican Province; Dominican Sister of Peace Suzanne Brauer. Left to right, front row: Dr. Cynthia Thomas, OPA; Dominican Sisters of Peace Therese Leckert, Angeline Magro, Dorothy Trosclair, Joan Arceneaux.

“Cynthia Thomas is a wonderful example of how our Associates and lay partners extend our Dominican mission in so many significant ways,” said Sister Therese Leckert, OP, a member of the Dominican Sisters of Peace leadership and a former St. Mary’s Dominican Sister. “Her dedication to her faith, to service, and to her students have helped hundreds of young of young women learn to love learning and to search for truth.”

Her past service includes seven years on the board of directors for Holy Cross High School.


Photos by Michael Maples, Southern Dominican Province, USA

Posted in News

Women Who Glow

Blog by Sr. Anne Lythgoe, OP

On Saturday, I drove from Columbus to Dayton in a wicked rainstorm, the kind that involves giant blinding sprays of mist flying off tractor-trailer trucks; and cars that whizz by as if they were speeding to a hospital. It was a tense white-knuckle trip.  I had hoped to spend some easy quiet time in the car to contemplate my blog topic that was coming due.   Instead, I kept reminding myself just to breathe.

I safely arrived at a clay supply shop— a heaven for potters, offering every tool, gadget, glaze, clay, book, or equipment you can imagine. A small Home Depot for potters. My mission was to purchase clay (200 pounds), find a liner brush I needed, and talk about a project I am thinking about with Erin, the owner, who stood behind the counter.

We talked about brushes and underglazes, and a workshop I might attend, and the subject turned to her due date — I realized Erin is pregnant, due in April. Then I saw it. Her glow.  You have probably seen this in pregnant women too, or maybe you have experienced it yourself as a mother.  Women who glow have a wonderful and mystical light within them. Erin was glowing as she anticipated the day she would give birth. I felt gifted by her light. I thought of Mary: My being proclaimed the greatness of God and my spirit finds joy in God, my Savior. Joy, the authentic expression of God with us. That is what I experienced in Erin.

Frequently in religious art, this glow is depicted with Mary surrounded by light. This special glow, this captivating energy and light, accompanied Mary and Elizabeth as they shared a precious few months together. Mary came to visit and to help Elizabeth in her pregnancy. What did they talk about? Did they smile together as they described to each other the reaction of Joseph and Zachariah to the news of their pregnancy? Mary probably did the heavy lifting of firewood, or carried water from the well for her elderly cousin. Did she milk the goats for Elizabeth? Elizabeth might have shared with Mary some of her kitchen secrets. Two pregnant women— whose life inside was mysteriously given and known to be of God—talking about herbs and spices.

When did Zachariah notice the glow in Elizabeth when her pregnancy began to show? Did the innkeeper see the glow in Mary when she and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem looking for shelter?

Would we be here if it were not for the power of the relationship between these two women centuries ago? Would Mary have had the courage and capacity to be the mother of Jesus if she did not have the companionship and wisdom of Elizabeth? Elizabeth, who, in a much more hidden and secondary way, was pregnant by the same kind of miracle. An old woman, who probably had given up on having children thinking to herself —what had she done that God would give up on her? Then she felt her child kick when Mary appeared at her door. Joy!

Two women —who glowed with inner light, basking in the joy of knowing God with them —two women who changed the world. So a word for this Christmas Season could be: never underestimate the transformative power of these two women, whose trust in God reaches across centuries inviting us to the same faith, the same trust that God is with us.  May you glow this Christmas.

Posted in News, Weekly Word

Many Thanks

Blog by Sr. Barbara Kane, OP, Justice Promoter

Don’t you just love the list of all the things that happened during 2018?  Here’s my list of all the things/people/events I am grateful for this year.

The members of the Justice Committees – Eco Justice, Immigration Reform, Human Trafficking and Peace and Nonviolence –  who work to keep the congregation and associates informed and active. Thank you to the chairs who keep the committees running smoothly.

The many secular and religious groups that study issues of injustice and educate us on how to work for justice such as LCWR, Network and Ohio Nuns on the Bus, Dominican North American Justice Promoters,  Farm Research and Action Center, Human Rights Watch, Interfaith Power and Light, USCCB Justice for Immigrants, Catholic Climate Covenant, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Moms Demand Action Against Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety, BREAD, American Friends Service Committee, Win Without War, Death Penalty Action, Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking  and many others.

Faith in Public Life, especially the Ohio Chapter where interfaith leaders in Columbus meet regularly to address issues around Columbus.

The DSP Communication Department – Alice, Dee, and Ashley – who have been essential in getting the word out about our justice actions.

That the midterms are over, voter turnout was one of the highest ever including 3.3 million voters aged 18-29, a 188% increase over 2014, that Farm Bill passed with provisions protecting SNAP, and that the incoming representatives are talking about finally passing some gun safety legislation, that despite the U.S. pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, many cities, educational institutions, businesses, and religious organizations are still committed to the principals of this accord.

And finally, my gratitude to all the sisters and associates who have been active in writing, calling, and/or walking for justice. You make my job worthwhile.  Let’s keep it up in 2019!

Posted in Just Reflecting, News