Dominican Sister of Peace Eileen Fallon

Sr. Eileen Fallon, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Eileen Fallon, 82, died at St. John Neumann Nursing Center in Philadelphia on January 16, 2019. She was born in 1936 to Marie Eberle and James Fallon of Philadelphia, PA.

After high school, she worked for seven years at the Curtis Publishing Company, but as she was known to say, the call of the “Hound of Heaven” was strong, and in 1962 she entered the Dominican Sisters. She was a member of the Congregation for more than 57 years.

Sister Eileen attended Villanova-LaSalle in Villanova, PA, where she earned her CCD certificate. She also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Immaculata College, now Immaculata University, in Immaculata, PA.

Sister Eileen was assigned to the Dominican Retreat House, Prouille Community in Elkins Park, PA, and entered enthusiastically into the Retreat Ministry. Her work at the Retreat House reinvigorated her religious life, and she enjoyed working with the retreat house staff and volunteers.

Eileen served as Coordinator of Retreats for 12 years. She worked with many retreat promoters to attract more than 10,000 women annually to enjoy the serenity and programming of events at Elkins Park. One of her favorite events was the annual Retreat for the Blind, a program that paired sighted women with non-sighted women on a weekend retreat, a project on which she collaborated with her friend, Mary Keul.

Sr. Eileen brought calm and humor to any task, with the ability to juggle multiple details and projects simultaneously. When she became a Sacristan, she accepted the role with enthusiasm and continued this work until declining health forced her to retire. She retired to Philadelphia after her founding congregation merged with the Dominican Sisters of Peace.

Sister Eileen was preceded in death by her parents and her siblings, She is survived by her Dominican Community and dear friend Mary Keul; also survived by sister-in-law Doris Fallon and nieces and nephews.

Sister Eileen Fallon was remembered at a service on Saturday, January 19, at the Holy Redeemer Sisters’ Provincialate Chapel in Huntingdon Valley, PA. The Funeral Mass followed, and Sr. Eileen was interred at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Cheltenham, PA.

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

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

Posted in Obituaries

Inspiring Civic Engagement

Blog by Associate Colette Parker

Did you hear about the 11 artists who are seeking to inspire a dialogue around civil rights and social justice movements in Atlanta?

They’ve painted about 30 murals around the city to tell the story of the struggle for change and justice in Atlanta and beyond. The art exhibit, which will serve as a backdrop for Super Bowl visitors to the city this week, is called “Off The Wall: Atlanta’s Civil Rights & Social Justice Journey.”  It will become part of the city’s permanent public art collection, meaning it will be maintained by the city.

How refreshing! –using the transformative power of art to open up the process of civic engagement. The fact that the art project focuses on the city’s role in the civil rights and human rights movements and invites community members to continue working toward a better world resonates with me.

I am also moved by the fact that before the murals were painted, the artists engaged in conversation with community members to brainstorm about which of the city’s stories (particularly those that had been unheard) should be amplified. Those conversations informed the mural designs and are an example of how to give voice to the voiceless.

Here is a sampling of the messages on the murals:

  • “Excuse Me While I Kiss the Sky,” tells the story of homeless people (including children) who sleep under Atlanta’s canopy of trees.
  • “Atlanta Strong,” is a tribute to women who played a role in the fight for human rights.
  • “Monuments: We Carry the Dreams,” focuses on the stories of Atlanta’s undocumented youth.
  • “Beloved Community,” celebrates a vision of social justice and harmony that Martin Luther King Jr. was committed to.
  • “Community Roots,” depicts that character matters.
  • “Intersectional Heroes,” honors Dázon Dixon Diallo, an Atlanta advocate for sexual and reproductive justice and a leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS; and Joan Garner, a Fulton County Commissioner who spent decades advocating for LGBT rights.
  • “Love and Protection,” includes the words “Me = We” and celebrates the power of friendship and togetherness.
  • “Remembering How Sweet Auburn Is” pays tribute to one of the wealthiest black communities in our nation during the time of its development.

The people in Atlanta who made this art project a reality deserve to be commended for recognizing this unique way of honoring the past, acknowledging the present, and seeking aspirations for the future. They deserve to be lifted up in an effort to spread the message that every city in this country is filled with inspirational untold stories and that every city in this country is filled with people who have made (and will make) a positive contribution.

The public art project raises a question for each of us: What are you doing to make your neighborhood, your city, your state, our country, and our world a better place?

 

Posted in Associate Blog, News

Dominican Sister of Peace Loretta Sullivan

Sr. Loretta Sullivan, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Loretta (Mary Neil) Sullivan (87) died at the Mohun Health Care Center, Columbus, OH, on January 17, 2019. One of two children, she was born in 1931 to Loretta Korn and Cornelius Sullivan of New Haven, CT. She attended St. Mary’s High School and was attracted to religious life by the joyful spirit of the teachers that she encountered there. She entered religious life in 1954.

Sr. Loretta earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Ohio Dominican University and was an enthusiastic elementary and secondary school teacher in Connecticut, New York, and Ohio. She returned to her studies at St. Mary’s Notre Dame in 1968, earning a Master of Arts in Scripture.

In 1968, Sr. Loretta was asked to combine her two passions – teaching and theology – to develop a religious education program for St. Mary’s parish in Marietta. She was eager to enter this relatively new area in the Church and continued her studies to be ready to serve those in her care. She earned her Master of Arts in Sacred Theology from Yale Divinity School and her certificate of Clinical Pastoral Education from Bridgeport Hospital, Bridgeport, CT.

Sister Loretta also served in the Religious Education office of the Archdiocese of Hartford, as Associate Vicar of Religious, and as the first Director of Human Resources for her founding congregation, St. Mary of the Springs.

In 1993, true to the Dominican charism, Loretta began to offer pastoral care, counseling, and therapeutic recreational opportunities to marginalized populations in 1993. She took particular joy in her work as chaplain for the State of Connecticut Department of Corrections, sharing God’s love with those who often had no hope.

Sr. Loretta returned to Columbus in her later years, where she was known for her gentle smile and kind, giving spirit. She also enjoyed sharing stories of her family, who she loved very much, with the Sisters at the Columbus Motherhouse and, later, at the Mohun Care Center.

Sr. Loretta Sullivan was preceded in death by her parents, Cornelius and Loretta Korn Sullivan.  She is survived by her brother Neil, her niece, Mara, nephew, Neil and two grandnephews.

A Vigil of Remembrance Service was held at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse Chapel, Columbus, Ohio on Friday, January 25. The funeral liturgy was held on Saturday, January 26. Sr. Loretta was interred at St. Joseph Cemetery in Columbus, OH.

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

To download a printable PDF of this memorial, please click here.

Posted in News, Obituaries

An Interview

Blog by Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP

You do not leave your family behind when you enter the convent.

Recently, I was interviewed about my discernment and life as a Dominican Sister of Peace.  Here is a small part of that interview.  As you will see, we do not leave our family behind when we enter the convent.

  1. Who was most supportive of your becoming a sister? Did anyone try to convince you to take another path?

My sister Amy’s support for my vocation never waved – she was always happy for me and supported my decision to enter religious life. My parents were apprehensive at first, because they wanted me to be happy. They were not familiar with consecrated religious life either and they were concerned that I would be cloistered, away from my family and friends, and lonely.  However, as my discernment and formation continued, and they became familiar with community life, their fears were dispelled and today they support my decision 100%.

In fact, my father recently visited our sisters in Kentucky – and I was not even with him!  These days he knows he is welcome wherever our sisters are.  He is part of the family.

  1. What attracted you to the Dominican order?

Definitely the preaching. I had never seen women preach when I was in college, and honestly, I was a little unsure about it.  However, watching how the Sisters studied scripture, discussed it and broke open the Word from a feminine perspective – it just made me feel alive.

What attracted me to the Dominican Sisters of Peace was their connection to the world – their concern for and involvement in the issues of the day. Their desire to sow peace and encourage justice, in the way that Christ did.

  1. What do you like about being a religious sister?

Being part of something larger than myself. As a Dominican Sister of Peace, I am one of a network of Dominicans and religious around the world. This network of Sisters may not be politically powerful, but we are powerfully persuasive when we join together to take action. As an individual I may feel very small, but with religious Sisters and Brothers around the world, I am part of a mighty voice for the voiceless and hope for the hopeless.

To be continued . . .

If you have any questions for us that you would like us to answer, please send them to us at vocations@oppeace.org

 

Posted in God Calling?, News

Hardly Ordinary Times

Sr. Pat Thomas, OP
Blog by Sr. Pat Thomas, OP

According to the liturgical calendar, this is the second week in ordinary time. As I read more news items and watch more TV news or listen to the radio news, I do not believe these are ordinary times at all. But many things in our country, if not the world, have gone from OMG moments to it-happened-once-again moments.

It has become normal to wake up and see that there has been some kind of random shooting in a public place. It has become normal to hear about homeless veterans dying without anyone to provide funeral or burial services. It has become normal that politicians do not do the work we elected them to do, and that means it is normal that only a few people are being served by these elected officials. And now it is becoming normal that government workers are not working, not getting paid and not being allowed to work anywhere else by virtue of the current jobs they can’t do. That all seems pretty extraordinary to me, somehow, and those are just examples in the USA.

So, where does that leave us? Some folks shrug and say “it is what it is”, or “whatever”. We have called, emailed, snail mailed, tweeted , instagrammed, done it all to our congress people, governors, mayors and we see little change.

Don’t stop. The Gospels compel us to show folks there is a better way no matter how hard. Be a pebble in some leader’s shoe or a splinter in someone’s finger; make them groan when they see your return address or your name on a message; be like a dog with a bone, be determined to change these norms ‘cause they are really not normal at all. Be Peace. Preach Peace. Build Peace.

 

Posted in News, Weekly Word