Justice Updates – Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Action Alert:  Contact your senators!

War and more war.  There are two bills in the Senate that need our attention. Call your Senators to support S. 1039, Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act of 2019 and to override the veto of the resolution to end the U.S. support for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

  1. 1039, Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act of 2019 was introduced by Senator Tom Udall and would limit the use of funds for kinetic military operations in or against Iran. Kinetic military action is a euphemism for military action involving active warfare, usually including lethal force.  These are the co-sponsors of this bill.
  1. Both the House and Senate voted to end aid and participation in the Saudi led war in Yemen that has killed thousands of men, women, and children and resulted in famine that has killed many more. Mr. Trump vetoed that action. This week the Senate will vote to override that veto. Please call your Senators and urge them to override the veto. The following Republican Senators voted with the Democratic senators to end U.S. aid:  Mike Lee, of Utah; Susan Collins of Maine; Steve Daines of Montana; Jerry Moran of Kansas; Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; Rand Paul of Kentucky; and Todd Young of Indiana.


Contact your representative to support H.R. 9, Climate Action Now Act.

On June 1, 2017,  the president pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Many of us are deeply concerned about the impact of this action and have worked privately and corporately to implement many of the actions described in the agreement. Congressional leaders in the House have introduced H.R. 9, Climate Action Now Act to ensure that American honors its Paris commitments and to lay the groundwork for further climate action. The bill requires the President to develop and update annually a plan for the U.S. to meet its national determined contribution specifically to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26% – 28% below 2005 levels by 2025 and confirm that other parties to the agreement with major economies are fulfilling their announced contributions.  In addition, the bill prohibits federal funds from being used to withdraw from the agreement.  There are  224 co-sponsors.

Detaining Unaccompanied Youth. There are at least 2,000 children being held at the Homestead Detention Center on the Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida. Please sign this petition from the American Friends Service Committee.

In just the past few days, more than 20,000 people have signed their petition to shut down Homestead detention center! Thank you for taking action to end child detention. If you haven’t yet signed, add your name today to tell the government to stop detaining children and instead work to unite them with their loved ones! For more information about Homestead, click here.

Easter is about transformation but many women caught in sex trafficking cannot break free. Read about Donna Bruce who is still haunted by her past when she was trafficked by her mother for drugs and money.

Who makes your clothes? We often associate human trafficking only with sex trafficking butt here is labor trafficking also. While the issue described by Human Rights Watch is not technically trafficking, it borders on the abuse seen in trafficking.

Roman Curia Reforms? I have been reading about the changes that Pope Francis wants to implement in the Roman Curia. Fr. Thomas Reese describes how we should consider these changes in Three ways to evaluate Pope Francis’ reform of the Roman Curia.

Do you know which plastics to recycle? Here are the facts from the New York Times Climate Fwd.

One Thing You Can Do: Know your Plastics  By Eduardo Garcia

Ever notice those recycling symbols, the triangles with the numbers inside, on plastic packaging and containers? I always assumed they meant the plastic was recyclable. But that’s not necessarily the case. Those numbers are resin identification codes, and they tell what kind of plastic the item is made from. And not all plastic is created equal.

Identifying what types of plastics are recyclable can be challenging because plastics do not always carry a resin code and because not all recycling programs are equal, either. Generally speaking, though, some categories of plastic are more widely recyclable in the United States.

“We always encourage people to focus on Nos. 1, 2 and 5 because we have great markets for them in the U.S.,” said Brent Bell, vice president of recycling at Waste Management, a major garbage collection and recycling company. Water and soda bottles, milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles, yogurt cups and butter tubs are mostly made of these plastics. You could lend a helping hand by rinsing these kinds of containers and removing labels.

On the other hand, placing items made with resins 4, 6 and 7 in the recycling bin are usually not a good idea. These are used to make squeezable bottles, plastic bags, pouches, meat trays, some clamshells and disposable plates and cups. Sorting plants will quite likely throw them in a landfill, together with other items considered contaminants.

Finally, No. 3 — the category that covers the PVCs often used in packaging for cosmetics, some food wrap, blister packs and pipes — is particularly bad. Because of its chemical composition, it can contaminate large batches of plastics in the recycling system that would otherwise be acceptable. “You absolutely want to make sure that you never ever put PVC into your recycling bin,” said Steve Alexander, president of the Association of Plastics Recyclers, an industry group.

Regardless of what they’re made of, shopping bags and other soft plastics like cling film and Bubble Wrap shouldn’t be put in recycling bins because they tend to jam sorting machines.

If one exists, your local recycling program should have information online about the types of plastics it accepts. If you can’t get a clear answer there, though, the best policy is not to guess.

“If in doubt, keep it out,” Mr. Alexander said.


What do you get from engaging in kindness?  In her Catherine of Siena Lecture at Ohio Dominican last Thursday, Sr. Megan McElroy showed and recommended this video.   How are you being kind this week?


Posted in News

“Speak the truth in a million voices. It is silence that kills.”

Blog by Sr. Barbara Kane, OP

Yesterday we celebrated the feast of Catherine of Siena, a great Dominican and promoter of justice extraordinaire. As I reflect upon Catherine during this time of great divide in our world, I am especially mindful of her quote “Speak the truth in a million voices. It is silence that kills.” How do we as Dominican sisters and associates of Peace live out this wisdom?  How do we “speak with a million voices” today?  We can follow Catherine’s example and write letters and emails, tweet tweets, and make calls.

What do we need to write about?  We can write against war and violence.  Catherine once wrote to Nicolo Soderini, a leader in Florence plotting against the pope that “It doesn’t seem to me that war is so lovely a thing that we should go running after it when we can prevent it.  But is there anything lovelier than peace?”  With so many conflicts in the world and violence in our communities, don’t we all long for the loveliness of peace?

We can hold our lawmakers – local, state and national – accountable. She scolded King Charles V of France, “Make peace, make peace! Make peace! God will hold you and the others responsible for this at the moment of your death, because of all the foolish apathy of which you have been and are guilty every day.”  Shouldn’t we also scold our Senators for failing to move forward legislation passed in the House?

We can hold our church leaders responsible to be good shepherds.   In a letter to Pope Gregory XI during a time of great scandal in the Church, she writes “I say that this is the very worst cruelty which can be shown. If a wound when necessary is not cauterized or cut out with steel, but simply covered with ointment, not only does it fail to heal, but it infects everything, and many a time death follows from it.” The current scandal of leadership must be cured.

Catherine is a model for us in so many ways. Let us follow her lead and make our voices heard so that injustice does not grow because of our silence.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

Sr. Beáta Tiboldi Takes Perpetual Vows

For a video of Sr. Bea’s Perpetual Profession ceremony, please click here. 

The second Sunday of Easter was the perfect day for the Perpetual Profession of Sr. Beáta Tiboldi, OP, 40, as a Dominican Sister of Peace. Her profession was made in a celebratory Mass in the chapel at the Congregation’s Motherhouse in Columbus, OH.

Sr. Patricia Twohill, Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, left, leads Sister Beáta Tiboldi, right, in her Perpetual Vows as a Dominican Sister of Peace. (Photo by Eric Albrecht, The Columbus Dispatch)

Sister Beáta, or Bea, was the first woman to enter candidacy after the merger that created the Dominican Sisters of Peace in 2009. Bea was first called to religious life at the age of 15, growing up in Hungary. That persistent little voice continued after she moved to the United States in her 20’s, serving first as an au pair and later as a teacher in Dayton, OH. With the help of a spiritual director, Bea was able to discern her call and, after much study and reflection, enter as a candidate into the newly-formed Dominican Sisters of Peace.

“One of the things that drew me to the Dominican Sisters of Peace,” Sr. Bea said, “was their preferential option for the young. They didn’t just talk about it. It was very real. Even today, this effort to reach out to young women discerning a vocation to religious life is very intentional. It comes with effort, attentiveness, and openness.”

Sisters Pat Dual, OP, and Anne Keenan, OP, witnessed Sr. Bea’s vows, which were received by

Women in discernment, formation and consecrated life from Dominican congregations around the country came together to celebrate Sr. Beáta Tiboldi’s profession.
Standing, from left: Sr. Kathy Flynn, OP, Sinsinawa; Sr. Marilin Llanes, OP, Adrian; Ann E. Killian, Peace; Sr. Margaret Uche, OP, Peace; Sr. Beáta Tiboldi, OP, Peace; Sr. Ana Gonzalez, OP, Peace; Sr. Phuong Vu, Peace; Sr. Xiomara Méndez-Hernández, OP, Adrian; Sr. Christina Atienza, OP, San Rafael; Sr. Rolande Kahindo Pendeza, Maryknoll.
Seated, from left: Sr. Mary Vuong, OP, Peace; Ellen Coates, Peace; Tram Bui, Peace discerner.

Sister Pat Twohill. The Eucharist was presided over by Father Michael Trainor, OP, priest in residence at the Columbus Motherhouse, and music was provided by Sisters Amy McFrederick of Akron, OH, June Fitzgerald and Ana Gonzalez of New Haven, CT, and Pat Connick, New York, NY.

During the ceremony, Sr. Bea professed the vows of obedience, celibacy, and poverty to God, accepting a ring as a sign of God’s faithful love, and a candle to represent the light of Christ within her and all people.Sr. Bea received degrees in elementary education, catechesis, and computer programming in Budapest, Hungary. She also earned a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Intervention from the University of Dayton. She will complete her Master’s Degree in Pastoral Studies from the Fordham University in 2019.

Sr. Bea has ministered as an educator, catechist and a pastoral associate. Currently, Sr. Bea is a member of the Congregation’s Vocation team and works with other young women to help them discern their call to religious life.

A native of Budapest, Hungary, Sr. Bea is the daughter of László Tiboldi and the late Éva Kovács. She has two brothers, László and Gábor Tiboldi, both of Hungary.

For coverage of the Dominican Sisters of Peace Tenth Anniversary, including the Perpetual Profession ceremony, in the Columbus Dispatch, please click here.

For more photos of Sr. Bea’s Perpetual Profession and celebration, click here. 


Posted in News

Being a Nurse is Who I was Meant to Be

I have been a nurse for nearly 40 years. Most of my experience has been working in the city of Detroit in hospitals, home health, and hospice care.

Leslie Johnston, OPA
Dominican Sisters of Peace Associate

I believed initially that my career path would lead me to academics and research, but my first job – in a hospital burn unit – set me on a different path.

One of my first patients was a soft-spoken man named Frankie who had been set on fire by a group of other men because he dressed as a woman. The horror of what was done to him and his ability to maintain his dignity through all the painful treatment still brings me to tears all these years later. Working with Frankie (and other patients in the burn unit) helped me to discover that nursing, for me, is more than a profession, it is my life calling.

I eventually became an oncology nurse specialist and then an advanced practice nurse, after earning my master’s degree, but the sense of mission never left me. I joined an organization that was unique at the time for offering special services to cancer patients in their homes and I chose to continue working in the city, where I encountered other people who were also on a mission of service to others.
I was blessed to meet the owner of a small car wash who allowed a homeless person to reside in the building temporarily so our agency could safely give him chemotherapy. I also met a group of nurse practitioners who worked in a sports injury clinic by day and then took a van out at night to offer free health care services to women working as prostitutes.

In all my years as a nurse, I have received more from every patient, family member and caregiver I have been with than they received from me.

Working with people in their own homes, on the streets, and in shelters has given me a perspective that impacts every part of my life. I have come to the realization that all spaces are sacred to those who occupy them. And because all of us are sacred beings, I recognize that nursing requires a servant’s heart.

Currently, I serve as a clinical manager for a busy home health agency. I rarely visit patients anymore, but I am still ministering — to the nursing, therapy and home health aide staff who provide the services. I try to be more of a mentor than a manager. I respect their input and I try to be as thankful as possible for the various gifts they bring to our agency and our clients.

Health care regulations are constantly changing and access for all to quality healthcare is still an issue in our country. It can be frustrating, heartbreaking, and overwhelming to be a health care provider.
Focusing on the needs of the person you are trying to help whether it is your patient, or a co-worker can be difficult in many circumstances, but joining together with them to do what is most needed in that moment is one more barrier down and one more step toward healing ourselves.

I expected to be challenged in my nursing career, and I have. But I didn’t anticipate it would become my life purpose.

Posted in Associate Blog

Our Sisters in Mission – St Catherine 2019

Sr. Esther Calderon at Casa Alitas, a diocesan shelter for migrants released by ICE.


Esther Calderon of Tucson, AZ, has worked in healthcare, refugee and prison ministry. Although technically “retired,” Sr. Esther’s ministry has not slowed. Her ministry of prayer includes house calls and hospital visits to take communion to sick parishioners, and leading the Spanish rosary and Communion services at the ICE Detention center and the diocesan Casa Alitas, a sanctuary for immigrant families.




Sr. Ceal Warner at the New Orleans Peace Center.


Ceal Warner started her religious life in retreat work, then moved to pastoral ministry and professional counseling. She was also a member of her Congregation’s leadership team. In 2014, Sr. Ceal helped to found our new Congregation’s first original ministry, the Peace Center, bringing peace and opportunity to disadvantaged residents of New Orleans.



Representatives from Network of Hope and The Dominican Sisters of Peace display the “lease payment” for the “One Bridge to Hope” space in Bertrand Hall. Sr. Barb is on the far left.


Barbara Sullivan lived the pillars of study, preaching and service throughout her professional life, serving as a teacher, a public relations professional, and as an attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Louisville. Her latest project is helping the St. Catharine Motherhouse in Kentucky prepare to host women in recovery from opioid addiction.


Sr. Ana Gonzalez traveled to Mexico this winter to recruit students for Albertus Magnus College.




Ana Gonzalez made her first profession of vows in July 2018. She is ministering at our Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT, working with international students to help them adapt to life and study in the United States.


Posted in News