Justice Updates – June 25, 2019

Corporate Stance to Abolish the Death Penalty.  The deadline for submitting your vote for the Corporate Stance is tomorrow, Wednesday, June 26.    Please use the online survey link to cast your vote.

Stop Detaining Children. After a huge outcry from citizens around the country, Customs and Border Patrol has moved most of the children from the Clint, Texas camp. Call your representatives and tell them that you do not approve of the treatment that children are receiving at the border especially at the Clint Border Patrol Station, the Homestead, Florida Detention Center and wherever they have sent the children taken from Clint. We must not allow this to continue.

 A country/state/city/people is only as strong as its weakest link.  How will the U.S. be judged as the world watches us mistreat children as young as four months old?  Is it really necessary to demoralize and demonize people because we don’t want them to come to our country?    “Think about this.  The US government ARGUED IN A COURT OF LAW that its obligation to provide “safe and sanitary” conditions does not require it to provide kids with hygiene items such as soap or toothbrushes.” (Human Rights Watch)   For more information, click here.

Concentration Camps? Immigrant detention centers like the one in El Paso keeping the children are being called concentration camps.  Are they?    “A concentration camp involves “mass detention of civilians without trial,” says Andrea Pitzer, author of One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps. “Things can be concentration camps without being Dachau or Auschwitz,” Waitman Wade Beorn, a Holocaust and genocide studies historian and a lecturer at the University of Virginia, explained to Esquire. “Concentration camps in general have always been designed — at the most basic level — to separate one group of people from another group. Usually, because the majority group, or the creators of the camp, deem the people they’re putting in it to be dangerous or undesirable in some way.” NCR tells us we can’t ignore this.

The Honduran Bishops Conference recently issued a scathing assessment of their government’s handling of recent conflict in the country with a cry of ‘enough.” Read about their statement.

Integral ecology: everything is connected writes Thomas Reese for NCR. “Integral ecology is a key concept in chapter four of Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment. It flows from his understanding that “everything is closely related” and that “today’s problems call for a vision capable of taking into account every aspect of the global crisis.” Read more here.

Have you ever wondered what to do if you saw someone harassing another person because of their religion, race, or gender?  The American Friends Service Committee have prepared this Bystander Intervention Do’s and Don’ts to help.

More pollution?  The current EPA Administrator, Mr. Andrew Wheeler, testified to congress that from 2005 to 2017, the U.S. reduced its energy related carbon emissions by 14 percent.  He failed to mention that they rose in 2018 and will continue growing this year.  The EPA is implementing a new energy plan called the Affordable Clean Energy Rule.  According to the Natural Resources Defense Council it could lead to as many as 5,200 premature deaths annually by 2030.  Read more here.



Posted in News

Golden Jubilarian Sr. Judy Morris

Sr. Judy Morris, OP, celebrates her 50th year of religious life in 2019.

“My hope for the future of my congregation and religious life, in general, is that the focus of “meeting the needs of the time” remains.” It’s an appropriate goal for Sr. Judy Morris, who, in true Dominican fashion, has traveled to where she is needed to serve the people of the Church, most especially the marginalized.  Sr.  Judy, a Dominican Sister of Peace, is celebrating 50 years of religious life in 2019.

Sr. Judy earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and Sociology from Siena College in Memphis and entered her Congregation in Kentucky in 1969. She served as a teacher and a tutor at St. Catherine Academy during her postulancy and novitiate and ended her teaching ministry teaching high school English at the Congregation’s founded school in Memphis, TN, St. Agnes Academy.

Sr. Judy developed an interest in social service work while serving as Parish Social Service Coordinator at Catholic Charities in Chicago, and earned her Master’s in Social Work from Barry College in Miami, FL, in 1976. She went on to serve as a case manager in Louisville, and then as Director of Development for the Development Fund Office, also in Louisville.

She continued her work in social service in 1983, ministering at Catholic Charities and the Home of the Innocents. Sr. Judy returned to St. Catharine, KY, to serve her Congregation as Assistant to the President, during which time she also earned her Master of Arts in Religious Studies from Spaulding University in Louisville.

A move to Owensboro, KY, fond Sr. Judy serving as Director of Social Concerns for that diocese. She also ministered as Director of Social Services for the Sacred Heart Southern Mission in Walls, MS, before returning again to St. Catharine to as Coordinator of Community Relations. She served as a Case Worker for Sister Visitor, an emergency assistance program in Louisville, KY, for about a year before helping to build churches and Church communities as a Field Representative for Catholic Extension.

Sr. Judy served as her Congregation’s Justice Promoter for more than 6 years before moving to Louisville to help raise funds for St. Mary’s Center, a training center for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities.

Sr. Judy remains active in matters of social justice and non-violence from her home at the Akron, OH, Motherhouse. She currently serves as Community Liaison for Mobile Meals in Akron, an affiliate of Meals on Wheels.

Like most Dominican Sisters of Peace. Sr. Judy is saddened by the current state of unrest on our nation, but she also feels that there are ways to work for peace.

“Listening is an important act of nonviolence.  No one possesses all truth, and much can be learned by hearing differing opinions, rationales, or experiences,” she says. “By listening we are saying ‘I respect you, even if I disagree with your political opinion’ – and we may find that we have more in common than we think.”

If you would like to donate to the Dominican Sisters of Peace to celebrate Sr. Judy Morris’ Jubilee, please click here.

Sr. Judy at the March for our Lives.
Sr. Judy at the March for Science.
Posted in Jubilees

Golden Jubilarian Christine Connolly

Golden Jubilarian Christine Connolly

Vatican II changed the face of Catholocism for everyone – lay people and consecrated religious.  What was it like to enter religious life on the heels of such a sea change?

Sr. Christine Connolly, a Dominican Sister of Peace in Niskayuna, NY, is celebrating her 50th year of religious life in 2019, and says that the changes brought about by the Council brought her both excitement and sadness.

“A new paradigm of religious life was beginning to take place, which required us to live with a sense of flexibility and a willingness to be open,” she says. “One surprise has been the blessing of helping to lay the foundation for something new and vibrant to be birthed.”

Sr. Christine began her religious life in both religious formation and formal study. She studied in the Novitiate in Kentucky for two years, then attended Cardinal Cushing College in Brookline, MA. She earned her Bachelor of Science in History and Elementary Education in 1972.

Her first ministry was in education, teaching at St. Francis DeSales and East Boston Central Catholic in Boston, MA.

In 1980 she moved to St. Catharine, KY, to serve her congregation as the Administrative Assistant to the President of the Dominican Sisters in St. Catharine, KY.

True to the Dominican charism of study, Sr. Christine earned her Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry from Boston College in 1989. She took her skills in administration and organization to the service of God’s people in Louisville, working with the Hospice of Louisville and Catholic Charities,

A move to Chicago to study at the Catholic Theological Center led to Sr. Christine’s next ministry. She served as Co-Promoter of Vocations and Spiritual Director at the Claret Center in Chicago for 6 years before beginning a ministry as Residence Hall rector at the University of Notre Dame.

After a brief Sabbatical, Sr.Christine moved to her present ministry, serving those seeking spiritual direction and a place of peace at the Congregation’s Retreat Center in Niskayuna, NY.

Of her 50 years of service to God’s people, Sr.Christine says, “I have learned that the Mission is God’s work, and my responsibility is listening to and working with God’s movement in ministry. God has blessed me with the opportunity to offer hope and peace in our world today.”

If you would like to donate to the Dominican Sisters of Peace to celebrate Sr. Christine Connolly’s Jubilee, please click here.

Posted in Jubilees

Golden Jubilarian Sr. Harriet Agnew

Golden Jubilarian Harriet Agnew

A number of years ago, the members of Sr. Harriet Agnew’s Congregation took a personality test. Sr. Harriet’s results were no surprise to her sisters and friends; she was described as a helper — caring, demonstrative, and generous. These attributes are the core values of her 50 years as a Dominican Sister of Peace.

Sr. Harriet began religious life in a most Dominican fashion – studying for her Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies and Elementary Education at Siena College in Memphis, TN. Her early ministry was teaching at schools in Kentucky and Tennessee, and during that time, she found that her own love of religious life increasing. “I found joy in community life, in the relationships that I built, and in my ministry – and religious life just grew on me,” she says.

In the 1980’s Sr. Harriet’s ministry took a different turn as she began teaching religion and formation in Kentucky while studying for her Masters in Religious Education at Seattle University in Washington. She earned her MRE in 1981, and put it to good use as a Religious Coordinator at St. Augustine Parish in Kentucky, then as Formation Coordinator and Associate Pastor in Chicago.

In 1990, she was called home to Kentucky to serve the congregation as a Coordinator at Sansbury Care Center, then began a ministry as a nursing assistant in St. Louis, MO – which may have been what led her to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Maryville, University in St. Louis.

Sr. Harriet’s skills as a nurse and her generous, giving spirit led her to serve patients of all ages – as a nurse at Shurer Long Term Care in Michigan, the Home for the Innocents in Kentucky, at a mission in Zambia, at the Marian Home in Kentucky, at the Congregation’s Sansbury Care Center and now, at the Motherhouse in Akron, OH.

This quote from the Spanish Jesuit Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, is the advice that Sr. Harriet gives to women considering religious life. “Fall in love with Christ, and with our Dominican way of life, and you will find joy in your calling,” Sr. Harriet says. Her hope is that the Dominican Sisters of Peace will continue to respond to the needs of the times – an appropriate sentiment from a woman who has responded to the needs of God’s people and her Congregation with love and care for 50 years.

If you would like to make a donation to celebrate Sr. Harriet Agnew’s Golden Jubilee, please click here.

Posted in Jubilees

Golden Jubilarian Sr. Arleen Kisiel

Sr. Arleen Kisiel is celebrating 50 years as a Dominican Sister of Peace.

It only seems appropriate that Sr. Arleen Kisiel, currently of Columbus, OH, would celebrate her Golden Jubilee in the same year that the Dominican Sisters of Peace celebrate their Tenth Anniversary.  In her Jubilee reflection, Sr. Arleen says that the results of this union of eight congregations of Dominican women have been among the greatest blessings of her life.

Sister Arleen was a student at Ohio Dominican College when she entered the Dominican Sisters of Peace in 1969.  After earning her Bachelor of Arts in Education, Sr. Arleen went on to teach middle school and serve as a guidance counselor in Ohio, Chicago, and Michigan, and as a religion teacher in Pennsylvania and Ohio. She earned her Master of Science in Counseling from the University of Dayton in 1982.

In 1986 she answered God’s call to enter a new ministry of care and concern. She served as an administrator and counselor at Hope House Ministries, a ministry to the poor in Port Jefferson, NY. Sr. Arleen moved to Ontario, CA, for her next ministry, where she served the Church and other religious serving at Southdown, a mental health center for vowed religious where she served for three years before returning to the US to work in family ministry at St. Charles Center, then as a case Supervisor at the Agency on Aging in New Castle, PA.

Sr. Arleen returned to Columbus in 1996 to serve her Congregation, first as a member of Leadership and later is the Director of the Martin de Porres Center, an outreach ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. She later served as a Mission Group Coordinator in Akron, and as the Mission Group Coordinator of the Free-Formed group, based in Columbus. Today Sr. Arleen serves God and her Sisters as the Pastoral Care Director at Mohun Health Care Center, the Congregation’s home for retired and elderly religious.

“One of my greatest joys is being a part of a cause greater than myself,” Sister Arleen says. “I am so proud of what we have been able to accomplish by working with others beyond ourselves … where ever there is one Dominican Sister of Peace, I am there too.”

If you would like to make a donation to celebrate Sr. Arleen Kisiel’s Golden Jubilee, please click here.

Sr. Arleen Kiesel serving at Mass in Columbus.
Sr. Arleen as Director of the Martin de Porres Center.
Posted in Jubilees