July 23, 2019 Justice Updates

And then there were none.  The current administration seems to be winning the battle to keep anyone seeking asylum especially Central Americans from coming into the United States. National and International Law allows individuals and families to claim asylum.   There are significantly fewer individuals being admitted into the U.S. since the implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols.  MPP or ‘Return to Mexico’ was implemented several months ago.  According to the Department of Homeland Security, Migrant Protection Protocols are a U.S. Government action whereby certain foreign individuals entering or seeking admission to the U.S. from Mexico – illegally or without proper documentation – may be returned to Mexico and wait outside of the U.S. for the duration of their immigration proceedings, where Mexico will provide them with all appropriate humanitarian protections for the duration of their stay.”  The key statement here “all appropriate humanitarian protections” is not happening.  During our recent stay in El Paso, Sr. Manuela and I talked to several who had experienced a return to Mexico. They told us about how little humanitarian aid or protection was given by the Mexican Government.  Religious and other humanitarian organizations are overwhelmed while groups in the U.S. such as Annunciation House are sitting virtually empty.   One Cuban father who with his family spent nine weeks in Ciudad Juarez told us that seven Cuban men had gone missing. Others told us about families sleeping outside and waiting in line for days to talk to a Customs and Border Patrol official. (The daily temperature in El Paso while we were there was between 80 and 100 degrees and sunny.) This is not the answer to what is happening on the border. Please call your senators and representatives and tell them that the MPP or Migrant Protection Protocols are inhumane and not what American values are about.   For more information, please check this information from the Department of Homeland Security and this article from Refugees International, “Remain in Mexico is a Travesty of Asylum Policy.”

Current administration wants to take from the poor and give to the rich.  In order to pay for the budget deficit caused by the massive tax breaks given to the wealthy and to corporations, the administration announced plans to make changes to the food stamp program that will cut 3 million individuals from food assistance.  Here’s more information.

Plastic straws are for sale to support Trump reelection campaign.  Everyone knows that plastic straws are bad for the environment but the current president’s reelection campaign doesn’t care.  Thanks to all the folks who have given up using plastic straws.



Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

The Challenges of Being Peace

Blog by Associate Mary Beth Auletto

“After what happened last election I was mad at myself for being complacent.  Now it’s hard to watch the news – I get mad at everyone else.” 

This seems to be a common admission among many of my friends and colleagues.  And so many of them right now are choosing to steer clear of the news and politics.  Others are limiting their news to keep the negative emotions and anxiety in check.  I personally find what most pushes my buttons is when someone predicts our current leader will get re-elected for four more years; I frequently retort, “Don’t steal my hope!”

So what to do as our next election approaches: Wear t-shirts with our candidate and boldly pronounce that we want to share with anyone who will listen why they should vote for this person?  Keep politics out of conversations with family and coworkers?  Unfriend Facebook friends who post views that disappoint and anger us?

Maybe…but what if we could learn to have peaceful and respectful conversations with those with whom we disagree?  There is a technique called CLARA that was developed to do just that.  CLARA as defined by the Pace Bene Organization as an acronym meaning Center, Learn, Articulate, Receive, Accomplish; they describe it as “a process for nonviolent transformation in our lives and our world”.  CLARA is part of the Peace and Nonviolence Committee’s upcoming “Blessed are the Peacemakers” workshop October 27th.  I look forward to this opportunity and hope you too will consider attending.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

Dominican Sister of Peace Mary Agnes Sullivan

           Sister of Peace
       Mary Agnes Sullivan

Dominican Sister of Peace Mary Agnes Sullivan (Perpetua Marie) (94) died at Sansbury Care Center in St. Catharine, KY, on June 21, 2019. Born in Atlanta, GA, in 1924, to Mary Elizabeth Steph and Leo Aloysius, Sr. Mary Agnes was one of six children and loved her siblings and extended family very deeply.

Sr. Mary Agnes entered religious life in 1945 in St. Catharine, KY. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science, Philosophy and English from Siena College in 1951. This broad-ranging education informed her early ministry as a teacher in New York, Nebraska, Tennessee and Kentucky.

She earned a Master of Science in Library Science from Spaulding University in Louisville, KY, in 1957, and this helped to open a new world of ministry and travel opportunity for Sr. Mary Agnes. She served as a school librarian and teacher in Nebraska, Tennessee and Kentucky before beginning work as a public, school and college librarian in Memphis. She returned to St. Catharine in 1971 to serve as the Librarian for St. Catharine College, then had the opportunity to serve on the World Campus Afloat. She served on the National Executive Board of the Catholic Library Association and held offices in various national, regional and state associations as well.

While ministering as a Pastoral Assistant in Chicago, Sr. Mary Agnes earned her Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University. She served as a Pastoral Assistant and Director of Religious Education in parishes in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Sr. Mary Agnes’ talent for research and organization continued to serve her ministry as she worked as a librarian at the University of Louisville and as researcher and archivist for Washington County, KY.

Sr. Mary Agnes also served her congregation as a driver for the Sisters at Sansbury Infirmary and the St. Catharine Motherhouse. She ministered in community service and hospitality at the Kentucky Motherhouse as well before entering her final ministry of prayer and presence in 2016.

In her autobiography, Sr. Mary Agnes described her religious life as “one of spinning, weaving and threading patterns of my life with other lives.” Her friend and eulogist, Sr. Suzanne Brauer, spoke of how she loved the company of her family, her many friends, and her community, all part of the rich and beautiful pattern that was Sr. Mary Agnes Sullivan’s life.

Sister Mary Agnes Sullivan was preceded in death by her parents and her five siblings. She is survived by two sisters-in-law, Mercedes Sullivan and Dottie Sullivan, and several nieces and nephews.

A Vigil of Remembrance was held on Thursday, July 4, at the Sansbury Care Center Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial was held on Friday, July 5, at Sansbury Care Center Chapel.  Sister Mary Agnes was interred at the St. Catharine Motherhouse cemetery.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Mary Agnes’ memory may be sent to Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr., Columbus, OH 43219-2098, or by donating online.

For a printable copy of this memorial, please click here.


Posted in Obituaries

Keep Calm and Stay Focused

Blog by Associate Colette Parker

What in the world is going on in our country? – children being separated from their parents at the southern border and placed in cages; people trying to “normalize” white supremacy and the belief that America belongs to white people; immigration hardliners comparing immigrants to rats and suggesting those seeking asylum can instead “go home”; politicians stoking racism, xenophobia, and fear; human trafficking is an epidemic; gun violence is at a level not seen in decades; the impacts of climate change are everywhere, the prison-industrial complex is big business, etc.

As I work to navigate what seems like never-ending chaos, I am reminded of a tweet from the Rev. James Martin, S.J.:

What Jesus never said: “Feed the hungry only if they have papers.” “Clothe the naked only if they’re from your country.” “Welcome the stranger only if there’s zero risk.” “Help the poor only if it’s convenient.” “Love your neighbor only if they look like you.”

His words implore me – as a Christian, as an Associate of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, as a human being — to stick with Jesus and to not to be drawn into the discord.

Jesus calls us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, care for the sick, visit those who are in prison, help the poor, and love our neighbor.

I will continue to sow seeds of love, compassion, hope, harmony, calm and peace amid storms of fear, hatred, dishonesty, and injustice.

How about you?

Posted in Associate Blog, News

Butterflies and what they can Teach us about the Stages of Discernment

Blog by Sr. Beata Tiboldi

Recently, I visited the Butterfly Garden in the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, Ohio. Between March and September, each day a specialist releases a variety of butterflies. This summer, I have enjoyed three different presentations there. However, there was something else I observed. Visitors in the butterfly garden kept chasing butterflies with their phones/cameras to capture images. I was smiling, because I could resonate with that feeling. I did that, too, during my first trip to the conservatory. Nowadays, I just wait, knowing that in each few seconds a butterfly would fly nearby, and I could just take a snapshot then or simply savor the moment.

The butterflies, these gentle creatures, can teach us a lot about ourselves, and about how to live out our mission that is lifegiving to others.

There are times when we chase butterflies: trying to chase an ideal that we cannot catch. At the beginning of my discernment, I wanted to deepen my relationship with God. I started to participate in more prayer opportunities, such as a prayer group at our school, Theology on Tap, Lectio Divina, centering prayer, and a small faith group. However, I felt like a headless chicken trying to go from one group to another. Needless to say, it never felt enough. If I had just savored and deeply entered into only a few of those prayer experiences instead of just trying to go to all of them, I believe I would have had a deeper outcome.

Then, there is a time when we get butterflies in our stomach, which simply indicates that we anticipate something with some anxiety. Whether it’s making a big step in discernment, whether it’s contacting a vocation director, whether it’s asking for an application, etc. And that’s totally ok, because in vowed religious life, there are many moments when we are called to dare to be bold and dare to do something bold as we meet the needs of our times.

Caterpillars transform into butterflies. One way to think of that is that the caterpillar was maturing into its mission. Just like caterpillars go through a major transformation to become pollinators, we, Dominicans, study with a purpose: for the sake of the mission. Butterflies have an important role in helping the ecosystems by pollinating flowers. If you feel like you are like a caterpillar, what can help you mature into your mission?

Butterflies face many challenges due to climate change, pollution, and the destruction of fields, yet, they continue their life-giving mission of pollinating flowers. There are so many needs in the world. As Dominicans, we are called to tap into the uneasiness of our world, and bring the Good News joyfully, especially to places that are more in need.

When analyzing dreams, dreaming about a butterfly that goes from one flower to another means, that one will hear good news. What if you are the one who is called to bring good news to others?

If you think you are chasing butterflies,

– slow down and God will lead you where you are meant to be.


If you think you have butterflies in your stomach,

– dare to be bold.


If you feel like a caterpillar,

– persevere in faith, and pray where/for what God is calling you.


If you feel like you are stuck ‘in a cocoon’,

– get out of your ‘cocoon’ and explore God’s call.


If you think you are a joyful butterfly, when your actions are lifegiving to others,

– continue to bring joy to others and inspire others.


If you would like to talk to a sister,

– contact us at vocations@oppeace.org

Posted in God Calling?, News