Dominican Sister of Peace Amata Dawson

Dominican Sister of Peace Sr. Amata Dawson

Dominican Sister of Peace Amata Dawson (Marie Anna Ida) (96) died at the Mohun Health Care Center in Columbus, OH, on December 16, 2019.

The only daughter of Carolina Reed and Henry Dawson, Sr. Amata was born in Philadelphia, PA. She worked as a billing clerk before entering the Congregation in 1948, and was faithful to her calling to God and God’s people for more than 68 years.

Sr. Amata earned a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics from Marywood College in Scranton, PA. She earned certificates in Spiritual Direction from the Shalem Institute in Washington, DC; Theology from Temple University in Philadelphia, and a Master of Arts in Religious Education from Providence College. She also studied at the University of Montreal.

Sr. Amata was devoted to her long and varied ministry throughout her religious life. She served her Community at Congregational retreat houses in New Mexico, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Mexico. She was  named Local Superior of the Media, PA, Motherhouse, served as Vocation Director and Candidate Director, and was elected President from 1972 to 1978 and 1986 to 1990.

Sr. Amata was also part of the Dominican Sisters Urban Activity in Washington, where she helped learners earn their GED and acted as a substitute teacher in the public school system. She continued her work with young people serving in campus ministry at the University of New Mexico.

Sr. Amata was always open to wherever the Holy Spirit would take her. She found centering prayer to be a deeply contemplative and fulfilling experience, and often prayed with her arms raised and hands open as though waiting for the blessings of God to come to her. Even when she lost the power of speech, Sr. Amata continued to preach peace through her loving ways and kind smiles.

She was preceded in death by her parents Henry Dawson and Caroline Reid Dawson, and a brother, Edward Dawson.

A Vigil of Remembrance Service was held at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse Chapel, Columbus, Ohio on December 19, 2019. The funeral liturgy will be held at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse Chapel on December 19. Burial will take place at a later date in Cheltenham, PA.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Amata’s memory may be sent to:

Dominican Sisters of Peace
Office of Mission Advancement
2320 Airport Dr. Columbus
OH 43219

or submitted securely on the Congregation’s website.

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


Posted in Obituaries

Dominican Sister of Peace Margaret Walsh

Dominican Sister of Peace Sr. Margaret Walsh

Dominican Sister of Peace Margaret (Sr. Justina) Walsh (93) died on at the Mohun Health Care Center in Columbus, OH, on Sunday, December 15, 2019. Born in Peekskill, NY, to Mary Butler and Patrick Walsh, Sr. Margaret took a round-about route to religious life. She studied business at Columbia University, and eventually became the President and General Manager of a successful plumbing and heating business.

God had other plans for Margaret Walsh, however, and at the age of forty, she entered the Congregation, completing her formation with many women half her age. She took this situation in stride, as was her way, and made her final profession in 1971.

Sr. Margaret earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business from Ohio Dominican University in 1970, and her Masters of Business Administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati in 1980.

First Corinthians tells us that we are all given certain gifts to serve the Church, and Sr. Margaret certainly made use of hers. She used her experience as a businesswoman and her education to benefit both the Congregation and our ministries. She served as Director of Development and as Treasurer for the Congregation. She also served as Treasurer and Business Manager for Albertus Magnus College in Connecticut, and as the Director of Purchasing and Office Services for Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, OH. She began her final ministry of prayer and presence at the Mohun Health Care Center in 2015.

Sr. Margaret was not just a businesswoman – she was deeply spiritual and loved her friends and family. She enjoyed living in Community and taking part in its activities, loved reading, and had a wry sense of humor.

Sr. Margaret was also a gifted story-teller and entertained her Sisters at Mohun with tales from her ministries.

Sr. Margaret was preceded in death by her parents, Patrick and Mary Butler Walsh, and her brothers, Patrick, Thomas, Martin, William, John and James, and her sister Mary Jane Wietsma.  She is survived by her sister, Helen Walsh and many nieces and nephews.

A Vigil of Remembrance was held at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse Chapel on December 20, 2019. The funeral liturgy was held at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse Chapel on Saturday, December 21, 2019, followed by burial at St. Joseph Cemetery.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Margaret’s memory may be sent to:

Dominican Sisters of Peace
Office of Mission Advancement
2320 Airport Dr.
Columbus, OH 43219
or submitted securely at the Congregation’s website. 

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

Posted in Obituaries

The Dominican Sisters of Peace Speak Out for Peace in Iran

Peace must Prevail

Statement on United States Engagement with Iran

The Dominican Sisters of Peace and the U.S. Dominican Iraq Coordinating Committee call upon the
United States Government to de-escalate tensions with Iran

In the midst of the sacred days of the Christmas-Epiphany season, our hearts and minds have contemplated the promised hope of God’s coming peace. Yet, during these days, we have also grown increasingly aware of the escalating tensions between the United States and Iran. President Trump’s decision to order the assassination of Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani has prompted significant threats of retaliation by the Iranian leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. President Trump has responded with additional threats on Iranian targets and has begun increased troop deployments to Iraq.

For over four decades, the United States has been embroiled in wars throughout the Middle East. While these wars have not advanced a lasting peace, they have destroyed millions of lives, decimated societies, and created a refugee crisis of unimaginable proportions. The consequences of warfare are wide-ranging and disproportionately suffered by those who bear no responsibility for the violence.

In his recent World Day of Peace message, Pope Francis writes, “Every threatening situation feeds mistrust and leads people to withdraw into their own safety zone. Mistrust and fear weaken relationships and increase the risk of violence, creating a vicious circle that can never lead to a relationship of peace.”

God’s gift of universal love, mercy, and reconciliation, illuminated once more during this Christmas-Epiphany season, compels us to call our US Government leaders and the leadership of the Iranian people, to forgo their violent rhetoric and preparations for retaliatory attacks. It is critical that the circle of violence be broken, and alternative and peaceful pathways to resolving the conflict be found. We call upon world leaders to intercede in this conflict and assist Iran and the U.S. in resolving this conflict nonviolently.

With Pope Francis we, members of the Dominican Family in the United States, pray that “Mary, Mother of the Prince of Peace and Mother of all the peoples of the earth, accompany and sustain us at every step of our journey of reconciliation.”

(Quotes from Pope Francis’ 2020 World Day of Peace Message)

January 5, 2020, The Feast of the Ephipany

Marcelline Koch, OP & Brendan Curran, OP For the Iraq Coordinating Committee

Posted in News

Justice Updates – January 7, 2020

Please call your Senators and Representative and urge them to use the power that is rightfully theirs to stop the president’s march to war with Iran. Ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 2354 or S. 1039, that would ensure that President Trump cannot take military action against Iran without congressional authorization – except in response to an attack on America or its armed forces. Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your members of Congress. Tell them that now is the time to exercise real courage and choose diplomacy over violence and peace over war.

What’s happening in Iraq? “Ominous developments, attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq, U.S. retaliation and turmoil at the U.S. embassy, could drag Iraq deeper into the U.S.-Iranian confrontation. Urgent steps are needed to break this predictable but perilous cycle.”  Read Rescuing Iraq from the Iran-U.S. Crossfire.

Call your senator!  The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act has stalled in the Senate because the house version “closed the infamous “boyfriend loophole,” which excludes people convicted of stalking or abusing a non-spouse partner from the scope of laws that limit an abuser’s ability to obtain firearms. (Existing law covers a narrower set of relationships, such as those in which the abuser lived with or had a child with the victim.) Addressing this gap in the law has long been a priority for activists. Why?  Nearly half of women homicide victims in the United States are killed by current or former male partners, according to a 2017 study, and the Giffords Law Center says domestic-violence victims are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if their abuser can obtain a gun.” Here’s more.

What climate changes are happening around the world? Washington Post journalists and photographers traveled around the world to see. Their series  2°C: BEYOND THE LIMIT describes a growing crisis. “Aaliyah Kasaiuli slept in on the last morning in her home, almost everything packed for the move. It was time to finally abandon this house, and later, this Yup’ik village clinging to the edge of North America, near the Bering Sea. It was one of 14 places that a team of Washington Post journalists traveled to in the past year to see the accelerating reality of climate change. What moved them were the people they met, their homes and lives transformed. Their work has led to a continuing series — 2C: Beyond the Limit. Four Post photographers share their stories in this visual atlas of a growing crisis.”

This administration has been climate deniers from the beginning and worked actively to roll back laws that would reduce pollution and improve climate damage. How do we justify destroying our beautiful world?

Some hopeful news about the Death Penalty in Ohio.  Governor Mike DeWine has stopped executions in Ohio stating that he does not believe the death penalty is an effective tool to keep communities safe.  In a recent news conference is said “What keeps us safer is locking up repeat violence offenders and throwing away the key…there are a lot of things we do, and a lot of things that we can do, that are more important as far as safety than the capital punishment debate.”  Take a minute to write to Governor DeWine to thank him and also encourage him to work with the Ohio Legislature to propose legislation to abolish the death penalty.  Speaker of the Ohio House Larry Householder has made statements expressing his decline in support for the practice. Write to him urging legislation to abolish the death penalty.

What would happen if women were running the country?  In an interview on Singapore’s Today, President Barack Obama suggests that if women were put in charge of every country for the next two years, the result would be gains “on just about everything.”

Listening can make a huge difference in building peace. What do your listening skills look like? “Good listening is not a matter of technique but of having the willingness to enter into another person’s life. Many bad listeners can’t be there for someone else because they are too locked into themselves. For them, everything has to be filtered through their own experience and concerns.” Read more.

If you want to use the Blessed are the Peacemakers resources for an associate group or study group, here are the materials and the video.

What’s happening to our family in Iraq?  This article No Christmas Tinsel in Iraq in Solidarity with Protesters features Cardinal Louis Sako and notes that leaders of Iraq’s Christians unanimously cancelled Christmas-related celebrations in solidarity with the protest movement.

In a letter dated December 13, our sisters wrote:

The situation in Baghdad is not good. It is entering the 54th day today of demonstration. The intent was to have a very peaceful demonstration but sadly many of these demonstrators have been killed. The government is not doing anything or changing their polices. Young men and women are determined that they will not end the demonstration until they get what they want— “a county”.  Our school in Baghdad had been closed for a month; now it reopened, but still students are not attending. They prefer to go to demonstrations. The north part of the country (Nineveh plain and Kurdistan) has not been affected by all this. What you read about Cardinal Sako plan is true, the church’s Christmas celebrations will be very limited in all the country this year in solidarity with our young people in the middle and southern part of the country and in solidarity with families who lost their beloved ones in the past months. Please keep this country in your prayers. If you can share the news you see on the web about Iraq with other people will be very helpful. The world is not reacting to what our young people are doing. They left their homes and have been demonstrating because they want a free Iraq— they want a country.

In a recent visit to Thailand, Pope Francis “appealed for greater international commitment to protect women and children “who are violated and exposed to every form of exploitation, enslavement, violence, and abuse.” To read the full story by Nicole Winfield on The Independent: Click Here

Many families in poverty experience food deserts, the lack of affordable grocery stores within reach. Online grocery delivery services might be the answer. See how here.

And now some good news… sort of. An analysis from the Gifford Law Center shows that states have enacted 137 measures to restrict gun access and reduce gun violence since the Parkland, Florida shooting.   There is still a long way to go.






Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

How to Make the World a Better Place

Blog by Sr. Barbara Kane, OP

Happy New Year! Many of you read yesterday that I am stepping down as the Justice Promoter in a few weeks.  It has been an honor to educate and engage you on our justice issues.  As I look into the coming year and decade, I reflected on how the world could be a little better and here is my list of things how this could happen.  For more information about what is happening in some of these areas, check out the Justice Updates.

  1. The senate would reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. Nearly half of women homicide victims in the U.S. are killed by current or former male partners.
  2. The Federal Death Penalty and State Death Penalties in Ohio, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana would be abolished.
  3. We would elect more women and persons of color. In a recent interview, President Barack Obama stated, “There would be less war, kids would be better taken care of and there would be a general improvement in living standards and outcomes.” Would that be so!
  4. The government would stop rolling back laws that reduce pollution and improve climate damage and we would all use less energy.
  5. We would improve our listening skills by making an effort to really listen to someone we disagree with.
  6. We would recognize our participation in human trafficking and stop buying items or services provided by slaves.
  7. Our government would use diplomatic and foreign aid to improve the conditions in countries where many asylum seekers come from so they can remain in their countries and raise their children in peace.
  8. More states would enact common sense gun safety legislation.
  9. We would all respect the dignity of life from conception to natural death.
  10. Everyone would be counted!

Richard Rohr urges us to have an incarnational worldview, that is a “profound recognition of the presence of the divine in literally “every thing” and “every one.”” If each of us can adopt this worldview during this year and beyond, we will see the importance of valuing the immigrant and the citizen, the unborn and the born, the earth and her creatures. Consider taking one of the issues above and educating yourself about it and working for its implantation. Then we all will live in a better world.


Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog