WHAT WILL BE DIFFERENT THIS YEAR?

Blog by Associate Colette Parker

We are less than a week into the New Year and I’m wondering how many people have already failed to keep their resolutions?

I boarded that train of thought last week, after reading a tweet from the Rev. Bernice King (youngest child of civil rights leaders Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King):

Don’t make New Year’s resolutions.
Determine what kind of everyday human you want to be. And decide if that human will be for goodness, justice, peace, and love.
And envision if that human has dreams that will lift humanity.
Then the moments, years, and minutes will matter.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against making New Year’s resolutions. In fact, I am all for anything that causes us to pause and reflect on the steps we can take to better ourselves.

Studies, however, show that about a third of resolutions do not make it past the first month. Some research indicates that one factor contributing to this failure is that, on average, it takes approximately 66 days to kick a bad habit or adopt a good one. Another factor cited is that New Year’s resolutions tend to focus on substantial changes down the road – like quitting smoking, losing weight, saving more money, getting organized, finding love, getting and staying healthy, etc. — rather than on small changes in the here and now.

I think I like Bernice King’s idea of determining what kind of everyday human you want be because it forces us to deal with the present and focus on our intentions (while New Year’s resolutions are typically about a future goal). Her suggestion obligates us to engage in mindfulness – to pay attention to our inner thoughts and feelings, to become grounded in our purpose, and to make a choice about our daily intentions.

Like I said before, there is absolutely nothing wrong with establishing future goals (through New Year’s resolutions). But if we combine goals with intention, we can find balance between future and present and – perhaps more importantly – between heart and mind (goals tend to be a product of the mind and intentions tend to come from the heart).

As we are drawn by the promise of a fresh start this year, why not embrace both mind-based goals and heart-centered intentions?

Posted in Associate Blog, News

Dominican Sister of Peace Ann Davette Moran

Dominican Sister of Peace Sr. Ann Davette Moran

Dominican Sister of Peace Ann Davette Moran (Marilyn Rose) (88) died on December 11, 2019, at Sansbury Care Center.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Sr. Ann Davette was one of the five children of Betty Condron and Edward Moran. She considered a religious vocation during high school, but decided to “enjoy a normal life in the world,” and took a job working for an insurance company. But God’s call was insistent, and she entered the Congregation in 1950.

Sr. Ann Davette earned her Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences, Education and History from Siena College in Memphis, TN, and her Master of Arts in Education, Guidance, and Counseling from Loras College in Dubuque, IA

Sr. Ann Davette’s educational ministry spanned more than four decades, as she served a teacher in Illinois, New York, and Nebraska; as a teacher/superior in Illinois, and as a teacher and part-time guidance counselor in New York. She also worked in the Diocesan drug prevention program at St. Vincent Ferrer.

Sr. Ann Davette’s ministry took up a “second act” when, in 1983, she became the head residence counselor at Boys Hope, a residential home for boys from troubled homes in Staten Island, NY. She found this to be a fulfilling and life-giving ministry.

She also served as a grief counselor at Resurrection Parish in Brooklyn before entering a ministry of visitation to the Holy Family Nursing Home. She began her final ministry of prayer and presence at the Sansbury Care Center in 2010.

In her remembrance at Sr. Ann Davette’s funeral, Sr. Terry Wasinger remembered Sister as a woman who always had a smile on her face, and who loved to tell stories of her life as a young woman in New York City.

On the last day of her life, she mentioned to Sisters and aides that she had seen angels dancing around her all day. Her Community is happy to know that she was dancing in heaven on her birthday, December 16.

Sr. Ann Davette is survived by one sister, Eileen Casserly, sister-in-law Margaret Moran and several nieces and nephews.

A Vigil of Remembrance was held on December 18 at the Sansbury Care Center Chapel.  The funeral liturgy was held on December 19 at Sansbury Care Center Chapel, and Sr. Ann Davette was interred at the St. Catharine Motherhouse cemetery.

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

Dominican Sisters of Peace
Office of Mission Advancement
2320 Airport Dr.
Columbus, OH 43219-2098

Or made securely on the Congregation’s website. 

To download a printable copy of Sr. Ann Davette’s memorial, please click here.

Posted in Obituaries

Entertaining Angels and Radical Hospitality

Blog by Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP

As a Sister, I have often had the opportunity to show, receive, and witness radical hospitality, such as that spoken of in this quote from the Letter to the Hebrews:

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers,
for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.

(Hebrews 13:2)

Here are four examples of such radical hospitality that illustrate to me that we never know when we might be entertaining angels among us:

  • Many years ago, I had the opportunity to help some people injured in an automobile accident. After the ambulances left the scene, my friends and I realized we were covered in dirt and blood.  We needed to get cleaned up before we continued our journey for the day.  A woman, who lived close to the accident scene, saw us and invited us to come into her house to get cleaned up.  Before we departed from her home, she gave us something to eat and drink, and sent us on our way with her blessing and a hug.
  • My friend, Sr. Genie Natividad, MM is ministering in El Paso, Texas with people seeking refuge in our country. Here is her reflection on the hospitality sought, given and received each day in this place.

”On Christmas Eve, a Posada was held followed by Mass at the Casa del Refugiado. The children of those who crossed the border arrived at the Casa and reenacted Mary and Joseph searching for a place to stay before the birth of Jesus. Of course, there were shepherds, sheep and angels as part of the play. Before the final blessing of Mass, the lights were turned off.  Then, the children went around lighting the candles of those around them.  This symbolizes the Light of Christ that we are called to share even in our darkest of nights. It becomes Holy Night. Together, we sang Silent Night in Portuguese, English, and Spanish.

The Posada that I witnessed ‪that evening mirrors the heartbreaking struggle that the migrants face when they cross the border and are seeking welcome and asylum here in the U.S.

Images of the many (tired, hungry and shivering from the cold) children, women and men arriving at Casa del Refugiado these past eight days are very much in my thoughts and in my heart. I assisted two women yesterday at the Roperia with little children whose husbands have been separated from them. One was in tears as she came to look for a change of clothes for her two-year old daughter and herself. The other woman, with a little boy, said she was hopeful that her husband will be reunited with them soon.”

  • Last week, I had the opportunity to see the Musical Theatre production of “Come From Away.” It is based on the stories of the 6,500 people who had to land in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada on 9/11 when the United States closed their airspace after the terrorist attacks.  These “Come From Aways” (a term used in Newfoundland for someone who has moved to the area from somewhere else) were received by the generous people of the area who fed, housed, and cared for them for five days until they were able to continue their journeys.  The lives of all were changed as a result of giving and receiving radical hospitality.
  • This week, several discerning women are joining us for a Mission Immersion program in New Orleans, Louisiana. We will practice and receive radical hospitality as we stay in one of our local convents, serve women and children at Hotel Hope (a shelter for families experiencing homelessness), and as we build houses with the St. Bernard’s Project.

As you look back on the year 2019, I invite you to reflect on those times when you have entertained and have been entertained by angels.  Where is God calling you to practice radical hospitality today and in this New Year?

If you feel God calling you to practice that radical hospitality in community, we invite you to contact one of our vocation ministers to begin a conversation about whether you might be called to serve God as a religious sister.

Posted in God Calling?, News