A few months ago I attended the Midwest Mission Group meeting. A video was shared of Sr. Pat Murray addressing the LCWR in a speech titled “Imagining Leadership in a Global Community.” One of the themes of the speech resonated deeply with me as the ministry leader of Mohun Health Care Center. The theme was “to celebrate our luxurious diversity.”
As we took time at our table to ponder our “luxurious diversity” I heard sisters question if they were doing enough to encourage and promote diversity. The conversation went on for a few minutes as sisters asked the tough questions of themselves and the congregation. I was surprised to hear such a contrast of how I, as a woman of color, viewed the inclusion of the congregation versus the members who were wondering if they were doing enough.
I shared with the table how lucky I felt to be working at Mohun and what a rich representation of diversity DSOP created in Mohun Health Care Center. Employees of Mohun hail from Ghana, Barbados, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Haiti, Eritrea, Nigeria, Liberia, China, United Kingdom, the United States and many other countries.
Many of our employees join Mohun as their first job in the United States and we view our responsibility as welcoming them into the US and the ministry of the DSOP. We have an opportunity to learn as our staff openly shares their culture with us and one another. This goes beyond the usual “diversity day” sharing of food and clothing customs.
Our staff graciously shares with us and the residents their backgrounds, cultural norms and history of government from their country of origin. They share celebratory customs and alert us to tragedies that we may not even be aware of in our part of the world. In turn, we share cultural norms and expectations and our gratitude in working with us in this ministry. We appreciate the care they provide so selflessly. The giving and sharing of culture is unlike anything that I have ever experienced. This environment was created by the DSOP since Mohun’s inception and we are the beneficiaries, it is a blessing.
This openness and celebration of our “luxurious diversity” has created a special time and spirit at Mohun. Over the last two years, ten Mohun employees have chosen to become Associates of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. There is truly something unique that happens when people of different backgrounds come together for one common goal in mission.