Today, I met a man cleaning the street

Blog by Sr. Anne Lythgoe, OP

Today, I met a man cleaning the street, while on my way over the office, where all of our non-essential staff is working from home. Our Leadership Team continues to work in our offices, meeting to continue our role in preparing and planning, looking out for our sisters, and learning with everyone else, about this pandemic that is changing the way we are in the whole wide world.  A virus six times more contagious than ordinary flu.

Yes, on my way over to the office, I met a man who was picking up the trash that always accumulates along Airport Drive. I just don’t get why people think it’s okay to toss bottles and paper and trash out their car window. But they do and every day I walk home from work stepping over litter.  And someone cleans it up every few days.   I finally found out who.  The man was from Davey Tree Company – they have a contract with us to cut the grass at our properties. I didn’t realize they keep our lawns litter free as well.

I said hello to the man picking up the trash, who said he usually works on another site, but that was closed down with this pandemic, and so he was keeping busy, working as he could. A small and thankless job, picking up trash. It made me aware of all the ways people are pitching in during this most unusual time. We see on the news:  people helping with school lunches for kids, deep cleaning public transit, people watching out for each other, citizens in Italy singing to each other on balconies.

Not to mention at all the health care workers, doctors, nurses, aides and helpers who are putting their lives on the line, managing the biggest health crisis in one hundred years.

Our own employees are being so creative in working from home, our essential staff members are managing to be sure our sisters are safe, cared for and fed. Generous, compassionate people who rise to the challenge of unusual times. This is what it means to be human. This is what we are made for.

The man I met today was polite, friendly and cheerful. He did not complain or whine about the present state of his circumstances.  He did not blame anyone or speak of being afraid.

This pandemic, horrible as it is and as concerning as it is, offers us a way to see each other, not as people hoarding hand sanitizer or toilet paper, but as human beings who care for each other and for the stranger.  It is a moment when political leaders can truly lead and set into motion actions that safeguard our citizens. It could be a moment of global transformation.

I am reminded that the Golden Rule can be found in virtually every spiritual tradition on the planet: “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.” (Matthew 7:12)The golden rule is an ethic of reciprocity, a moral code that is basic to all human experience.  And since the times we are living in call for acts not only of kindness but of heroism, I hope that we can all be like the man cleaning the street today. Doing our part to keep faith, to keep calm and be at peace.  Looking out for someone else, even to pick up the trash, could save us all.

 

Posted in Weekly Word

Dominican Sister of Peace Rosalyn Seda

Dominican Sister of Peace Rosalyn Seda

Dominican Sister of Peace Rosalyn (Mildred) Seda (96), died on March 1, 2020, at the Lourdes Senior Community in Waterford Township, MI.

Sister Rosalyn was born to Marie Ovesny and Frank Seda in Carnegie, PA, in 1923. After her father’s death and her mother’s remarriage, the family moved to Michigan, where young Mildred first came to know our Sisters.  Sr. Rosalyn entered the Congregation in 1939, and served her community and the people of God for nearly 80 years.

Sister Rosalyn began her ministry by preparing meals and performing domestic tasks in convents in Illinois, Michigan and Pennsylvania. She enjoyed baking and preparing special desserts because her “aim was to make people happy and see them enjoy their meals.”

In 1961, Sister Rosalyn was sent to cook at Menscola Convalescent Home in Pontiac, MI. When our Oxford, MI, Sisters opened the Lourdes Nursing Home in 1965, Sister Rosalyn accompanied those residents to their new home and was given the task of managing the Dietary Department as the Food Service Director.

In her zeal to serve the residents of Lourdes, Sister Rosalyn took courses in Food Service Supervision and earned certification as a member of the Hospital Institution and Education of Managers Association. She ministered in the Food Service Department at Lourdes for twenty-three years before becoming a care-giver at Saint Jude Foster Home in Detroit, MI. She continued to volunteer at Saint Jude’s until she entered a ministry of prayer and service at the Oxford, MI, Motherhouse.

Sr. Rosalyn entered her final ministry of prayer and presence at the Lourdes Senior Community in 2019.

According to her personal annals, one of Sr. Rosalyn’s great joys was attending weekly Scripture Study sessions so that she could explore God’s word with others. She never lost her desire to get to know Jesus better.

Visitation and the Mass of Christian Burial were held on March 6 at the Lourdes Chapel of the Lourdes Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, in Waterford, MI. Sr. Rosalyn will be interred at Our Lady of Sorrows Cemetery in Oxford, MI, at a later date.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Rosalyn’s memory may be sent to Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr., Columbus, OH 43219-2098.

To donate in Sr. Rosalyn’s memory, please click here.

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

Posted in Obituaries

The Struggle Continues

Blog by Sister Judy Morris, OP

As we observe Women’s History Month, we celebrate resiliency, determination, courage, and success, always mixed with struggle. As women met in Seneca Falls, NY, in 1848 to plan the “what next” that was needed to achieve the right to vote, they knew the struggle would require a long-term commitment and a willingness to withstand verbal and physical violence.  They would be pelted with tomatoes by men and women, imprisoned and subjected to verbal abuse every step of the way.

The year 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote. We celebrate the model of courage that this achievement represents, and the continued progress towards equality, including the rights to serve on juries, own property, receive credit in their names, and work in law firms.

Today, one of the greatest and most important challenges that women face is achieving the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act. The Violence Against Women Act was originally approved and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994. It expired in February 2019, and the 2019 Violence Against Women Act was passed by the House of Representatives in April 2019.  The bill has been stalled in the Senate since then, due to opposition by the NRA.

In 2019 bill includes a provision to restrict partners – spouses and boyfriends – who have been convicted of stalking or abuse from accessing firearms. The bill also expands protections for Native American women, immigrant women and transgender women.  This bill can save lives!

Representative Katie Porter of California recalled her experience of dealing with domestic violence.  She testified that the first time she called police after being beaten, the officer who arrested her told her that if she called again, her children would be taken away from her. In December 2019, a Texas police officer was shot and killed by a man who would have been denied a firearm under the Violence Against Women Act. More than 5,000 Alaska Native and Native American women have been kidnapped and/or murdered – all would have been protected by the Violence Against Women Act.

Before we pop the cork on a bottle of champagne to celebrate the centennial of our right to vote, we are challenged to stand with women suffering from violent abuse from a partner.  Like our foremothers, we are in the struggle for the long haul for the rights and protections of our sisters.

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

What’s the Plan?

Blog by Associate Carol Lemelin, OPA

In Jessamyn West’s Friendly Persuasion, Quaker farmer Jess Birdwell wonders — as he takes flowers to a funeral for an orphaned boy who had been beaten to death by his foster father — if this simple gesture is the whole reason he was born?  And, in doing so, has he fulfilled God’s plan for him?

That passage has stuck with me for years.  After all, how do we really know what God’s plan for each of us is? What makes us think there is one?

Oh, we can string events together and build a broad outline, but no one can guess what the truth is.

Wise parent that He is, God has given us all the tools and guidelines it takes to follow and then sets us free.   But it seems too scary out there on that limb all alone!

One of Jesus’ goals was to convince people that God is ever present and no one is actually alone. With Jesus as our companion, things become clearer – not less scary maybe – but clearer.

All the great adjectives, phrases and descriptions of good, honest, loving people apply to Jesus.  He was compassionate and tolerant, but he was not a fool as the moneychangers in the Temple discovered.

He drew people to him because he smiled and looked right at them, acknowledging their existence, which didn’t happen often to the poor. Still doesn’t, by the way. He went wherever he wanted and fit in wherever that was — because he was absolutely sure the love of the Father was with him.

We have both the love of the Father and the companionship of the Son.  We can’t worry about what will define our purpose; we must live our lives in Christ, making every encounter count for something. We have to learn to forgive ourselves when we mess up and trust in the loving grace of God to strengthen us to persevere.

Posted in Associate Blog, News

Please Call Ahead Before Visiting Our Facilities

Many of our Motherhouses and Care Facilities have restricted visitation due to the current outbreak of COVID-19. We appreciate your understanding as we protect our sisters.

Akron Motherhouse – Phone: (330) 836-4908

Columbus Motherhouse – Phone: (614) 416-1092

Great Bend Motherhouse – Phone: (620) 792-1232

Oxford Motherhouse – Phone: (248) 628-2872, x 222

St. Catharine, KY, Motherhouse – Phone: (859) 336-9303

Rosary Manor – Phone: (617) 924-1717

Lourdes Senior Community – Phone: (248) 674-2241

Mohun Health Care Center – Phone: (614) 416-6132

Regina Health Center – Phone: (330) 659-4161

Sansbury Care Center – Phone: (859) 336-3974

Posted in News