From a Bible to an Album: Mission Continues

Blog by Sr. Mai Dung Nguyen

Last week, while searching for one of my resource books on the Bible, I found an album that I created in 2008 after my involvement in the congregation’s “Ministry of Presence” in New Orleans during the Katrina recovery. Even after three years of this hurricane, there was still a much-needed ministry. I was grateful for the opportunity to participate in this ministry with Dominican Sisters in the summer 2008.

As I paged through the album, I still felt strongly the Dominican spirit of preaching, itinerancy, pioneering in these sisters. Among seven Sisters of Peace who participated, one is already united with God, another moved to a health care facility, and the rest are scattered around the country in New Orleans, Akron, Columbus, Wichita, and Great Bend.  My album of pictures for 2008 also reminded me of our January 2020 Mission Immersion experience in New Orleans that I was involved in. During this most recent trip, we shared with the discerners about Katrina and how the Sisters responded to the needs of the people in New Orleans and how they helped to rebuild their lives in the city. Reflecting on these two events, I see the continuity of our ministry and mission extending from the past to the present.

Sometimes, God leads us in a different direction than what we expect. Like me, I did not find the Bible resource that I was searching for. Instead, I found this album. In finding the album, I enjoyed reflecting on our mission work in the past and in the present. I hope that our mission for peace and the pioneering spirit of Dominicans will continue to flourish, not only in the present time, but also into the future. For this to happen, I invite you, sisters, associates, friends, and discerners, to reflect on these questions:

  • How can we pass our charism, our spirit, and mission on to the next generation?
  • How do we inspire each other to be pioneers for a mission of peace?
  • How do we encourage each other to think outside the box so the pioneering and itinerant spirit can grow in us and in future generations?

If you are alive with the desire to further our congregation’s mission of peace, we invite you to help us to promote vocations among young people and let others know what our lives and mission represent.

If you want to explore more about the Dominican Sisters of Peace, please visit our website or contact our vocation team.

Consider attending Come and See retreat March 13-15 in Columbus, Ohio for Catholic single women, ages from 18 to 45 years-old. Come and be peace with us and let God lead you into the future.


Posted in God Calling?, News

Dominican Sister of Peace Mary Conrad Miller

Dominican Sister of Peace Mary Conrad Miller

Dominican Sister of Peace Mary Conrad (Irene Emilia) Miller (91), died on February 22, 2020, at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse in Great Bend, KS.

Sr. Mary Conrad was one of eight children born to Anna Gehlen and Conrad Miller of Willowdale, KS. She was educated by our Sisters and felt called to religious life thanks to their example. She entered the Congregation in 1947 and would have celebrated her 70th Jubilee with us this year.

Sr. Mary Conrad received both her Bachelor’s Degree and her Master of Arts in Education from St. Mary College in Leavenworth, KS. She ministered as an educator, administrator, and tutor for more than 40 years in Colorado and in parishes across Kansas.

Sr. Mary Conrad took great pride in her work in education, saying that she delighted in “experiencing the joy of learning” in her students. Even when she took a sabbatical to care for her mother, Sr. Mary Conrad continued to do what she loved, serving as a part-time teacher and tutor. She never lost her desire to form the minds, hearts, and souls of young people, and was still ministering as a volunteer tutor well into her 80’s before she retired to the Great Bend Motherhouse.

Once there, she continued to follow the news from St. Catherine School. She also volunteered as a Motherhouse resident, offering her experience as a tutor and serving at the annual Great Bend Bazaar.

Sr. Mary Conrad Miller is survived by two of her sisters, Leona Henning of Wichita and Alfreda Youngers Bock of Kingman.

A Vigil of Remembrance was held on February 24 at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse Chapel in Great Bend. The Funeral Mass was held on February 25 at the Motherhouse Chapel, followed by burial at the Sisters’ Resurrection Cemetery.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Mary Conrad’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. Mary Conrad’s memory, please click here.

To view or download a printable copy of Sister Mary Conrad’s memorial, please click here.

Posted in Obituaries

Dominican Sister of Peace Eleanor Tierney

Dominican Sister of Peace Eleanor Tierney

Dominican Sister of Peace Eleanor (Richard Therese) Tierney (85), died on February 21, 2020, at the Sansbury Care Center in St. Catharine, KY.

Born an only child to Florence Buckley and Richard Tierney of Providence, RI, Sr. Eleanor learned to have a loving and accepting heart by embracing her step brother James, with whom she had a close relationship.

She graduated from the Rosary Academy in Watertown before entering the Congregation in 1952. She celebrated 65 years of religious life in 2019.

True to her Dominican charism, Sr. Eleanor had a great love of study. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in History and Sociology from Regis College, her Master of Arts in History from Boston College, her Master of Education in Counseling and Student Personnel from the University of Louisville, and her Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University.

Her first ministry was as a teacher, choir director and bursar for St. Michael School in Lowell, MA. She returned to Kentucky in 1966, serving at St. Catharine Academy as a Teacher and Dorm Prefect, as Dean of Student Affairs and Instructor at St. Catharine College, and as her Congregation’s Regional Coordinator in Louisville, KY.

Sr. Eleanor ministered as a family counselor at the Flaget Spirituality Center in Louisville, KY, for more than 20 years before a minor stroke moved her into retirement at the St. Catharine Motherhouse. She was a true example of the “ministry of presence,” sharing her sense of humor and personality with residents, guests and Sisters alike.

In her address at Sr. Eleanor’s funeral mass, Sr. Catherine Mahady, OP, spoke of her generous heart, which led Sr. Eleanor to take on new ministries in community life, such as mentoring several Vietnamese Sisters and serving as Southern Regional Coordinator.

Sr. Eleanor’s greatest joys were her family; her work as a Pastoral Counselor, and Marriage and Family therapist; and, in her personal life, developing a deep personal relationship with God.

Sr. Eleanor is survived by her step-brother, James Barden, his wife Marian and several nieces and nephews.

A Vigil of Remembrance was held on February 27 at Sansbury Care Center Chapel in St. Catharine, KY. The Funeral Mass was held on February 28 at the Sansbury Care Center Chapel, followed by burial at the St. Catharine Motherhouse cemetery.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Eleanor’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. Eleanor’s memory, please click here.

To view or download a printable copy of Sister Eleanor’s memorial, please click here.

Posted in Obituaries

Extreme Risk Laws Save Lives

Blog by Sister Judy Morris, OP

It was a beautiful, sunny Palm Sunday in Louisville.  Billie Jo and Brad Hettinger attended mass with their two children, five-year-old Collin, and four-year-old Courtney.  Collin was always ready to answer questions when the pastor asked for a response, most recently saying he was sad Jesus died, but happy that he loved him.

After greeting the pastor at the end of mass, the Heddingers drove home.  Soon after returning home, Brad pulled out a gun, walked upstairs, shot, and killed his wife.  He then shot and killed his two children.  After setting fire to the home, he put a gun to his head and took his life.  Families, friends, and parishioners were rocked by this unbelievable tragedy.

Billie Jo, Collin (5) and Courtney (4) were shot by their husband and father, Brad Hettinger, who suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Brad Hettinger suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  After serving in the military as a decorated officer in the Iraq war he knew that he needed to get psychiatric help, but it was too late.

Every Town for Gun Safety continues to work for the adoption of Extreme Risk laws, sometimes referred to as “Red Flag” laws.  These laws empower loved ones or law enforcement to intervene in order to temporarily prevent someone in crisis from purchasing firearms or removing firearms from their possession.  This helps de-escalate emergency situations and is a proven way to intervene before gun violence, such as a murder/suicide or mass shooting.  Current law prohibits the sale of firearms to those convicted of certain crimes, or adjudicated as mentally ill, or involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital.

Currently, there are 17 states and Washington D.C. that have passed Extreme Risk laws.  Every Town for Gun Safety notes that Connecticut has seen a 14% reduction in firearm suicides.  This law is especially important since perpetrators of mass shootings often display warning signs of violence before committing violent acts.

Extreme Violence Risk laws are common-sense efforts to reduce gun violence, mass shootings, and suicides.  Responsible action to curb gun violence has worked in those 17 states that have passed Extreme Violence Risk laws.  Several state legislatures are now considering passing such laws.

Please contact your state representative and call for the passage of this vital Extreme Risk Law.  We can make a difference.

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

Justice Updates – March 3, 2020

Colorado is the 22nd state to *abandon* the death penalty!  The bill repealing the death penalty passed last month, and Governor Polis is expected to sign the bill into law soon.

The “New Way Forward Act” would roll back immigration laws that have led to racial profiling and disproportionately resulted in the incarceration, deportation, and destruction of families of color and immigrant communities.

The New Way Forward Act would:

  • Reduce mass incarceration by ending mandatory detention and banning for-profit immigration jails.
  • Allow immigration judges to consider a person’s individual circumstances during deportation proceedings, allowing more people to remain with their families and move forward with their lives without fear that an old offense could lead to deportation.
  • Allow independent federal judges to review certain decisions of immigration judges that the 1996 laws unfairly tried to remove from judicial oversight.
  • End federal prison sentences and criminal prosecutions for people who cross the border seeking freedom, safety, opportunity, or to reunite with their families.
  • Advance racial justice and address obstacles to equal justice in the criminal legal system by limiting deportation for drug convictions and other offenses that result from enforcement that disproportionately targets communities of color.
  • Protect communities and local resources by ending the harmful practice of local police acting as deportation agents or carrying out mass deportations with ICE.
  • Allow people previously ordered deported to apply for the opportunity to come home.

The National Domestic Workers Alliance has created a petition that calls on Democratic candidates to sign the New Way Forward Act into law within their first 100 days in office. Click here to sign the petition.

– The Eco-Justice Committee notes that this year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si on care for our common home. Materials for the celebration of those events will be sent to Motherhouses, Retreat Centers, Eco-Centers/Farms, ODU, Albertus and Dominican high schools in the next few days.

The information is drawn from the Catholic Climate Covenant and the Eco-Justice Committee.

The March issue of “Stop Trafficking” has been released by the US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking. Click here to read.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates