Preparing for Advent – Week One

In preparation for Advent, the Associates and Sisters of Mentor Team 24, the central Ohio team for ongoing formation, will choose a theme each week of Advent for reflection. Multiple members of the team will work together to write the blogs so please tune in each Monday. This week we are preparing for Christmas. We are always the stable into which the Christ is born anew. All we need to do is keep our stable honest, humble and open and the Christ child will surely be born in us. Let’s explore the ways we can prepare….

Blog by Carol Moss, OPA
Blog by Bev Orazen, OPA
Blog by Associate April Queener






Preparation for an event requires hard work. If I am expecting a guest, there is a lot of work to be done in advance. I must remove the clutter that somehow always finds its way all over my home. After I declutter, I can begin the cleaning process which is more in-depth when company is coming. As I look at my home through a visitor’s eye, I may see the need to shop for fresh throw pillows, flowers or other items that will make my home appear and feel more inviting. Once the house is sparkling, I plan for the refreshments, this is another process of shopping, preparing, and displaying. Finally, I shower, dress, and wait patiently for my guest’s arrival.

This is an Advent season like no other in our lifetime. The stress of a national pandemic has weighed heavily on each of us. Any other year we may find ourselves busy with all the preparations of the holiday season and focusing on how we can not only prepare for Christ but for our family and friends, however, this year is different. For many, this is a year that they have lost loved ones and have not had the opportunity to properly grieve or celebrate their life. Many are grieving the loss of a job or even a workplace that was a familiar safe space to go to every day. Many are physically distancing themselves from friends and family to protect one another but long for their physical presence and touch. These losses and feelings of isolation, although difficult, give us an opportunity to focus undistracted on truly preparing our hearts this Advent season.

Preparing for the birth of Christ requires more preparation than any special guest. Preparation includes assessing my activities, my reading materials, my thoughts and determining what is valuable and what is clutter? Asking myself if my busy movement is necessary or should I be spending more time in contemplation so my actions can be more focused? What needs to be cleaned up in my interior to be a welcoming place for Christ? I may need to reevaluate my impatience with someone or a grudge I have been harboring to be prepared. I may need to set aside my pleasure reading novels for a later time to seek books to study that will enlighten my understanding and deepen my faith.

Preparing for the ever-renewing birth of Christ may require some detachment. Detaching from our worries, anxieties and frantic holiday preparations requires discipline. Detaching from our vision of what the result will be and leaving that in our Savior’s hands will surely yield better outcomes than any we could make by hand. Spending time meditating on the gift called Jesus, in expectation, will certainly help me to prepare! This Advent season make a list as you would for any event you prepare for and list all the activities that need to occur before your most precious guest. After this preparation, I am ready to wait patiently for Christ’s arrival.

Posted in Associate Blog

We enter into hopeful waiting.




As this “year like no other” draws to a close, we come to the season of Advent. A period of expectation, of waiting ….

It may seem to many of us that we have spent most of 2020 waiting …waiting for quarantines to lift, waiting for good news about a COVID vaccine, waiting for calls for justice to yield real change.

Advent is a different type of waiting. Rather than waiting with trepidation or fear, Advent – even in 2020 – is a period of joyful waiting. A time for hope. We understand what it is that we await. At the end of this season of anticipation, we will welcome the Messiah, Jesus. The Prince of Peace.

As we enter into these days of hopeful waiting, we ask you to join the Dominican Sisters of Peace in reflections that consider the gifts of Advent in the light of this unique year that we have all experienced.

Advent Week 1 – A Reflection on HOPE


Click here to view the video.

Click here to view and download the HOPE Prayer Card.


Advent Week 2 – A Reflection on LOVE

Where do you find love?
Look around at those who serve. Look around at those who give. Look to Christ, who in His love, sacrificed all for you.
Even in this year of upheaval and social strife, love is everywhere, if you look in the right places.
Please join the Dominican Sisters of Peace in celebrating the Second Week of Advent, and light the candle of LOVE.


Click here to view the video.

Click here to download and print the LOVE prayer card. 

Advent Week 3 – A Reflection on JOY

The Church in her wisdom chooses to engage all of our senses as we worship God. We listen to music, we smell incense and floral offerings, and we mark the celebrations of the year with color.

The color pink or rose represents joy or rejoicing. The lighting of the pink candle on Gaudete Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent, reveals a shift away from repentance and toward celebration – the joy of the coming of Christ. Even the word Gaudete is a signal to the faithful … it means “rejoice.”

Please join the Dominican Sisters of Peace in celebrating the Third Week of Advent, and light the candle of JOY.

Advent Week 4 – A Reflection on PEACE

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

In a world of tinsel, candy canes, and shiny wrapping paper, these words from John 14:27, are the quiet, yet powerful gift that God gave us on the first Christmas, and continues to give us today.

In spite of covid, outside of politics, as a response to racism, God’s gift of Peace, in the form of God’s Son Jesus, is the Hope, the Love, and the Joy that we have celebrated throughout this Advent season.

As we complete our preparations to welcome, again, the Son of God, let us share the gift of Peace. Through the words we say, the things we do, and the faith that we share, let us all be the light of Christ, the light of Peace, in a weary world.

Please join the Dominican Sisters of Peace in celebrating the Fourth Week of Advent, and light the candle of Peace.

Click here to view the video.

Click here to download and print the PEACE prayer card.

Posted in News

A Thanksgiving Greeting from the Dominican Sisters of Peace

Dearest Friends…

Prioress Sr. Pat Twohill, OP

Like so many events in 2020, our annual Thanksgiving celebrations here at the Dominican Sisters of Peace are likely to be more subdued than we would like. Most of our Sisters will remain in their local communities, and visits, if they happen at all, will be distanced, with masks and other precautions.

Like all of you, we too are growing weary of the restrictions placed on our lives and our ministries by this virus. But as our ministries have learned to pivot – to teach English on a Zoom call, to run a “no touch” plant sale, or to conduct prayer, study, or even knitting courses via Zoom and Facebook live – we are faced with the challenge of adjusting how we celebrate. Indeed, even in the face of this most unprecedented year, we have much for which to be thankful.

First and foremost, we are grateful to God for the love that we have received in this year of isolation and fragility. Our Sisters have received so many calls, emails and letters asking the same questions: “Are you well? Are you healthy? How can we help?” The love of our family and friends, even at a distance, has been a blessing from God. Praise God, and thanks to the ongoing efforts of our Sisters and staff to maintain proper protocols, we have for the most part remained healthy.

As important has been the love and support that we have received from our own essential staff at our Motherhouses and care centers. Our Congregational staff have gone above and beyond to ensure that we are safe, comfortable, busy, and doing God’s work in every way possible.

The fact that our ministries have been able to continue their work in education, ecology, health care, poverty alleviation and social justice is another reason for gratitude. This continued success is in part due to the creativity and ingenuity of Sisters, Associates, and staff at our various ministries, but it is also a testament to your friendship and support. If you want to know more about the ongoing work of our ministries, you can read more on our website at, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube.

As you prepare your own Thanksgiving celebration, think about the gifts that God has given you this year. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to express your gratitude for God’s abiding love, your family and friends, and meaningful work, whether paid or as a contributor of your time and talent to a special ministry. Most important, to be grateful for the opportunity, daily, to help someone … whether wearing a mask when you go out, running an errand for a housebound neighbor, or supporting the work of our Sisters to build peace in our communities and around the world.

For whatever you are grateful, your Dominican Sisters of Peace are grateful for YOU. You will be in our prayers of thanksgiving, and in our prayers for a safe and speedy end to the coronavirus pandemic.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!



Sr. Pat Twohill, OP

Posted in News

Peace and Justice Updates – 11.25.2020

Interfaith Immigration Coalition Advent Resources
The Interfaith Immigration Coalition, of which LCWR is a long-time member, is offering a resource for your Advent journey. This year’s resource will focus on the struggle faced by Black migrants to the U.S.

The series, Lighting the Candles: Journey with Black Migrants, includes seven sessions, one for each of the 4 Weeks of Advent, Christmas, and the feasts of the Holy Family and Epiphany.  Each session scripture, spiritual reflection and question, a story of black migrants, suggested actions, and a prayer.

Please sign up at: to receive the resources for your own Advent contemplation.

Posted in News

An Empty Seat at the Table

Blog by Justice Promoter Sister Judy Morris, OP

Thanksgiving Day often has been gray, with the leaves gone from the trees and winter beginning to blow in.  But this 2020 Thanksgiving is especially gray, with a somber tone of loss.  I find myself visualizing Thanksgiving tables around the country with an empty chair – a chair once occupied by a grandparent, mother, or favorite uncle. These were not numbers in the country’s 258,000 + people lost to COVID-19 but lives well lived.

As much as the loss of these too-many lives, I am saddened by the divisions that the reactions to this virus has produced, turning a deadly health care issue into a political issue. I recently called a donor to thank her for her contribution and wished her a “safe” day.  She responded with a blast of angry comments about evil – the evil of a hoax she called COVID. There was little time to catch my breath, and no point in saying I believe in science …the Earth is not flat …astronauts did land on the moon… and, yes, Elvis is dead.

Evil is alive and well, and conspiracy theories are one such toxic evil. They have separated families who may otherwise join each other at the table. They threaten the lives of many who are being careful but are often put at risk by those who refuse to wear a mask, and a government that has not discovered responsibility.

This pandemic was called a hoax by the president, even though he knew in January that it was very dangerous. And people died. Many governors refused to require masks and encouraged large gatherings. And people died. Health care professionals were pushed aside at a time they were needed most.  And people died. Yes, I believe evil exists.

Despite all the losses and the lost opportunities to save lives, there is much for which I am grateful.

I am grateful this Thanksgiving for all the sacrifices made by health care workers, the doctors and nurses who have worked 15- and 18-hour days, sacrificing sleep and risking their lives.  I am grateful for the grocery workers, farmers and truckers who have fed our country.  I am grateful for the essential workers who have kept our nation moving at personal risk to themselves. I am grateful for those in the communication industry who bring the light of truth through disinformation and conspiracy theories.

I find the words of Kristen Clark Taylor, author and former Director of Media Communications for the Bush administration, inspiring:

“Let’s be bold in our thinking as this disease is in its deadliness.  Let’s let the numbers – the lives lost, the resulting grief, the unimaginable pain— order our steps as we move towards Thanksgiving. 

Mindset matters. 

Let’s train our brains to not just seek, but find gratitude, even in these dark days.  Let’s get audacious with our gratitude.”


Posted in Peace & Justice Blog