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 OPPeace.org, 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