Peace and Justice Updates 3.31.2021

Sexual Assault Awareness Month
The Dominican Sisters of Peace have been part of Common Spirit Health’s “United Against Violence” campaign since 2009. Common Spirit Health is conducting a special communications campaign during Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April. Each week during April, the OPPEace News will feature information from this campaign.

For more information in the United Against Violence campaign, please click here.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

A Weapon at Every Window

Blog by Justice Promoter Sister Judy Morris, OP

A few years ago, my aunt informed me that my uncle had a gun in every room of the house.  When I caught my breath, I asked if there had been robberies in the neighborhood or gun violence; she said no.  He said, “You never know what window they might come through.”

We are a gun culture. That reality is not going away soon and will not until we enact laws that bring real change.  Former Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican, said as much recently.  “We need to DEMAND change from our legislators, not ask for change.  Whenever there is a town hall meeting in your area with senators or representatives, we need to be there with questions and demands for real legislative action that will provide protection for citizens of this country.”

Not everyone may be able to attend a town hall but contact through phone calls and emails need to flow in large numbers.  It is also important to thank those who continue to work for substantive change in gun laws.   My local representative, John Yarmuth, continues to wear a large pin with the letter F on it.  He receives an F from the National Rifle Association because he consistently votes for responsible gun legislation.  I thank him at every opportunity.

If we are going to succeed in reducing the devastating numbers of mass shootings, we must pass substantive legislation, such as the following bills:

  • mandate universal background checks for all gun purchases
  • make it illegal to purchase military-style assault weapons such as the AR 15 or AK-47 rifles as well as high-capacity magazines that can fire 100 bullets in a few seconds
  • create red flag laws that enable the police or family members to remove weapons from a family member who is a threat to himself/herself or others.
  • end legal immunity for gun manufacturers in the Protections of Lawful Commerce Act that shields gun manufacturers and sellers from civil claims brought by victims of gun violence.

In other words, instead of the current culture of permissiveness, we need to become a culture of prevention.

We had some success when President Clinton signed the Brady Bill in 1994.  This prevented the purchase of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and mandated background checks on all gun purchases.  Incidents of mass shootings dropped significantly. In 2004 the bill needed to be renewed, however President Bush allowed the bill to expire and gun violence has continued to increase.

I do not want to hear the easy mantra “You are in my thoughts and prayers” again.  Obviously, I believe in prayer, but it is not a substitute for responsible action that produces results in saved lives. As we approach the violence of Good Friday, I believe God asks action from us that can bring true peace.

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

Dominican Sisters of Peace Support New Center for Catholic and Dominican Life Albertus Magnus College to Open Meister Eckhart Center Fall, 2021




The Dominican Sisters of Peace are delighted and blessed to announce their support of a new center to promote the Dominican mission and charism at Albertus Magnus College, an educational ministry founded by the Congregation in 1925.

The Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of Peace has donated $1,000,000 to the new Meister Eckhart Center for Catholic and Dominican Life at Albertus Magnus College. This gift will further the institution’s stated mission to provide men and women with an education that promotes the search for truth in all its dimensions and is practical in its application.

“The Dominican Sisters of Peace are pleased to support the Eckhart Center for Catholic and Dominican Life at Albertus, where outreach to the local and global community will continue and deepen.  Founded on the Dominican Pillars of Study, Prayer, Community, and Service, the new Center will give our Dominican mission and ministries a permanent institutional presence on the campus of Albertus Magnus College. It will create a hub for ongoing reflection on the human condition, social issues, environmental care, and much, much more,” stated Sr. Patricia Twohill, OP, Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Peace and Albertus Board of Trustee member.

“On behalf of Albertus Magnus College students, faculty, staff, and alumni, I offer a humble but hearty ‘thank you’ to the Dominican Sisters of Peace,” said Albertus President Dr. Marc M. Camille.  “This incredible gift from the Sisters, in our historic 95th Anniversary Year, will greatly enhance our ability to fulfill the essential Catholic and Dominican values-inspired mission gifted to us by the Dominican Sisters who founded the College in 1925.  The Meister Eckhart Center for Catholic and Dominican Life will be a visible, action-oriented example of the Sisters’ bold vision for Albertus Magnus College.”

Dominican Sisters of Peace Sr. Anne Kilbride, OP, Assistant to the President for Dominican Mission, and Sr. Ana Gonzalez, OP, Coordinator of International Admissions, minister at Albertus Magnus College.

The Eckhart Center will be dedicated during the  the College’s Annual Founders’ Day Celebration, September 24, 2021.

Posted in News

Preaching for Holy Week

Preaching by Sr. Theresa Fox, OP

Jesus was an astute reader of human nature. He was able to analyze the strengths and weaknesses and motives of the people he met. His special disciples had been with him most days and nights for 3 years. He must have watched each of them carefully and been very aware of each of their strengths and weaknesses. This included Judas. In another place it was said that Judas was in charge of the money and would often use it for himself. I’m sure Jesus was aware of Judas’ desires.

We don’t know Judas’ motives. Why would he turn against the very person who had given him so much? At the same time it must have been a terrible feeling for Jesus to know what was Judas was up to. He had chosen Judas as one of his special disciples and here he was turning against Jesus.

There may have been a time when one of our friends turned against us. It may have been a betrayal of a special confidence we shared, or a turning away to become a special friend of someone else and rejected our friendship. Our reaction may have been to retaliate against that person, reject her from any friendship, maybe even to tell others of the meanness of that person or cross her off our list of friends. Somehow we wanted to get even.

That wasn’t Jesus’ way. Even knowing what Judas had planned, Jesus still treated him as one of his chosen disciples. He still loved him and desired good for him. That wasn’t an easy thing to do. How do we forgive another when that person has rejected us? Not easy! My guess it will take time after time of resolving to forgive for us to actually forgive that person.

As we enter into the most sacred days of the year, may we reflect deeply on the love Jesus had for Judas. Let us make one more attempt to do the same with the person who has turned against us.

Posted in Just Reflecting

Slow Me Down, Lord

Blog by Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP

Recently, our Vocations team had a day of reflection based on the theme, Slow Me Down, Lord.  Typically, we gather in the morning for shared prayer & reflection on the theme and then off we go to our various corners of the world to pray and to just BE.  In the afternoon, we return to our zoom screens and share the fruits of our contemplation.  We take turns planning these days.  Mary Ellen George, OPA planned this particular one and started the day off with an excerpt from the poem of the same title by Wilfred Peterson.

Slow me down Lord
Ease the pounding of my heart
by the quieting of my mind.

Now, pause right there.  Read it again and take a deep breath.

When is the last time you took a day of prayer and reflection – just a day for you and God?

May I be so bold as to suggest that you take out your calendar and schedule one right now.  Schedule it before the days and evenings are filled up with meetings, trips, and zoom dinners with your friends, or just activities of daily living.  God is waiting for you and you for God.

One of the blessings of this pandemic time is that we have had to pause and reset what our “normal” is.  In the beautiful narrative poem, The Great Realization, Tomos Roberts put into words much of what many of us have realized.  That being our priorities are askew, our lives are out of balance and we have not called our mother/father/sister/friend in a very long time.  Roberts challenges us, in the guise of a children’s story, to wake up and make some long-term changes for the betterment of the world, our lives, families and societies.

As Dominican Sisters and Associates of Peace, we are called to live a balanced life of prayer, community, ministry, and study.  The operative word is balanced.  If we embrace it and live it – not just give it lip service – we just may preach this new realization with our lives.  And grow into that person God intended us to be – which is summed up well in the closing stanza of Peterson’s poem.

Slow me down Lord
and inspire me to send my roots
deep into the soil of life’s enduring values
that I may grow toward the stars of my greater destiny.

Slow me down Lord

Are you longing for a life of balance, community, prayer and meaningful service?  Is God calling you to explore the possibility of religious life?  Contact us to start the conversation or to attend one of our upcoming programs.  We are waiting for you.

Posted in God Calling?