Going Green in Spring – Cleaning and Water Use

These tips have been provided by members of the Dominican Sisters of Peace Eco-Justice Committee.


It’s that time of year again -Spring. We welcome the sunny skies, blossoming flowers and trees turning green again. It’s also time for Spring Cleaning! As we begin our task, let’s consider how this affects the environment.

  1. Cleaning: Look for environmentally friendly cleaning products without chemicals that negatively affect our environment.
  2. Clothes: Are you relocating your winter clothes and bringing out your summer garments? If you have not worn something in the last year, it is time to discard it. Don’t throw it away but donate to someone or a charitable organization to reuse.
  3. Do you wash your summer clothes before wearing them again? Only wash a full load on the lowest temperature with cold water detergent that doesn’t have chemicals that would go back into the environment. If you no longer have a clothes line, use your full dryer on air dry or a setting for delicate.
  4. Windows: Pour white vinegar into a reusable spray bottle. Apply to windows and use newspaper to clean off. Not only is this better for the environment, it’s easy, economical and does a great job!


  1. Each time you use water, remember what a sacred gift it is–and how millions throughout the world have no access to clean water. Be grateful and careful.
  2. Instead of running water from the tap until it is cold enough to drink, keep a jug of water in your refrigerator.
  3. Instead of buying bottled water, buy a metal or plastic water bottle, fill it from the tap and keep it in the refrigerator to use for outings.
  4. Save water that you run—eg. While waiting for it to warm up—in a bucket and water plants or use for something else later.
  5. Install a low-flow faucet aerator, which can cut water use in half.
  6. Be conscious of water use in spring cleaning.
  7. Setting cooling systems and water softeners for a minimum number of refills saves both water and chemicals, plus more on utility bills.
  8. Look for products bearing the EPA WaterSense Label for items that been certified to save 20% or more without sacrificing performance.
  9. Report (or fix if you can) broken pipes, open hydrants and errant sprinklers to the property owner or your water provider.
  10. Know where your master water shut-off valve is located. This could save water and prevent damage to your home.
  11. Take shorter showers.
  12. Use disposal sparingly.
  13. Only do full loads of laundry and dirty dishes.
  14. Eat less water intensive foods: ie beef and animal products, foods with lots of packaging, foods that have traveled a long distance to your table.
  15. Water the garden only when necessary.

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

Religious Sister helps give a “hand up” to those struggling during the pandemic

From Catholic Extension.com


Funding provides essentials for those experiencing homelessness in Ohio
Sister Susan Olson, OP may have taken a vow of poverty, but she is rich in compassion, spending her time and talents generously.

When she recently received a $1,000 grant from Sisters on the Frontlines, she used the funds to help two often-overlooked populations near and dear to her heart: those struggling with homelessness and artists hit hard by the pandemic in Columbus, Ohio.

She used the grant to buy essential needs for those facing homelessness in the city. With the help of her fellow Dominican Sisters of Peace, some 50 backpacks were stuffed with the goods she purchased.

Sister Susan wanted to help address both food insecurity and personal hygiene. The backpacks contained a number of foods and personal items, including packaged snacks, a toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, cleansing wipes, and socks.

The supply kits were delivered to an organization on the South Side of Columbus who, according to Sister Susan, “ “works hard to give people a hand up, not a hand out.”

Helping Artists

Another overlooked population hit hard by the pandemic is the artist community. Due to the pandemic,  many arts organizations shut down, leaving many people out of work. Sister Susan reached out to local artists to help them get by.

She was able to help a graphic artist by helping to pays some of her bills. Her business was struggling because advertising decreased during the pandemic. The grant helped save her from going further into debt.

The gift was particularly special to Sister Susan because has known the woman since she was 3-years-old and wanted to keep her dream of owning her own business afloat during a difficult time.

A Growing Movement 

Sister Susan is just one of hundreds of Catholic sisters who have received grants from Sisters on the Frontlines donors. Across the country, there are thousands of nuns who, given $1,000, know exactly who might need it most.


Posted in News

The Gift of the Empty Tomb

Pat Dual
Blog by Sr. Pat Dual, OP

Can you imagine Mary Magdalene’s incredulous encounter with Jesus that first Easter morning—moving from experiencing the depths of sorrow to indescribable joy?  Can you imagine hearing Divine Love speak your name, revealing to you the Living Hope of God?  I cannot fully comprehend the joy of Mary Magdalene’s encounter—discovering the empty tomb or meeting the Risen Christ on that first Easter morning.  But centuries later, with other Christians, I celebrate the gift of the Empty Tomb of Easter and the eternal Living Hope that emerged.

How do you celebrate these two gifts? Usually, I celebrate the Easter season by attending the Easter Vigil Mass, to help welcome new members into the Church, and by singing the ritualistic “Alleluias” that elevate my spirit and bring me to a closer encounter with Living Hope.  This Easter season, however, has been different for all of us, not only because of the life-changing effects of a 14-month pandemic but also because of escalating divisions and violence in our nation.

In this Easter season, when so many families mourn the death of a loved one, I struggle to sing, Alleluia. At a time when centuries of racism and inequity tears at the fabric of our society, I struggle to sing, Alleluia. At a time when daily violence is claiming the lives of our youth and loved ones, I struggle to sing, Alleluia.  In a time when peace seems many times to be an elusive dream, I struggle to sing, Alleluia.

Faith and my life experience teach me, however, to look for the hope in difficulty, just as Mary Magdalene did in that moment when she emerged from sorrow to joy. While I know there are many circumstances that contribute to temporarily losing sight of the joy of Easter—I also know that the Living Spirit of Hope will eventually renew my spirit and restore my voice to sing the “Alleluia” of the empty tomb, not just during Easter, but throughout my life.

If we are open, this living hope of the Spirit will come in different ways and at different times to renew each of us. Recently, I experienced this renewal and hope as several of our women in formation prepared to enter the next stage of their formation journey. Sr. Margaret Uche will renew her vows, Candidates Cathy Buchanan and Tram Bui will become novices, Sr. Ann Killian will return from the novitiate and become an Apostolic novice, Apostolic novice Sr. Ellen Coates will make First Profession, and Sr. Ana Gonzalez is preparing to make her final vows as a Dominican Sister of Peace. Amid the challenges of our times, these, and all our women in formation who are discerning God’s call in their life, are part of the hope and joy of our future.

How have you experienced the renewal of Living Hope during this Easter season? How has Jesus, our Living Hope, shown up for you?   I invite you to listen to this inspiring song, Living Hope by Phil Wickham, as you ponder this question.

If you feel called to join us in sharing Living Hope with others as a Sister, contact us!


Posted in God Calling?, Vocations Blog

Peace In Our Neighborhoods and Meaningful Police Reform

Statement by the Leadership Team, Dominican Sisters of Peace

In light of a guilty verdict handed down by a jury in the case of Officer Derek Chauvin, we feel a deep sadness for both the family of George Floyd and for Officer Chauvin.   It is clear that police practice around the use of deadly force needs urgent and effective reform.  There are countless instances where overreaction on the part of the police during routine police work has ended with the tragic death of an innocent person.

Fear and hatred are driving much of the violence in our society leading to needless death and destruction and heartache.  Fear and hatred have especially put the African-American community (and any person of color) in an untenable position of constant defensiveness and anxiety. A person’s home is no longer considered a safe haven, and what may begin as a routine traffic stop may turn into a lethal encounter.

While the police must be given the resources and training to carry out their role in public safety, they cannot be permitted to exercise a militarized form of police work  A fatal use of force should not be the first action on the part of any police officer, and in the vast majority of encounters, peaceful resolution does result, except when it comes to persons of color.

As we reflect on what might come now, we urge local police chiefs and civic leaders to work to de-escalate the fear and hatred in their local communities that leads to violence. Community building efforts need commitment and funding. We call for action to de-militarize the approach toward law enforcement by police departments

True peace is possible when citizens can feel safe from fear and when hatred gives way to understanding. Peace takes hard work and listening to one another.  Are we tired enough of death? Are we ready to see each other with new eyes? With hearts that have broken so many times in so many families, when will we be ready to choose courage over fear?  In the words of President Biden, “We cannot be a safe harbor for hate in this country.”

Leadership Team
Dominican Sisters of Peace

Posted in News

Discernment Days Approach for New Core Group of Dominican Leaders

APRIL 20, 2021  — We invite all Dominican sisters and associates to join in prayer for two days of discernment that will take place April 25 and May 16, 2021.  The purpose of the discernment is to identify the Dominican sisters who will serve as the core leadership group for Dominicans under 70.

Our hope is that these women will steward, or shepherd, the common futuring movement of Dominican Sisters in the United States across DSC congregations.

A recent story in DomLife (February 21, 2021) reported on this new development from the Dominican Sisterhood Futuring Task Force, a subcommittee of the DSC (Dominican Sisters Conference) Executive Committee. Jointly, members of the Task Force and Executive Committee are planning the discernment process and about 20 sisters are considering service on this new core group. Sr. Joan Scanlon, OP (Peace) will serve as facilitator.

Our hope for the core leadership group is that they can make real and concrete a shared vision of Dominican Life and Mission. The DSC will offer its full support to these leaders under 70.  We see the new leadership group as a distinctive entity within the DSC who will serve as a catalyst for a yet unclear future. As the Sisterhood Task Force completes its work, the DSC hopes that a new structure will assure a permanent vehicle for moving our Dominican life into the future with whatever vibrant and visionary ideas emerge as we go forward.  Our hope is that the group will act in a way that is strategic, emergent, and relational.

This is no easy task! And it may seem quite formidable to think that any group, no matter how large or small, skilled or capable, can accomplish something none of us can readily see. The future is unclear, and yet, we know the Spirit is working among us.  In the words of Isaiah, “How beautiful upon the mountain are the feet of those who announce peace and bring Good News.”

This discernment process is a critical event in our common life across congregations.  We all hope that the Spirit will guide and enfold those who are open to this exciting, and expansive moment.  We invite you to join us all in praying for the discerners and those leading the process.

Members of the DSC Executive Committee:

Janice Brown (Adrian), Anne Lythgoe (Peace), Maryann McMahon (Racine), Pam Mitchell (Sinsinawa), Terry Rickard (Blauvelt), Corinne Sanders (Adrian) Dusty Farnan (Adrian – DLC NGO) Mary Ellen O’Grady (Sinsinawa – Interim DSC Executive Director)

Members of the Dominican Sisterhood Futuring Task Force:

Diane Bridenbecker (Mission San Jose), Michaela Connolly (Blauvelt), Elise Garcia (Adrian), Rebecca Ann Gemma (Springfield), Toni Harris (Sinsinawa), Pat Sieman (Adrian), Pat Twohill (Peace), Mary Ellen O’Grady (Sinsinawa – Interim DSC Executive Director)

Posted in News