Learn About “Religions for Peace.”

“Long before there was a government, there have been, and will continue to be, places of worship.”

Religions for Peace


Blog by Justice Promoter Sister Judy Morris, OP

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if religious denominations around the world rolled up their sleeves and worked every day to bring peace in our war-torn world?

Despite what may feel like “lip service” for peace, religious wars are often the most long-lived and damaging to those involved. Jews and Palestinians, Sunni and Shiite Muslims, and for many years Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants fought until the Good Friday agreement was signed during the Clinton administration and brought the fighting to a halt.  In my own home state of Kentucky, 855 “Know Nothing” mobs attacked and killed 22 Irish and German Catholics in 1855 because they believed that Catholic immigrants were a threat to society as they knew it.

Religions for Peace is a powerful and effective vehicle for peace and justice in our world.  They provide effective responses to the world’s challenging issues and believe that these problems can best be tackled when different faith traditions work together.

The organization names key priorities:

  • Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies
    • Faith traditions are inspired to action to become change makers “when conflict, mass deportation, poverty and violent extremism call for common action.”
  • Environment
    • Religions for Peace leads an effort to recognize “the intricate connection between all forms of life and communities, calling us to work for a sustainable environment.”
  • Gender Equality
    • While some faith traditions continue to limit the role of women, Religions for Peace consider equality for women and girls “a foundation for securing a more peaceful and inclusive world for all people.”

I consider it important to recognize the efforts of religious organizations to create a more just, inclusive and peaceful world.  While some denominations continue to exclude women from ordination and limit involvement in decision making, and even exclude in language, here is a world-wide organization striving to make a difference for ALL denominations.  We need such organizations to lead the way with serious efforts to address the crisis of climate change, of never-ending wars, of sexism and racism.

I applaud Religions for Peace for doing just that.



Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

Peace and Justice Updates 5.11.2021

Roll Up Your Sleeves!
In a January interview with Italy’s TG5 news program, Pope Francis said, “I believe that morally everyone must take the (COVID-19) vaccine, It is the moral choice because it is about your life but also the lives of others.” The pontiff has also come out in favor of a waiver on intellectual property rights for coronavirus vaccines, which would make this important medicine available to more people around the world.
Just as our Sisters continue to wear masks and maintain social distancing to keep others safe, we are also receiving our vaccines as a way to protect ourselves and others. 

Say NO to the Death Penalty
There has not been a state execution since July, 2020, the longest stretch without a state execution in 40 years, but all that may change next week with the execution of Quintin Jones, scheduled in Texas on May 19, to be followed by Idaho’s first execution since 2012 scheduled for June 2.
Please sign these petitions to say NO to these Executions!

Quintin Jones

Gerald Pizzuto, Jr.

Non-violence and Ecology: A Webinar
The Vatican’s Laudato Si’ Action Platform envisions seven goals for seven sectors of the Catholic community over the next seven years. This is an exciting moment for the Church, an opportunity to move forward in creative and effective ways to achieve a more just world for all creation.

Nonviolence is key to a Laudato Si future is a one-hour webinar on Monday, May 17 (10 am Eastern/7 am Pacific). Marie Dennis (Pax Christi International senior adviser), Ken Butigan (DePaul University) and Sr. Sheila Kinsey, FCJM (Union of Superiors General/International Union of Superiors General) will discuss how Gospel nonviolence for a Laudato Si’ future might be concretely advanced.

French and Spanish translation provided.


Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Seven Years to Sustainability – How You Can Get Involved

Have you been following our updates on the Sven years to Sustainability Drive? You can get involved too … here are two invitations from the Eco-Justice Committee:

  1. If you are interested in joining the Eco-Justice Committee, you are invited to contact Judy Hardy at jhardy2@insight.rr.com
  2. Last Monday (May 3rd), some suggestions for addressing Goal 1: Response to the Cry of the Earth were listed. You are invited to share other suggestions for addressing this goal in the comment boxes below.


Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

Dominican Women – Embraced by God and Fired with Love’s Holy Longing

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” – Catherine of Siena

Women on fire with the love of God are women who live a passionate spirituality. The Universal Christ fully alive in the lives of women of wisdom and Doctors of the Church, will help guide our journey during this retreat. We find ourselves moving through the terrible days of division, pandemic, and hopefully into more familiar, solid ground. This is not unlike these women of the past who lived through the Bubonic Plague, Inquisition, Schism in the Church, Spiritual torment and physical suffering.

During this time, we will recall something of the life if women who lived passionate lives of faith and witness in the face of difficult historical times and persevered in their love and trust of the God who called them into a place of personal transformation. These are all elements, in some way, that have also touched our lives over the years, those things that come upon us over which we have very little control.

Journey with Hildegard of Birgen, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, and Therese of Lisieux. Pray as and with women of courage, strength, perseverance and deep, abiding faith. Be inspired once again, with their life stories while reflecting on their relevance for our lives today through contemplative dialog, prayer, reflection, and creating journaling with a mandala. These annual, quiet days of listening and praying continue to open us to a deepening presence of God who invites is to set the world on fire with divine love.

Sr. Nancy Brousseau, OP, DMin, is a Dominican Sister of Grand Rapids, MI. Nancy served as the Director of the Dominican Center at Marywood in Grand Rapids for five years and was Director of Spirituality Programs there for six years. Prior to those years, she was Director of St. Joseph Educational Center in Des Moines, Iowa. Sr. Nancy has an MA in Religious Education, and MDiv from St. John’s (now Sacred Heart) Seminary in Detroit, and a DMin in Spiritual Director from the Graduate Theological Foundation and the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She offers retreats, spiritual direction, workshops, and programs in prayer, spirituality, and spiritual formation for those becoming spiritual directors. Serving as a tour leader for international pilgrimages and tours has been part of her life since 1997, taking groups to countries in Europe, the Middle East, and the Holy Land. She lives in DeWitt, MI.

Posted in News

What Riddles and the Discernment Process Have in Common

Blog by Sr. Bea Tiboldi

Recently, I heard this riddle: “What appears 1x in a minute, 2x in a moment, but never in a thousand years?” If you keep reading, you will find the answer.

A riddle might serve as a game or an ice breaker; however, riddles remind me of the discernment process in some ways. What do riddles and the discernment process have in common?

Both take time and effort

Whether it’s figuring out the answer to a riddle or praying with God’s plan for our life, the solution or path may not be obvious at first sight. It feels great when we do figure out the answer, but many times both solving a riddle or discerning one’s vocations, take time.

Both might require digging deeper for real meaning

Sometimes, riddles are meant to trip you up, but if we take a closer look at them, they challenge us to look at things from different angles.  When we look into exploring our vocation or when we start to discern, we also look at things from different angles. For example, when discerning a specific religious congregation, you may want to look at its prayer life, charism, service or ministry, and life in community. You may also want to pray with the question: “which community can I picture myself in?” The discernment process is meant to bring us to a deeper level of self-awareness.

Both urge us to recognize what’s missing

Sometimes a riddle focuses on things that are missing.  (“What is it that has cities but no houses, that has mountains but no trees, and has water but no fish?” The answer is: a map.) The discernment process helps you identify not only what religious life is but also what it is not. Also, the process can help you identify the areas where you need to grow or to assess what might be holding you back from moving forward. Knowing what you are looking for in a community or religious like can help you narrow down your search and can help you find the congregation where you can be your best self.

Both invite us to think it through

Some riddles invite us to think logically or straightforward.  In discerning one’s vocation, we prayerfully consider pros and cons, we pray to see what path God is calling us to, which way of life (single, married, or religious life) will enable us to use the gifts that God has blessed us with.

Both might stretch us

Riddles work by making us think – beyond words, numbers, or concepts—that stretch our brains and imaginations. During the discernment process, we are encouraged to stretch ourselves to become more compassionate or to try a service or mission experience to help us find clarity with our vocation. Similar to solving a riddle, these “stretching” experiences eventually help us reach an answer.

Both encourage us to keep it simple

Some riddles are long and include extra information, and if we want to be able to solve, the riddle, the key is in keeping things simple; sometimes less is more. The same notion of keeping it simple holds true with the discernment process – don’t get tangled up in the process.  Instead, ask questions as they come up to make it easier to know your vocation and purpose.

Both encourage us to notice and be aware of ‘the hidden’

Riddles are not meant to be easy or obvious. Let’s revisit the riddle that helped me recognize what riddles and the discernment process have in common: “What appears 1x in a minute, 2x in a moment, but never in a thousand years?” In this riddle, we are invited to notice the answer within the question. The answer is, the letter “m.” Notice, the answer was there even at the time the question was asked. We, too, are encouraged to notice God’s presence, who is always present in our discernment.


If you would like to talk to a Sister about your vocation, contact us to begin a conversation.

Posted in God Calling?, Vocations Blog