Right or Wrong – I’m Right

Sr. Pat Thomas, OP
Blog by Sr. Pat Thomas, OP

Walked into a restaurant the other day. Had my mask on, held my vaccination card out for the hostess and proceeded to a table. Boy, did I feel like a child!!! NOT! Boy, did I feel like a kid who had to get permission to do what I was doing!!! NOT!!!!

I did, however, feel as though I was contributing to the well being of my city. And the servers heaved a sigh of relief that there would be no drama. It is not even a hard thing to do. So many people are refusing to do at least one of the things that would help us get back to a sane world. Most of them just moan about all of the events being cancelled or postponed and creating such an inconvenience for us.

When we get into our right-fighting mode, it would be nice to think we have done our homework so we are not just talking from only a feeling base or a heard-it-once-before-from-a-respected-source-so-it-must-be-true-base. Most times we just have to be right no matter what.

If all we want to be is right, then there is no room for conversation. In the true American way, it will be every person for her/him self. Not only will everyone get an opinion on every topic; everyone will be right. Now, there is an interesting optic. Who will get to be more right? That is an easy answer! Me, of course. Right?

Posted in Weekly Word

Tuck Your Head Into Your Heart

In these last two weeks, we celebrated a First Profession of Vows and a Perpetual Profession of Vows. These ceremonies were such joyful celebrations. During each ceremony, the prioress asked the women in formation: “What is your desire?” Each woman’s response started with asking for mercy; then, each woman stated how she got to this point in her discernment, and then she humbly asked the prioress if she may make the profession of vows with the Dominican Sisters of Peace for the praise of God and in the service of the Church.

However, it is truly a journey of discernment, until someone reaches this point of first profession and perpetual profession. Recently, I ran into a quote by Carl Jung that I think depicts one of the keys in the discernment process:

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your heart.
Who looks outside, dreams;
who looks inside, awakes.”

Whether one is trying to figure out God’s call with her life, or whether we are a Sister or an Associate, our mission and vision can become clear only when we look into our heart. When we look inside our heart prayerfully, we can open ourselves to God and we can become aware of how God is moving us. When we look inside our heart, we notice our feelings. When we follow our hearts’ desire, we can respond with compassion and courage wherever God’s love, hope or peace needs to be shared.

We have been through so many challenges within this last year and a half – just think about how CoViD-19 has been affecting our life, also, think about the cry of the poor and the hungry, the need for racial healing and harmony, the efforts to stop gun violence that has been growing in our cities, the recent earthquake in Haiti, the need for faith-related opportunities and conferences to boost and renew our faith within our communities, etc. Many of us have been challenged by having to figure out for ourselves how to cope and navigate through these times.

Yet, for myself, I couldn’t figure it out alone. I found support in personal AND in communal prayer, and in sharing faith.  I kept praying with the Servant Song by Donna Mary McGargill, OSM (What do you want of me Lord? Where do you want me to serve you…) I found inspiration in the Micah 6:8 song, composed by Bob Sklar and sung by Kathleen Carnali (“What the Lord does require? Let this be our desire: to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God.”) My personal contemplation inspired me to “brainstorm” together with another Sister and also, my spiritual director about ways to be in service to God’s people.

With God’s grace, we can awaken to what vision and mission God has for us, and with that same grace, we can overcome the fears of the unknown. Have courage!

If you like to pray with songs, check out these links from our webpages that we put together of prayers, songs and videos that may enhance your prayer about your vocation. We also offer a prayer group and a discernment group for women, 18-45, who are praying with God’s call for their life. You can find more information on our “Ways to discern” webpage.

If you are discerning your vocation and would like to talk to someone, we are here for you, simply contact us.

If you would like to join us for our upcoming “Come and See” Retreat between Sept. 10-12, 2021, click here for more information or to register.

Posted in Vocations Blog

Newsmaker: Ohio Dominican’s new president plans to run the school ‘like a business’ to guarantee its survival

Hayleigh Colombo  –  Staff reporter, Columbus Business First

Ohio Dominican University is a founded ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Peace

Connie Gallaher is ready to shake up higher education.

After a career serving in leadership roles for all three adult healthcare systems in Central Ohio, the new Ohio Dominican University president said there are many striking parallels between the sectors.

“Not only are we here to prepare and educate tomorrow’s leaders, but you’ve got to run it like a business,” said Gallaher, who most recently served as chief operating officer at OhioHealth and president of OhioHealth at Home before heading into a short-lived retirement.

“It took me back to my healthcare days,” Gallaher said. “Many a nurse or physician or social worker or pharmacist never wanted to hear you talk as though healthcare was a business. They would say, ‘We’re here to take care of patients.’

“What I would tell people is, ‘We’re in the business of taking care of patients,’ ” Gallaher said. “If you don’t also have a business mind about it, one day you are going to lose your privilege of taking care of patients.”

Gallaher replaces former president Robert Gervasi, who served four years in the role before retiring.

Gallaher, who also previously served as an administrator at Riverside Methodist Hospital, Ohio State University Medical Center and Mount Carmel East Hospital, takes the helm at a time when the university needs a boost in terms of enrollment.

Ohio Dominican University has struggled with enrollment during the last decade, an issue that was not helped by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The university had 1,475 students enrolled in the fall 2020 semester, down from 1,641 students in fall of 2019. Many universities across the United States saw this sort of drop during the pandemic.

But ODU’s overall enrollment trend has been one of decline. In 2010, about 3,100 students attended the university.

Gallaher said higher education is an “industry that is going to be disrupted,” and that Ohio Dominican will have to make changes to be sustainable in the future.

“It’s no different than what we saw in healthcare,” Gallaher said. “The vast majority of those independent, smaller, private hospitals had to not only worry, they had to innovate (and) find partners.

“And that’s what I think you’ll see in a fair amount of universities and colleges across this country.”

That innovation could include increasing the number of corporate partners at ODU, shoring up fundraising, and addressing the cost of college, Gallaher said. Her goal is to think differently about what the university will need as it moves forward.

Gallaher said she laughed when Dr. Janet Bay, a neurosurgeon, retired OhioHealth executive and an ODU board member, first told her that the board wanted her to apply for the president’s job.

“I said, ‘What in the world are you thinking?’ ” Gallaher said. “The traditional university president has various credentials behind their name, generally, at the very least a Ph.D.”

But Bay told her the board was looking for someone different.

“She said, ‘Connie, if we wanted what we had always had, then we would follow the same pathway,'” Gallaher said.

In a statement, Bay said “Connie’s impressive background in the healthcare industry aligns more closely with higher education than many might suspect.”

“I am excited to see how Connie leverages her vast experience to find unique, creative and impactful ways to create new opportunities for ODU students to help equip them with the knowledge, skills and experiences they need to achieve professional and personal success,” Bay said.

Gallaher, who was raised Methodist, said she was also called by her faith to take on the new role at the university. Minutes before her interview, she said she read a prayer of discernment.

“I’m going to paraphrase it, but it said, you have been given a mission by God created for you,” Gallaher said. “While you may not appreciate or understand the reason for this mission today, you will be told that in another life. You have not been created for naught. You are a bond between people, a connection. After I got off that call, it was the first time in my career, (that) I understood one thing very clearly: this was not my choice. This time, my career was in other hands.”

She said the board could see her “deep conviction” for the challenge.

Gallaher said one of Ohio Dominican’s challenges is that it has not adequately told its story about its impact in the greater community.

“We’re a secret gem that this city has … and we’re going to learn to tell our story,” Gallaher said. “Use me as an example. I’ve lived here since I moved for undergraduate in 1974, and I knew of Ohio Dominican, but I didn’t know about Ohio Dominican. We have to do, what I would call, humbly brag.”

For example, she said, ODU has an “outstanding” physician assistant program, which educates professionals in an area that is going to be “direly needed” in the economy as needs in the healthcare industry continue to grow.

“We’ve got to share the story about how we believe in helping the underserved,” Gallaher said. “We’ve got to share the story of what we do with the Charles School. ”

The Charles School at ODU is a five-year, tuition-free early college high school where students can graduate with a high school diploma and an associate’s degree.

While Ohio Dominican is a community asset, “It’s going to be important that we never rest on our history,” she said.

“A great rich history, still fraught with all of the right mission-oriented things, but we cannot rest on that,” she said. “It is a changing world. The goal is you have to remain fluid, dynamic, willing to spin on a dime.”

Gallaher said Ohio Dominican’s mission has never been more relevant: “To help people prepare intellectually, spiritually, as a whole person.”

“The mission is not for me to rewrite, because it still is relevant and it still works,” she said. “My passion is about the big picture and tomorrow, and really helping organizations evolve.”

What gives her confidence about the future of ODU? She said it is “the spirit of commitment, the spirit of conviction, the spirit of (doing) what it takes to succeed.”

“No one, except the Almighty, can predict the future and guarantee it,” Gallaher said. “But my confidence is in what I see.

Posted in News

Dominican Sister of Peace Marie Antoinette Klein

Dominican Sister of Peace Marie Antoinette Klein

Dominican Sister of Peace Marie Antoinette Klein, OP, (93) died July 17, 2021, in the Dominican Sisters’ convent infirmary in Great Bend, KS.  She was born August 20, 1927, in Dodge City, Kan., the daughter of Anthony and Mary Hoffman Klein.

She entered the Dominican Sisters Community in 1944 and pronounced her vows in 1946.

Sister Marie Antoinette, known lovingly as “Toni” by family, friends, and her Sisters at the Motherhouse ministered as a music educator, serving as a piano teacher and organist from 1946-2017.  She played the piano, the violin, and the organ, and shared her love of music and her wonderful talent as a personal preaching with those that she taught as well as those who listened to her play.

Sr. Toni faithfully assisted her blood sisters, Sisters Ruth and Marie, and took exceptional care of them as well the others she served by cooking, cleaning, and serving meals in the Motherhouse. She also worked in the microfilming department of Central Kansas Medical Center.

She retired at the motherhouse in Great Bend, but even then, she continued to serve as organist for many years, even as she had to be assisted to the instrument to play.

In her remembrance at St. Toni’s wake, Sr. Celeste Albers remembered Sr. Marie Antoinette as a woman of few words, but much joy. Sr. Pat Twohill remembered her as a woman of simple tastes, who delighted in good food, the company of friends, and the celebrations of her Community.

Sister Marie Antoinette was preceded in death by her parents and two sisters, Ruth and Marie, both of whom were Dominican Sisters of Peace.  She is survived by several cousins as well as the Dominican Sisters of Peace.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held on July 20, 2021, at the Sisters’ Convent. Sr. Marie Antoinette is buried in the Sisters’ Resurrection Cemetery, Great Bend, KS.

To donate in Sr. Marie Antionette Klein’s memory, please click here.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Marie Antoinette Klein’s memory may be submitted securely online or sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr, Columbus, OH 43219.

To download a printable copy of this memorial, click here.

Posted in Obituaries

Dominican Sister of Peace Marie Joseph Porrello, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Marie Joseph Porrello

Dominican Sister of Peace Marie Joseph Porrello, OP, (Dominica) (93), a native of New Haven, Connecticut, died on June 21, 2101, at the Mohun Health Care Center in Columbus, OH.

The daughter of Rose Cardonita and Liborio Porello, Sr. Marie Joseph graduated from St. Mary’s Academy, our founded school in New Haven, and entered the Congregation in 1946. She made First Profession in 1948 and took her final vows in 1951.

Sr. Marie Joseph earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Ohio Dominican University. She taught elementary school in New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania for twenty-five years. She loved teaching little ones and preparing them for the Sacraments. She kept in contact with many of her students even into retirement.

Sister Marie Joseph left education to minister in Pastoral Care, visiting Columbus, OH- area nursing homes to share the sacraments and to, in her words, “prepare the very sick to meet our Lord Jesus.” She dedicated herself to this service for more than 30 years and was honored to award the Pastoral Service Award from Park Medical Center, now Ohio State University East. She also served at Carrington Health in Columbus, OH.

Sr. Marie Joseph put her gifts of joy and hospitality to work for the Congregation as a receptionist and as a member of the Hospitality Team at the Columbus Motherhouse. She also served as a volunteer with the Congregation’s Communication department.

Even after Sr. Marie Joseph retired from active service, she continued to minister to her Sisters, her family, and friends, and her many former students through calls, letters, and her prayer and presence.

She is preceded in death by her parents Rose Cardonita and Liborio Porello, her brothers, Peter, Sebastian, Dominick, Joseph, and Harold, and her sisters, Annette Anastasio and Ann Marie De Mars. She is survived by nieces, nephews, and many friends.

A private Memorial Service was held at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse Chapel followed by burial at St. Joseph Cemetery by Egan Ryan Funeral Home.

To donate in Sr. Marie Joseph Porrello’s memory, please click here.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Marie Joseph’s memory may be sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr. Columbus, OH 43219 or submitted securely at oppeace.org.

To download and print a PDF copy of this memorial, please click here.

Posted in Obituaries