Climate Change and Our Pets

Blog by Associate Judy Hardy

Next Wednesday we celebrate the Feast of St. Roch, the patron saint of dogs. So today seems like a good time to look at how we can protect our canine and feline friend by doing our part to prevent climate change.

We may not consider this, but climate change affects our pets.  Our pets will endure the same hotter weather, hurricanes, and floods that afflict humans. In addition, there are unseen dangers, like parasites and diseases, that climate change can make worse.

The evidence about parasites becoming more dangerous is real:

These pests are on the move because of warmer and wetter weather. Current climate conditions are now more favorable than ever for these parasites to be infective for longer times. In fact, the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) released a report stating that climate change has a direct impact on the life cycle of ticks, mosquitoes, fleas, and intestinal and respiratory parasites.

Often, the pet-loving public and even veterinarians aren’t aware that certain parasitic diseases — like heartworm or Lyme disease — have invaded their region. As a result, many pets don’t get any or adequate prevention, particularly when a parasite is new to the neighborhood.

Climate change is putting our pets at higher risk for: heartworm; tick-borne diseases; flea infestations and associated diseases; and GI and respiratory parasitic disease

Fleas have always been a problem since they can survive indoors. Many parts of the country with cold winters could treat their pets in the warm “flea season.” Warmer temps in the fall and spring, however, means year-round flea treatment is necessary.

Being aware of how climate change affects pets means you’ll know what parasitic diseases to watch out for. And then you can help protect your pets before they become sick.

Recent extreme weather events is another reason to be aware of how climate change affects our pets. The destruction of homes and displacement of families affect pets’ well-being. While pets can be lost or killed in a severe hurricane, storm, flood, or fire, they may also become homeless.

Create an evacuation plan that considers your pet’s needs as well as your own in the case of an impending severe weather event.

Our pets are the source of much joy in our lies.  Being aware of the possible effects of climate change on pets can help us be prepared to protect them.

Source: Petful,  Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMDcontributor


Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

Celebrate the Feast of St. Dominic With the Dominican Sisters of Peace

Dear friends…

In the opening verses of the book of Ephesians, St. Paul tells the members of this new church,

In God we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of God’s will.

This verse has particular meaning to the Dominican Sisters of Peace in this year of celebration. As we look back on two hundred years of Dominican women religious in the United States, we know that when Fr. Samuel Thomas Wilson, OP, asked parishioners at Sr. Rose Church in Springfield, KY, to become members of the Dominican Order, not only were the nine women who responded choosing God, but God was choosing them to help accomplish God’s intentions in the newly formed United States.

And what a two hundred years it has been.

From nine women in a tiny cabin on the banks of Cartwright Creek in Kentucky to an entire order of women – teaching children, caring for the sick and the aged, opening the doors of education for women and immigrants, being a refuge for families in need and an advocate for God’s beloved creation, Earth.

Like our patron, Dominic and our beloved sister, St. Catherine of Siena, we still strive to meet the people of God where they are…on the frontier, on their sickbeds, at the border, or in the church. And like our Order’s co-patroness, St. Mary Magdalene, we bring the Gospel of Christ’s Peace with us.

On this feast of St. Dominic, we are choosing to look not backward at the worthy work in our past, but forward to what we believe will be a bright and joyous future – a future where, with your love, your prayers, and your financial support, the Dominican Sisters of Peace may continue to accomplish God’s will.

  • In April, the Dominican Sisters of Peace held their Third General Chapter. Over these four days, we adopted a series of Direction Statement to guide us for the next six years, including a commitment to inclusion, a pledge to care for Earth, a commitment to prayer, contemplation and preaching, and dedication to fostering the future of active Dominican life. We also elected a new leadership team to help shepherd our Congregation into this future.
  • We are proud to share that as of July 2022, 606 acres of St. Catharine Farm in Kentucky has been placed into trust with the Bluegrass Land Conservancy, a nationally accredited, community supported trust that encourages the preservation of land. We are blessed to safeguard this precious space where Dominican Sisterhood began for future generations.
  • Between 2021 and 2023, 14 of our ministries have celebrated major anniversaries. We are celebrating more than 550 years of nurturing and teaching the children of our church, 110 years of higher education, 100 years of care to the elderly and those in poverty, 50 years of education and assistance to those new to our country, 110 years of offering spiritual care to God’s people through our retreat ministries, and 295 years of preserving God’s precious creation, Earth. These and our other ministries continue to preach peace through our service to God’s people.
  • In 2022, we have welcomed four new women to the Congregation as candidates. In the past year, two Sisters have made final vows and two have become temporarily professed. Through the grace of God, and the joyful ministry of our Sisters, our Congregation continues to grow and to prepare for a future of service to God’s people.

Just as our foremothers faced the challenges of their day, we look with hope and faith to the challenges now: a divided nation; Gun violence; Hunger in our cities; Continued devastation of our planet; Lack of compassion for refugees and the marginalized. These are the work that God intends us to do, and with your prayers, your support, and your financial donations, we are ready and able to do God’s will… to, in the spirit of our founder, Dominic de Guzman, to do everything – even the smallest things – to the glory of God.

We are each called and chosen by God to accomplish God’s will – to bring peace to the world. We are blessed to walk together with you in this work.

With a grateful heart,

Sr. Patricia A. Twohill, OP
Prioress, Dominican Sisters of Peace

Celebrate the Feast of St. Dominic with a special prayer service! Click to download your copy here.

Click here to assist us in our on-going ministry to preach Christ’s peace.

Posted in News, Seasonal Observances

The Saving Grace of Faith

Blog by Associate Mary Ellen George, OPA

Life has its ups and downs.  And when the chips are down, we may find ourselves consumed by painful experiences that we wish we did not have to face or go through.

Let’s face it – we all experience heartbreak, sadness, and difficult moments that can leave us feeling wounded. Left unattended, emotional wounds have a way of spreading in unhealthy ways and affecting our ability or capacity to be present in our relationships with others. Recovering from such challenging moments, I know from my own experience, takes time. During this time of healing, it is important for us to be gentle with ourselves, to practice self-compassion, and to exercise patience as the healing process unfolds in us and we let God heal us.

There are certainly many examples from Jesus’ life of him facing hardships—abandonment, betrayal, rejection, and being crucified. Jesus took these hardships to God in prayer, seeking to know and understand how to process whatever life experiences he encountered. In turning to God in moments of distress, Jesus found the strength, courage, and wisdom he needed to continue walking the journey he was on. As David declares in Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,” and in Psalm 34:18, we hear the reassuring words that God is ever at our side when we feel broken, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Our faith becomes our bedrock that sustains us through difficult times and healing becomes a spiritual journey that calls us to place our trust in God. When we look back at other periods of hardship in our lives, we can see God’s footprint in our lives, assuring us that God is always with us. The power of one’s faith is often cited in many biblical stories as being a factor in the healing process.  One example can be found in Mark 5:34, where Jesus says to the woman, Veronica, “You are now well because of your faith. May God give you peace! You are healed, and you will no longer be in pain.”

So, if you are a woman discerning a call to religious life, knowing yourself is important.  It is important to understand how you manage both the joys and the difficulties of life.  This kind of self-knowledge is essential to maintaining healthy relationships.  You might ask yourself, for example, how you handle relationship conflicts since you will likely live in community with other women. Do you withdraw or are you willing to work through conflict? Are you able to support women whose personalities and cultures are different from yours? Are you able to forgive and be open to reconciliation?  Can you minister to those in need of healing?  Where does prayer fit into your life?  Do you seek God’s guidance in moments of difficulty?

If you are eager to offer care and comfort to God’s people, perhaps God is calling you to consider becoming a religious sister. We can help you discern God’s movement in your life.  Contact us to explore where you are in your discernment.

Posted in God Calling?, News, Vocations Blog

A Prayer for the Feast of St. Dominic


On August 8, we mark the Feast Day of our Founder, St. Dominic, or Dominic de Guzmán. We are blessed to have been called to be a part of his preaching ministry, and we call on Dominic and our sisters and brothers in Heaven for their prayers for our ministry and missions.

As we celebrate the Feast of St. Dominic together, we share this special prayer service that you can use for our own reflections. Please click here for a WORD formatted version of the service that can be edited to suit the needs of your event. Click here for a PDF formatted version of the service.

Both forms are formatted for regular 8 1/2″ X 11″ paper with no folding needed. It can be printed on both sides to save paper.

Posted in Celebrating 200 Years, News

Sister Margaret Ogechi Uche Professes Final Vows

Nurse, Hospital Chaplain Makes Commitment to Dominican Sisters of Peace

Sister Margaret Ogechi Uche, OP stands before the altar during the Litany of the Saints. The Domincan Sisters of Peace welcomed Sister Margaret Ogechi Uche, OP as she professed her perpetual vows in a Mass held at the Dominican Chapel of the Plains in Great Bend, Kansas on July 31, 2022. (Photo: Joey Bahr,

The Dominican Chapel on the Plains in Great Bend, KS, was home to a celebration of faith and commitment on Sunday, July 31, as Sr. Margaret Uche made her perpetual vows as a member of the Dominican Sisters of Peace.

Sr. Margaret grew up in Nigeria. While her family were devout Catholics, she was only able to attend a local convent school for a brief time, but that early experience was the beginning of a call to religious life.

Sr. Margaret earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from California State University. She began her career working in the lab, but found the work unsatisfying, and moved into nursing.

“I loved taking care of people, and was very fulfilled doing that,” Sr. Margaret says. She earned her RN from the University of Houston-Victoria and then worked as a pediatric nurse. She enjoyed her job and was fulfilled in her work, but something was missing.

“Something was not right. My Nigerian culture always says that you must get married, but the idea of marriage was not working for me,” Sr. Margaret said. On the advice of her sister in Nigeria, she began to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament and sought the counsel of a spiritual director.

“After I began to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament, I started to experience such peace. I felt something different … and I started to remember my time in the convent school. I kept feeling such peace and joy,” Sr. Margaret says.

Her spiritual director suggested the next step in her journey – that she investigate entering religious life. Sr. Margaret believed that because she was feeling such peace, this direction had to be from the Holy Spirit – and she started looking for a religious community.


Her first contact was with the Dominican Sisters of Great Bend, a founding congregation of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. Their long history of ministry in Nigeria was appealing to Sr. Margaret and she began to discern with a vocation director.

Sr. Margaret was welcomed into the Congregation on November 1, 2014 and moved into the Congregation’s House of Discernment in New Haven. She entered the Novitiate in 2016 and made her temporary vows in July 2018.

Since her first profession, she has followed in the itinerant steps of our founder Dominic, working in health care in Garden City, Kansas, then in New Orleans, before moving to Wichita to study clinical pastoral education as a Chaplain Resident in a healthcare setting.

“Going through both formation and my training as a Chaplain Resident, especially during COVID, was so demanding – but I feel like if God knows what you are doing is good, God gives you that grace to do it. That grace is what is helping me do it.”

Fr. Bob Schremmer of the Dodge City Diocese presided at the Eucharistic Liturgy. Sr. Patricia Twohill, Prioress of the Congregation, received Sr. Margaret’s profession of vows. Many Sisters, Associates, and guests, as well as members of the Sacred Heart Sisters in Nigeria, participated in the joyous celebration.

Sister Margaret is in the final unit of her clinical pastoral education program as a Chaplain Resident. She hopes to continue her education to earn a master’s degree in Theology and remain in the ministry of healing of the body and the spirit.

Single Catholic women who are interested in learning more about religious life are encouraged to visit the Congregation on their website at, or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

To watch the recording of Sr. Margaret’s Final Profession ceremony, please click here.



Posted in News