Sister Mary Giovanni Cody, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Mary Giovanni Cody, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Mary Giovanni Cody (Patricia Ann) (86) died September 14, 2022, at the Philadelphia Protestant Home in Philadelphia, PA.  She was born January February 4, 1936, in Philadelphia, PA, the beloved only child of Raymond and Helen Jurkofsky Cody.

Prior to entering religious life, she graduated from St. Boniface Business School in Philadelphia, PA, and worked in business for 10 years.

She entered the Dominican Sisters community in 1962 and pronounced vows in 1964.  Known fondly as Sister Gio, she served God and God’s people as a Dominican Sister for 58 years,

She began her service to the Church at the Fatima Retreat House in Indiana. During this time, she obtained a CCD Certificate and a Gabriel Richard Leadership Certificate and taught CCD classes at the retreat house.  In her next ministry, she cared for the elderly sisters at St. Catherine Hall in Elkins Park, PA.  This experience led her to her vocation as a nurse. In 1980 she entered the School of Practical Nursing at the Presbyterian University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and ministered there as a GPN/LPN for the next 20 years.

In 2000 Sister Gio retired from nursing and began her family, neighborhood, and prayer ministry.  She cared for those around her with the same love and affection that she gave to her patients.  One of the things that she enjoyed was walking, and no doubt talking, with friends and neighbors.  She also enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles, Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, and watching her beloved Phillies.  No doubt, she will be cheering for them from on high.

One of Gio’s favorite hymns was “Be Not Afraid”. This should not surprise us since she was not afraid to answer God’s call sixty years ago. She was not afraid to change ministries so that she could find those she could best serve. And she was not afraid to face death because she knew she “would see the face of God and live.”

Sister Mary Giovanni was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her aunt, Teresa (Jurkofsky) Cantz, many first and second cousins, and the Dominican Sisters of Peace.

Visitation and the Funeral Mass were held Friday, September 23 at St. Anne’s Church in Philadelphia, PA. Sr. Mary Giovanni’s place and time of interment will be announced at a later date.

To donate in Sr. Mary Giovanni Cody’s memory, please click here.

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

Memorial gifts in Sr. Giovanni Cody’s memory may be sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr. Columbus, OH 43219 or


Posted in News, Obituaries

The Dominican Order in Myanmar

Myanmar is a country located in the western portion of mainland Southeast Asia, with a population of 53 million persons. It was formerly called Burma, has an ancient Buddhist tradition and contains many small ethnics groups. The Catholic population is less than 4%, or around 2 million persons.

The presence of the Province of Our Lady of the Rosary in Myanmar began on November 12, 2010. We currently have three houses: One in Yangon, which is a house of formation for our aspirants, and (during this year at least) it is our novitiate for the country. Fathers of this house also serve in a parish of a district on the outskirts of the capital Yangon which ministers to displaced people from other regions, most of them belonging to the minority ethnic groups. In addition, the brothers assist several communities of religious in their houses of formation.

We have another house in Loikaw, where we serve a parish that includes in its territory several villages. We have a ‘Learning Center’, with English classes, as well as computer skills classes and teacher training. Every year, around 100 young people take these courses, receiving an opportunity to serve their country and have a better future.

Four hours from the capital city is the second largest city of Myanmar, Mandalay. We have a ‘Social Training Centre’ in a remote village, Zawgyi, where we help to prepare students from less-privileged families for the university entrance exams. Each year, around 50 new students graduate, and 50 new students start their training.

Our presence in Myanmar aims to assist the local church in the Christian formation of the laity and in the teaching of theology in seminaries or other religious centers.  We already have 18 Dominican priests from Myanmar, 4 deacons and 15 students of philosophy and theology in Macau. Some of these priests are missionaries in another countries, such as in Macau, Japan, Spain or Philippines.

Currently 9 brothers work in this mission; 6 young people are doing their novitiate there and 15 young people are aspirants. Another 10 brothers from Myanmar are in other missions of the Province and 17 student brothers in the provincial ‘house of studies’ or studentate (our seminary) in Macau.

St. Dominic’s House in Yangon was officially opened on the feast day of St. Dominic, August 8, 2011.  His Excellency Charles Bo, SDB (now Cardinal) personally came to inaugurate the house and announced the presence of the Order in the golden land of Myanmar. The house, however, was bought in 2010 and on the 7th of October of that same year the first community of friars was established there with Fr Fernando Muñoz, O.P. being its first superior. From 2011 onwards, the house becomes the center for the aspirants who want to join the Order.

At the present, the main ministry of the community is pastoral work and formation. The brothers work in the parish of St. Gemma Galgani, Shwepyithar, which is entrusted to the Dominicans by the Archdiocese of Yangon. Since this house is also the house of formation of aspirants, the brothers dedicate their time to the future candidates for the Order. Aside from these, conducting retreats to different religious and diocesan communities is also an important part of our ministry and service to the local Church.

The land on which St. Thomas Aquinas’ House stands was bought in 2008. The foundation of the House was laid in 2009 and the house was completed in 2012. On 23 November 2013, the house was inaugurated with the approval and authorization of the Master of Order, Fr. Bruno Cadore O.P.

Fr. Javier Gonzalez, O.P. Prior Provincial and some other Dominican brothers from our houses in Rome, Philippines and Hong Kong were present at the inauguration of the house. The Local Ordinary, Msgr. Sotero Phamo, Bishop of Loikaw Diocese, and his auxiliary, Bishop Stephen Thjephe blessed the house and welcomed the presence of Dominicans in the diocese. Besides the Dominican brothers and sisters both local and from abroad, many diocesan priests and religious Sisters attended the joyful celebration.

On December 01, 2013, Msgr. Sotero Phamo, Bishop of Loikaw, erected a new parish, the Parish of Nwalawo, and handed it over to the Dominicans in Loikaw. This parish composes six villages with approximately 2000 Catholics. The six villages are relatively close from each other. Eighty five percent of the parishioners are farmers.

Besides taking care of the spiritual and social welfare of the parishioners, the brothers in Loikaw conduct retreats to religious sisters and pious Lay Associations outside their parish. To the parishioners, we administer the Sacraments; give retreats and recollections to various Lay Pious Associations regularly. We also organize classes of catechism for the children and summer seminars for the youth.

MARTIN DE PORRES’ HOUSE St. Martin de Porres’ Social Center, Zawgyi, Mandalay
The House of St. Martin De Porres in ZawGyi was established in June 2014 by the Master of the Order, Fr. Bruno Cadore, O.P., with the permission of the Archbishop of Mandalay, Msgr. Paul Zinghtung Granwg. It is near to the City of Mandalay, within the region of Mandalay Division, the central area of Myanmar. Fr. John Bosco Lo Lo, O.P., has been appointed the first superior of the house and the vicar of the Provincial in Mandalay region. Bro. Mariano Kai, O.P., was recently assigned to the house as he is preparing for his ordination to the Diaconate and Priesthood.

Considering the urgent need for educational support in the area, the Province decided to offer supplementary courses and evening classes to the students of Grade V to Grade XI. Many of them are Buddhist students in the neighborhood. At this moment (2015), there are 113 students coming for classes and study. Many teachers are hired to help the brothers. In addition to this, the community also offers English Courses and hosts retreats in the Social Center of St. Martin de Porres for the faithful and seminarians.

The situation in Myanmar seems to grow worse each day. People’s rights are being violated, and violence is escalating at an alarming rate. Our Dominican Family in Myanmar shares this painful situation with their people. Along with the Friars and the Nuns, there are two communities of Dominican Sisters there, one of which is in Yangon, where so much violence has occurred. These Sisters belong to the Congregation “Religiosas Misioneras de Santo Domingo”, whose Motherhouse is in Italy. We join in solidarity with our Sisters and all of the people in Myanmar, that there will be an end to the violence and oppression and a renewed respect for the dignity and the rights of the people.

Religious Missionary Sisters of St. Dominic

Dominican Sisters of Blessed Imelda

ဒိုမိနီကန် အီမဲလ်ဒါ သီလရှင်များ အသင်းဂိုဏ်း



Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

How Can We Share Peace?

The Fourth Sunday of Advent – December 18, 2022



In the Gospel of John,
Christ said to the disciples,
“Peace be unto you: as the Father hath sent me,
even so send I you.”

What an amazing blessing –
and what an enormous responsibility!
Jesus gave us the gift of peace –
and asked us to share it just as he had.

How can we share peace?

During these days before Christmas, share a smile.
Show patience. Invite a lonely neighbor
to share your holiday joy.

We were sent to share peace.
May we all be blessed with peace
this holiday season.





Your donation will help us build PEACE in the coming year.

Posted in News

The Beautiful Music of Christmas, performed by the Mid-Kentucky Chorus, from the Springfield Sun


By Ashley Lyons, Sun Student Intern


The Beautiful Music of Christmas, performed by the Mid-Kentucky Chorus, was held at the Saint Catharine Motherhouse on Dec. 2 and 4.

Melissa Wiser, Kelli Evans, Rene Buckman, Angela Crenshaw, Troy Wethington, Gary Vidito, and Larry Bush sing acapella “Mary Did You Know”.

Melissa Wiser, Kelli Evans, Rene Buckman, Angela Crenshaw, Troy Wethington, Gary Vidito, and Larry Bush sing acapella “Mary Did You Know”.

In terms of the concert, conductor and composer Teresa Tedder stated, “We have had more singers join us, leading to a more vibrant sound.” The members of the Mid-Kentucky Chorus are dedicated to their craft, practicing each week on Tuesday evenings to prepare for their seasonal concerts.

Opal Young, who has been singing with the Chorus for 25 years, recalled when the group was known as Lebanon Community Choir. Singer Patricia Mealey credited St. Catharine for allowing them to practice in the music hall, “This is a beautiful space and we are so grateful for their generosity.” Three of the Chorus members are sisters themselves: Sister Patricia Mood, Sister Susan Morris, and Sister Janie Keenoy.

A string quartet, comprised of Gabriella Burdette (cello), Gabriela Carter (violin), Leila Trindade (violin), and Denis Santos (viola), with Priscila Dickson (piano) accompanied the Chorus during the concert.

The Mid-Kentucky Chorus sang several Christmas classics, such as Unto Us A Child Is Born, The First Noel, and Good King Wenceslas. There were also solo acts, with Kelli Evans singing “Breath of Heaven,” Colette Mattingly for “O Holy Night,” “Rise Up Shepherd” by Opal Young, and Angela Crenshaw singing “Jesus, What A Wonderful Child.”

Sponsors for the concert were Bardstown Rotary Club, Dr. & Mrs. Brian Wells, Pat and Mahala Mattingly, and James and Lena Sue Fawkes.




Posted in News

Are you the One, or Should I look for Another?

Blog by Sr. Pat Dual, OP

Twice during this third week of Advent, we have heard in the scriptures the haunting question asked by a jailed John the Baptist, to Jesus, “Are you the One who is to come, or should we look for another?”  Both Matthew and Luke share the story. This exchange between Jesus and John the Baptist is one of my favorite scriptures.  One reason this story is striking to me is because of who is asking the question. John the Baptist, after all, had lived his whole life fulfilling his call to prepare others for the promised Messiah. He eventually recognized Jesus as the fulfilment of this promise. What changed so drastically for John, that he now questioned if Jesus is the Messiah?

John the Baptist understood his call was to prepare the way for the coming of God’s promised Messiah. But as John’s ministry and life is ending, he realizes that Jesus’ ministry does not reflect what he had envisioned.  John preached about repentance and the wrath that would follow at the coming of the Messiah, but he came to realize that Jesus’ ministry did not reflect this reality.  Jesus spoke of forgiveness, compassion, and mercy. John’s vision of the Messiah did not match the reality revealed in the ministry of Jesus.  His vision of the Messiah was different from God’s plan.  Hence the question, “Are you the One who is to come, or should I look for another?”

It is interesting that Jesus did not give John a yes or no answer but pointed to the fruits of his ministry as his response — “the blind see, the deaf hear, lepers are cleansed, the lame walk, the dead are raised…and the poor have the good news preached to them.”  Jesus allowed the fruits of his ministry to identify him as the One who was promised by God.

Like John, we may also fall into darkness and doubt.  We may not be able to see God’s presence in situations or understand God’s plan in our circumstances. Like John, we too, hold opinions and perspectives that we may have to let go of, to accept a new reality. What resonates with me about this scenario between John the Baptist and Jesus is that I can identify with John in his time of uncertainty, as well as in his time of darkness and doubt. And like John, I can identify with the reassurance and renewal that comes when I seek my answers from God. Jesus’ response to John in this gospel is a joyful reminder, that when we ask, we too, are given what we need to restore and renew our hope.

Lastly, I was intrigued by how Jesus allowed the fruits of his ministry to identify him as the Messiah in his response to John’s question— “Are you the One…?” For us who are called to be disciples of Jesus, could we be identified by the fruits of our ministry of discipleship?  Disciples of Jesus are called to help make a difference in the lives of others. Disciples are called to share the light and truth of the gospel. Disciples are called to share the love, compassion, and mercy of Christ. Would the fruits of our ministry of discipleship reveal who we are? Perhaps an even better question might be, “Are we the ones who will make a difference in someone’s life, or should He look for another?”

If your reflection on discipleship is leading you to consider religious life, give us a call for help and resources.  You may also want to consider our Mission for Peace event to be held January 13-15, 2023, in three locations.  Click here for the flyer.

Wishing you peace, hope and joy this Advent season!

Sr. Pat Dual, OP




Posted in God Calling?, News, Vocations Blog