Dominican Sister of Peace Cathleen Ryan, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Cathleen Ryan

Dominican Sister of Peace Cathleen (Campion) Ryan, OP (94), a native of New York City, died on February 24, 2023, at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Mohun Health Care Center in Columbus, OH.

Sister Cathleen was one of four children born to Catherine Hazel and Edwin Ryan. In an interview with a student at her alma mater, Dominican Academy, she said that she felt drawn to mission work as early as high school but tried to push it away. She attended business school and began a successful career in real estate and advertising. Our community is blessed that she did, at last, heed God’s call to Dominican life and mission. She entered the Congregation in 1954, made first profession in 1956 and took her final vows in 1959. She would have celebrated her 67th year of religious life in 2023.

Sr. Cathleen earned her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from St. Mary of the Springs College, now Ohio Dominican University. She earned a Master of Science in Education/Secretarial Science from Hunter College, and her Master Arts in Theology /Religious Education from St. John’s University. She also attended many conferences, workshops, and convocations to stay updated and prepared for her various ministries.

Sr. Cathleen’s ministry in education centered in Ohio and her native New York, serving as a teacher and as principal of Dominican Academy, the Congregation’s founded high school in New York city.  She served as the treasurer for Ohio Dominican University as well before her focus changed from academic education to religious education.

Motivated by the spirit of Vatican II, Sr. Cathleen devoted her energy to a variety of pastoral ministry positions in New York and Connecticut, and then from 1999 to 2003, she served the Congregation’s Co­Promotor of Dominican Charism. After “retiring” in 2001, she volunteered as an ESL tutor, ministered part-time as a bereavement counselor, and served at the Siena Learning Center in New Britain, CT. One of her personal commitments was to keep the Spirit of Vatican II alive, and she was tireless in calling individuals or groups to accountability. She wrote letters to editors, to the church hierarchy, to leaders of the LCWR, and to Church leaders.

During her final ministry of prayer and presence at the Mohun Health Care Center, Sr. Cathleen was a lively member of the community, always ready for a gathering or a party.

She was preceded in death by her parents Edwin and Catherine Hazel Ryan, and a brother, Paul Ryan. She is survived by her brothers, Msgr. George Ryan and William Ryan.

A wake and Vigil of Remembrance Service was held at the Columbus Motherhouse Chapel on March 3, 2023.  The funeral liturgy was held at the Columbus Motherhouse Chapel on Saturday, March 4,2023, followed by burial at St. Joseph Cemetery in Columbus.

To donate in Sr. Cathleen’s memory, please click here.

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

Memorial gifts in Sr. Cathleen Ryan’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

Dominican Sister of Peace Theresa Damicone, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Theresa Damicone

Dominican Sister of Peace Theresa, Damicone OP (89), died on February 13, 2023, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse in Akron, OH.

Born to Amelia Caniglia and John Damicone in Ravenna, OH, Sr. Theresa was one of six siblings. After graduating high school, Sr. Theresa worked for an insurance company for several years before answering God’s call to religious life. She entered the Congregation in 1956, made first profession in 1958, and took her final vows in 1964. She will celebrate her 65th jubilee in heaven this year.

After earning her Bachelor of Science in Education from Saint John College of Cleveland, Sr. Theresa began a 33-year-long ministry of education. She taught at a number of schools in her home state of Ohio, in Akron, Barberton, Cleveland, and Ravenna, while earning her Master of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Akron. A true Dominican at heart, Sr. Theresa loved to study and participated in a variety of workshops and seminars on topics ranging from Canon Law to the Enneagram, to Holistic Spirituality and Sacred Scripture.

Sr. Theresa was especially happy to minister at her beloved Our Lady of the Elms, a founded ministry of her Congregation, and also at her home parish of Immaculate Conception. She was commended for having a great influence on students and faculty, being an excellent teacher, and relating well to people.

Sr. Theresa also served her Congregation as Secretary for four terms in the 1980’s and 1990’s. She was a member of many boards and commissions including the Community and Spiritual Life Commission for the Congregation and the Board of Trustees for Our Lady of the Elms School.

As busy as she was with her ministries, Sr. Theresa loved to read and attend movies, lectures, and seminars. She was delighted to have been one of the “The Flying Nuns” who rode on the Goodyear airship Spirit of Akron.

During her final ministry of community service and even in the last months of her life, Sr. Theresa faithfully and generously attended to and participated in numerous community services.

She is survived by siblings Sister Marie Damicone, OP of Our Lady of the Elms, Paul Damicone of Ravenna, and Frances (Patrick) Neeley of Dagsboro, DE, and sisters-in-law JoAnn (Bruno) Damicone of Ravenna and Karen (Marshall) Damicone of Munroe Falls. Additional survivors include a niece, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and a large extended family.

She was preceded in death by her parents, and brothers John V. Damicone and Vincent T. Damicone.

A sharing of memories and funeral mass were held on February 21, 2023, at the Akron Motherhouse Chapel. Sr. Theresa was interred at Holy Cross Cemetery.

To donate in Sr. Theresa’s memory, please click here.

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

Memorial gifts in Sr. Theresa Damicone’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

Mother Earth Calls Us to Action

Blog by Karen Martens, OPA

Do you realize that April 22 is Earth Day? The first Earth Day was in 1970. Several years later Pope Francis published Laudato Si’ (2015), calling each of us to action in order to address climate change. DSP has embraced this call by responding to the seven goals set forth by the Laudato Si’Action Platform and is in the second of seven years to meet those goals.

I wonder how well each of us has embraced within our heart the issue of climate change and its effect on all living things. Does it play a role in our daily decisions about what we eat, how often we travel, what we wear, what items we use or purchase, and how often we speak out to our elected officials? Does this influence how we live our lives? To do so, it seems we have to identify with it deeply on both a personal and spiritual level.

Laudato Si’ and climate change should affect each of us on a spiritual level. Unfortunately, I suspect we don’t quickly make that connection. One way to help us make this connection is by reflection and contemplation. Recently, one associate group, the Bethany Mutualities, did that by reflecting on quotations from Laudato Si’. There are many to choose from. The ones we chose were:

  1. Our goal is… become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it. LS 19
  2. The Spirit of Life dwells in every living creature and calls us to enter into relationship with him. LS 88
  3. Everything is connected. Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society. LS 91
  4. Every ecological approach needs to incorporate a social perspective which takes into account the fundamental rights of the poor and the underprivileged. LS 93
  5. There can be no renewal of our relationship with nature without a renewal of humanity itself. LS 118
  6. When we speak of the “environment,” what we really mean is a relationship existing between nature and the society which lives in it. LS 139
  7. Once we start to think about the kind of world we are leaving to future generations, we look at things differently; we realize that the world is a gift we have freely received and must share with others. LS 159
  8. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience. LS 217
  9. Christian spirituality proposes an alternative understanding of the quality of life, and encourages a prophetic and contemplative lifestyle, one capable of deep enjoyment free of the obsession with consumption.  We need to take up an ancient lesson… it is the conviction that “less is more.”  LS’ 222


Perhaps others of you may wish to reflect on these privately or in groups.



Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

Dominican Sisters of Peace permanently protect 600 acres in Washington County, KY

St. Catharine, KY – It’s probably one of the most recognizable sights in Washington County, KY. Driving along Route 150, you see the rolling fields and twin ponds first, then the fruit trees, and finally, a glimpse of the cross that tops the historic Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse at St. Catharine. Thanks to a recently completed agreement with the Bluegrass Land Conservancy, this view will remain unchanged for generations to come. After decades of effort, the Dominican Sisters of Peace have donated the development rights of the entire 605-acre St. Catharine Farm to a protective easement, where it will remain unspoiled forever.

Just north of Springfield, KY, St. Catharine Farm has been cared for by the Dominican Sisters of Peace since 1822, when the first congregation of Dominican women religious in the United States was founded on the site. The easement held by Bluegrass Land Conservancy will ensure that this land, known for its natural beauty and historic significance, remains intact thanks to the permanent protections voluntarily put forth by the Dominican Sisters of Peace.

The Dominican Sisters of Peace have led the nationwide movement by religious congregations to gift landback to the communities that they have served beginning with the efforts of the late Sr. Christine Loughlin, OP, who founded the Religious Lands Conservancy in New England in the early 2000s. The Congregation has also conserved properties in Louisiana and Massachusetts through partnerships like the agreement with the Bluegrass Land Conservancy.

Dominican Sister of Peace Claire McGowan, OP, founder of New Pioneers for a Sustainable Future, a local non-profit that seeks to build a sustainability movement in rural central Kentucky, celebrated the easement. “We rejoice heartily that the sacred land where the Dominican Sisterhood began in the United States 200 years ago has become a gift to the future – the future of Springfield, of Washington County, of Kentucky, indeed of the world.  By donating the development rights, we have ensured that the 605 acres known as St. Catharine Farm will never be suffocated by concrete, poisoned by toxic chemicals, or stripped naked by clear-cutting.  Its 120 acres of forests will continue to gift the region with oxygen and protect wildlife, its pastures will nourish healthy livestock, its bottomlands will provide vibrant crops of food for humans whose food supply may be diminished by climate change.”

Farm manager Danny Ray Spalding is particularly pleased by the conservation arrangement. Spalding has partnered with the University of Kentucky to integrate eco-friendly farming and livestock management practices. “St. Catharine Farm will continue to be a place where farmers can see sustainable practices in action, and hopefully put them to use as well,” he said.

The conservation easement will preserve the historic view of the Farm as well as protect its large stands of old growth trees, while permitting allowing the Congregation to continue to use the land and undertake the limited development compatible with a working farm.  It will also protect the site of the original St. Catharine Convent and school on the banks of Cartwright Creek, which burned to the ground in 1904.

“We are grateful to the Bluegrass Land Conservancy for helping us create an easement arrangement that lets us enjoy St. Catharine Farm for the blessing that it is,” said Sr. Pat Twohill, Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. “Our Sisters can continue to live at the Motherhouse and our Sansbury Care center, we can continue to provide food to the local community and service to our neighbors – all the while knowing that this land that we treasure will be protected long beyond our own lifetimes.”


From Top Left, clockwise:
IMAGE 1: St. Catharine Farm’s Number 3 barn was built in collaboration with the University of Kentucky. The preservation of the Dominican Sisters of Peace St. Catharine Farm through an easement with the Bluegrass Conservancy will allow the farm to continue to be a living laboratory for innovative and ecologically sound beef farming practices.

IMAGE 2: Views like this, showcasing the rolling hills and grass-carpeted fields of St. Catharine Farm in Springfield, KY, will be enjoyed by future generations thanks to the Dominican Sisters of Peace’s easement through the Bluegrass Land Conservancy. The easement features 2,300 linear feet of frontage on KY-150 BUS.

IMAGE 3:  St. Catharine Farm, the original home of Dominican Women Religious in the United States, is also home to critical grassland bird habitats, a number of threatened or endangered species, and a Forest Protection area with significant stands of old growth oak, walnut, hickory and other native trees. These ecological treasures will be protected under the new easement agreement between the Dominican Sisters of Peace and the Bluegrass Land Conservancy.

IMAGE 4: The easement with the Bluegrass Land Conservancy preserves the wetlands adjacent to Cartwright Creek, in the Siena Vale portion of St. Catharine Farm. Wetlands like those in the protected area of St. Catharine Farm are the base of the food chain and feed many species of fish, amphibians, shellfish and insects.

Left to right:
IMAGE 1: A portion of the scenic frontage preserved by Dominican Sisters of Peace conservation easement with the Bluegrass Conservancy shows the historic St. Catharine Motherhouse, fruit trees and a pond.

The original St. Catharine Motherhouse was built in Siena Vale, on property inherited by blood sisters and Congregational Sisters Angela and Benven Sansbury. After the Motherhouse and school were destroyed by fire in 1904, the Congregation rebuilt on Siena Heights. This historical site will be preserved under the new easement through the Bluegrass Land Conservancy.


Dominican Sisters of Peace, members of the Order of Preachers, are vowed Catholic women who strive to share the Gospel of Christ and advance the reign of God through lives of service and peace-making. The Dominican Sisters of Peace are present in 29 dioceses, and Nigeria. The Sisters serve God’s people in many ways, including education, health care, spirituality, pastoral care, prison ministry, the arts, and care of creation. There are 345 sisters and more than 400 lay associates affiliated with the congregation.

Founded in 1995, Bluegrass Land Conservancy (BLC) became the first land trust in Kentucky to receive the distinction of Accreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.  Land trust accreditation is a national recognition, showing that a land trust meets the highest standard for land conservation. BLC spans a 25-county service area across the greater Bluegrass Region of Kentucky, including: Anderson, Bourbon, Boyle, Bullitt, Clark, Fayette, Franklin, Garrard, Harrison, Henry, Jefferson, Jessamine, Madison, Marion, Mercer, Nelson, Nicholas, Oldham, Owen, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble, Washington, and Woodford, covering the very best farmland in the Commonwealth. Thanks to increasing community support, BLC has permanently protected over 32,600 acres.  





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