Make Me An Instrument Of Your Peace

Dominican Sisters of Peace Formations and Vocations team, from back left, Sr. Pat Dual, OP, Mary Ellen George, OPA. Front from left: Sr. Mai Dung Nguyen, OP, Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP, Sr. Bea Tiboldi, OP.

Blog by Mary Ellen George, OPA

When you reflect on this phrase, “mission for peace,” what image(s) come to mind?  Do you picture a far-away mission in a foreign land where others have been dispatched to bring peace and conflict resolution to a warring community or society?  Is the necessity of making peace an “out there” or “away from me” imagining that is everyone else’s responsibility?  Do you insulate yourself from seeing or hearing the call to “be peace, preach peace, and build peace”? Do you refrain from becoming involved when the lack of peace happens around you in your relationships, in your workplace, and in your living community?

Or, are you looking, instead, for an opportunity to be an “instrument of peace,” as expressed here in The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi?




Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Are you ready to be the hands and feet of Christ, bringing peace and hope to others?  Then, why not join our Sisters and other women who are considering religious life, June 2-6, 2023, in Akron, Ohio for a “Mission for Peace” experience.  This five-day, service-based, hands-on learning experience offers you a real-life experience of prayer and community living.  You will have time also to talk to our Sisters to get answers to the questions you have about religious life and about serving others as a Dominican Sister of Peace.  Check out these testimonials from participants who experienced this program

Click here for more information about this free opportunity or click here to register now.

Peace be with you


Posted in God Calling?, News, Vocations Blog

Novena Against Gun Violence

“Loving God, You created for us a world of beauty, order, and endless possibilities. But today ours is a world often in chaos: war, famine, drought, so many “isms”, lack of respect for life and for one another. In this our very own beloved country we face these issues day after day. One of these is uppermost in our minds these days—the horror of gun violence which continues to ravage our nation, our society, our people, even the youngest of our children. 

“Spirit God, we give you all names: Holy, Sanctifier, Paraclete, Advocate. Yet you are so much more: Challenger, Nudger, whirling Wind and engulfing Fire, Mover, Enabler, Lover, Breath of Life. Be that for us, we pray. Instill in us your gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, reverence, and awe. Pentecost us. Enable us to be as daring as the newly inspired Apostles—to be bold in our defense of the right of all persons to feel safe wherever we are, unafraid of being forever silenced by those who are armed with weapons and anger and sometimes even hatred.

“Give us the courage to speak the Word. Give us the audacity to take the actions needed to end this needless violence against innocent victims.

In the name of our Creator God, in the name of the Word of Life and in the name of the Fire of Love. Amen.”                                                                                                                   

— Prayer by Sister Michele Bisaillon, DHS  

Click here to download a copy of the novena.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

Dominican Students Post Wins at New Orleans and National Academic Games

St. Mary’s Dominican High School students Isabelle Anderson (left) and Camille Truxillo with their Academic Games wins from nationals and New Orleans competitions.

St. Mary‘s Dominican High School students Isabelle Anderson, Tess Baker, Mia Bavido, Truc Nguyen, and Camille Truxillo competed at the Academic Games League of America nationals held in Orlando, Florida. Truxillo placed Fourth out of 87 competitors, with a perfect score in Equations. In the playoffs she competed against the top six students. Truxillo and  Anderson, along with William Xi and Jack McAvoy from Willow School and Erin Powell from St. Charles Catholic, competed against 17 teams and placed second in Presidents and against 24 teams placing third in Propaganda.

Winning levels at the New Orleans Academic Games League: Presidents – Individual: Truxillo placed second out of 28 competitors; On-Sets – Individual: Anderson and Truxillo placed third out of 26 competitors. Dominican’s Academic Games club moderators are Spencer Schnell and Monica Haag.

Academic Games is a competition in the U.S. in which players win by out-thinking each other in mathematics, language arts, and social studies. Formal tournaments are organized by local leagues, and on a national level by the Academic Games Leagues of America. Started in 1966, the New Orleans Academic Games League inspires students to become critical thinkers through friendly competition, open to all schools and individuals,  in challenging mathematics, language arts, and social studies games. Students in Grades 4 through 12 from over 20 schools in the Greater New Orleans metro area compete in the New Orleans Academic Games League each school year.


Posted in News

Blessing of Memorial to Enslaved Persons, A Reflection on John 16:12-13

Reflection by Elaine Riley, OPA

When the Spirit of Truth comes, the Spirit will guide you to all truth. John 16:13

As I reflect upon this memorial dedication to the enslaved, I’m reminded how this dedication’s origin was really formed at the reconciliation service held in Bardstown, KY, in 2000.

Little could have anyone ever imagined that this reconciliation service would be the key element used in calling forth the Spirit of Truth, as Sr. Joan Scanlon, then piesident of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catharine, formally acknowledgd and
ask forgiveness for the owning slaves.

As the Sisters took this first crucial step, it would require profound courage in acknowledging the truth, to apologize and ask forgiveness for the truth, and to take ownership of the truth. Once this acknowledgement was spoken, the SPIRIT OF TRUTH emerged. This was our first encounter of witnessing the SPIRIT OF TRUTH challenging the Order who preached the Truth, to tell the Truth. Because for many years this “Unspoken Truth” was allowed to lie dormant within the Dominican Family’s historical archives.

But just as there’s an appointed time for everything, the Spirit of Truth would have to wait patiently before guiding
the Sisters to the “I WAS HERE” presentation on October 2, 2022. At this remembrance and blessing ceremony, the Sisters recognized and honored the contributions of the Enslaved. We also learned, through the research of Catholic Historian Walker Gollar, the first names of the very first women and men enslaved at St. Catharine.

And just when we felt that the Spirit Of Truth had nothing more to say, the “spirit” would once again emerge, taking the
spotlight, as Sr. Rosemary Rule summarized that St. Catharine’s Motherhouse was a place of injustice and pain for the enslaved persons who helped build it in 1822. Painfully, this was another “Unspoken Truth” now spoken.

Clearly, it was the pursuit of telling the Truth which has brought us to assemble here for this memorial dedication
honoring the Enslaved who once walked these sacred grounds. This monument is a true testament to how the lives of the Dominican Sisters and the lives of the Enslaved are inseparable.

So, it is only fitting that the Enslaved spirits of Grace, Lucy, Milla, George, Leanard, Robert, and the names unknown, take their rightful place here in this cemetery alongside their Dominican Family.

For this monument will always be a constant reminder that the Enslaved were here, when they journeyed to St. Catharine’s with the Founding Women who joined the order.

YOU were here working the fields, tending the livestock, and performing other domestic duties to Sisters, who may or may not have known your names.

YOU were here, at times broken and wounded in spirit, as a result of the oppressive injustices thrust upon you.

And yes, YOU were here, sometimes seen or unseen working among and alongside  of the First Dominican· Sisters of the United States.

To the Enslaved persons who once walked these sacred grounds of St. Cathaiine’s, may your eternal spirits rest peacefully with the Dominican Siste of Peace. And hopefully in time your “SPIRITS” will no longer feel like a MOTHERLESS CHILD, because the SPIRIT OF TRUTH HAS SPOKEN.

Posted in Associate Blog, News

Dominican Sister of Peace Ruth Hamel, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Ruth Hamel

Dominican Sister of Peace Ruth Hamel, OP (63), a native of Detroit, MI, died on March 27, 2023, at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse in Columbus, OH.  

Sr. Ruth was born on May 11, 1959, one of the eight children of Sarah Knight and Daniel Hamel. Of her religious vocation, Sr. Ruth said, “I owe it to my mother’s conversion. She was raised as a southern Baptist, but later in life she became Catholic. She loved the peace of the Church and was always drawn to that. Her religious fervor is what inspired me. She prayed the rosary and made sure I made it to Church. At an early age I developed a prayer life and that’s where it starts. And it’s that prayer life that set me on a path toward Christ.” 

She entered the Congregation in 1996, made first profession in 2000 and took her final vows in 2005. She would have celebrated 27 years of religious life this year. 

Sr. Ruth earned her Bachelor of Arts in Theology from the Congregation’s founded university in Columbus, OH, Ohio Dominican University. She completed further coursework at Oakland Community College to help her better serve in her ministries. 

Sr. Ruth began her ministry at the Congregation’s St. Mary’s Retreat House in Oxford, MI, where she did office work and acted as a receptionist. After earning her Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Ohio Dominican University, Sr. Ruth began a new ministry as a Pastoral Minister and Adult Faith Formation leader at Immaculate Conception Parish in Columbus, OH. She served the people of that Church for eleven years, making many dear friends. 

After her retirement in 2021, Sr. Ruth began a ministry of prayer and service at the Columbus, OH, Motherhouse.  

Sr. Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, Daniel James Hamel, Sr. and Sarah Joan Knight Hamel, her brother, Gary M. Michael and her sister, Mary Hamel. She is survived by brothers, Daniel J. Hamel and James Hamel, sisters, Nancy J. Fretland, Mary L. Larsen and Lori Ane Hamel as well as many nieces and nephews.  A Wake and Vigil of Remembrance Service was held at the Columbus Motherhouse Chapel on March 31, 2023. The funeral liturgy took place at the Columbus Motherhouse Chapel on April 1, 2023, followed by burial at St. Joseph Cemetery.

Sr. Ruth will be remembered for her quiet, caring nature and deep appreciation for community life. 

Memorial gifts in Sr. Ruth Hamel’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