The Club No One Wants to Belong To

FEBRUARY 14, 2018. BREAKING NEWS: School shooting. Florida high school. Seventeen dead, many injured.

After the shock, where will the survivors find help? Who can fully understand their loss?

Blog By Sr. Rosemary Loomis, OP

There is a place of help. It’s found with The Parents of Murdered Children/Other Homicide Victims Survivors (POMC). It is a national organization with chapters in many states. Members of POMC are survivors themselves and are journeying through their loss one minute, one day at a time. Some have been on this path for a month, some for thirty-plus years. POMC understands murder loss.

Murder loss has its own dynamics: someone has purposefully chosen to take another’s life.  It never ends for the survivors. The case isn’t solved in an hour or two as in the movies. Families deal with the apprehension of the killer (hopefully); the court system; victim’s right statements (when allowed), sentencing; and parole blocks, to name a few.  Cold cases may finally be solved, but the new normal the family has built over the years is shattered, and everything about the murder is re-lived.

Families of murder victims have sought out groups that understand the particular pain and dynamics of murder loss. POMC offers support and the wisdom of the journey at both the local and national level. I am a non-survivor and have been with the Central Ohio Chapter for ten years. I continually witness the understanding and compassion of the members for one another at our monthly support meetings and other events. Tears, anger, frustration, and even laughter are shared. They have welcomed me into their courage.

To learn more about POMC, please view the official national website at www.pomc.com for information and state chapter locations.

Sr. Rosemary is a certified Bereavement Specialist.  She is a member of the National Catholic Ministry to the Bereaved and Parents of Murdered Children and Homicide Victims Survivors.

Posted in God Calling??, News

What is Ours to Do

Blog by Sr. Anne Lythgoe, OP

What is ours to do is sometimes a lifelong task, what we came into this world to do, our mission, our personal calling, our vocation.  We are wired to belong, to pay attention to each other. We all want to be part of something greater than ourselves. It is what makes us join clubs or engage in social media. It is part of being human. Actually, more to the point, it is the Divine spark within us that draws us to each other and through which we become more human.  We cannot miss the moment that is ours to do in any situation.

We are at an incredibly important moment in this country. The recent murder of 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Florida, has inflamed my sense of outrage over what is ours to do as a country. Too many times we end up simply making public statements about thoughts and prayers and calling for action from elected officials.

What really stays with me is the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, where 20 first graders (5-year-olds) along with 6 adults were shot to death.  FIRST GRADERS. And we have done nothing to change our national civil discourse on gun control. Children are being slaughtered. This is as much a pro-life issue as abortion. We allowed babies to be murdered and we could not find what was ours to do in that situation.

What is ours to do now? Can we change the discussion on gun control to something more meaningful, more fruitful? It is ours to do to protect our children from harm and to respect the Second Amendment right to bear arms. These do not have to be conflicting values.

Gun owners themselves, although they have a right to own guns, need to join the effort to protect society, especially our children, from gun violence. Can they reach across this chasm?  Those who work against gun violence need to reach across the chasm as well, to find a common solution to the death of children. Can they have civil conversations with gun owners? Will it lead to anything?

We, the Leadership Team of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, are working to encourage all of our schools, and Dominican schools across the country to participate actively in the planned marches that call for walk-out and a call for Congress and our society to do some meaningful to work together to control guns.  We define common sense gun control as:
1) universal background checks
2) a ban on assault weapons
3) increased mental health services and screening.

No matter what your position is on owning guns, we need to find a way to keep people who should not have them from killing our children.

This is ours to do.

Posted in News

What is Ours to Do

Blog by Sr. Anne Lythgoe, OP

What is ours to do is sometimes a lifelong task, what we came into this world to do, our mission, our personal calling, our vocation.  We are wired to belong, to pay attention to each other. We all want to be part of something greater than ourselves. It is what makes us join clubs or engage in social media. It is part of being human. Actually, more to the point, it is the Divine spark within us that draws us to each other and through which we become more human.  We cannot miss the moment that is ours to do when it is staring us in the face.

We are at an incredibly important moment in this country. The recent murder of 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Florida, has enflamed my sense of outrage over what is ours to do as a country. Too many times we end up simply making public statements about thoughts and prayers and calling for action from elected officials.

What really stays with me is the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, where 20 first graders (5 year olds) along with 6 adults were shot to death.  FIRST GRADERS. And we have done nothing to change our national civil discourse on gun control. Children are being slaughtered.. We allowed babies to be murdered and we could not find what was ours to do in that situation. This is as much a pro-life issue as abortion

What is ours to do now? Can we change the discussion on gun control to something more meaningful, more fruitful? It is ours to do to protect our children from harm and to respect the Second Amendment right to bear arms. These do not have to be conflicting values.

Gun owners themselves, although they have a right to own guns, need to join the effort to protect society, especially our children, from gun violence. Can they reach across this chasm?  Those who work for  gun control need to reach across the chasm as well, to find a common solution to the death of children. Can they have civil conversations with gun owners? Will it lead to anything?

We, the Leadership Team of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, are working to encourage all of our schools, and Dominican schools across the country to participate actively in the planned marches that call for walk out and a call for Congress and our society to do some meaningful to work together to control guns.

In the US, we will advocate for common sense gun control laws such as requiring universal background checks before purchasing arms; banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines; promoting strategies to prevent gun violence; and providing adequate financial resources to establish mental health programs for victims and perpetrators and prevention programs for at risk people.”

 No matter what your position is on owning guns, we need to find a way to keep people who should not have them from killing our children.

This is ours to do.

Posted in News, Wednesday's Word

Dominican Sisters of Peace at the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference

Sr. Nadine Buchanan being interviewed by St. Gabriel Radio.

How often does one see interstate traffic backed up for Mass? That was the scene on Saturday, February 17 as Sisters from the Dominican Sisters of Peace traveled to the Ohio State Fair Grounds for the Eleventh Annual Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference.

More than 3000 women, many with children in tow, joined for Mass, speakers and sisterhood throughout the day – and the Dominican Sisters of Peace were everywhere.

Vocation Ministers Sr. Pat Dual, OP, and Sr. Mai Dung Nguyen, OP, met with women to discuss vocations and publicize the upcoming “Come and See” retreat in Central Ohio. Sr. Ana Gonzalez served as a Spanish translator for attendees and Associate Mary Delaney served as a Conference volunteer. Sr. Mary Louis Passeri accompanied Sr. Nadine Buchanan, who spoke to the conference about her street ministry to trafficked women in Central Ohio.

Sr. Pat Dual and Sister Mai Dung Nyugen at the 2018 Catholic Women’s Conference.

In an on-site interview with Columbus Catholic radio station St. Gabriel 820, Sr. Nadine discussed how her ministry with trafficked women was inspired by a local survivor. During her presentation, she presented a video about her ministry and offered tips to help parents prevent trafficking from affecting their families. Click here to view Sr. Nadine’s video.

Posted in News

A Cure for the Broken Heart

Blog by Dee Holleran

If you have spent more than 5 minutes with me, you know that I have a teenage daughter. She was a much-wanted gift from God in my late thirties, and is the center of my heart.

So when I see videos of children hiding in closets or calling their parents to say what they think is a last goodbye, when I see photos of parents in fear and shock and grief, when I hold my own daughter’s hand as tears roll down her cheeks, my heart literally breaks.

Today, my heart has found some relief.

In Florida, kids and parents have gone on national television to address members of the government and DEMAND gun control. In Washington, DC, local teenagers staged a lie-in yesterday in solidarity with their fellow students in Florida. Kids are walking out of school, forfeiting their education in exchange for a please for the safety of their teacher and classmates. Across the nation, teens are taking to mass media, social media and the streets, speaking as the “Mass Shooting Generation.”

I am so proud. But I am so ashamed.

My daughter was born two years after Columbine. She prayed and cried with me after Sandy Hook. Her school has experienced lockdowns because of credible shooting threats. And still – 17 students and teachers died last week. A seventh grader shot himself at his middle school TODAY.

As parents, as loving adults, as citizens, we have failed our children because THIS CONTINUES TO HAPPEN.

Psalms 8:2 tells us, “From the mouth of infants and nursing babes you have established strength.” And thanks be to God, that is exactly what is happening.  Our youth are leading us to peace … and as parents, as teachers, as loving aunt and uncles, as people of faith, it we must support them with our strength, with our experience, our time and our votes.

How can you help?

First, do your research. What position does your own representative or Senator hold on gun control? Go to their website and find out. If it’s not published, sent an email, a letter or a tweet and ask them. Find out from whom they take contributions, because sadly, policy follows cash. If your Senator or representative accepts blood money from the NRA or other pro-firearm associations, it’s time for them to go.

Second, support a lifting of the Dickey Amendment. This 1996 legislation forbade the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from using money to “advocate or promote gun control.”

Third, make your voice heard. Call, write, email, Facebook, Twitter … talk to anyone and everyone in government.  Tell them that lax gun laws, assault weapons, and most tragically, murdered kids have no place in our nation.

Finally, support the kids who are speaking out with your time and your dollars. Attend the National School Walkout on March 14, the March 4 Our Lives on March 24, and other similar events. Show your face and raise your voice so that if nothing else, lawmakers are shamed into taking action.

Thoughts and prayers are important, but we are also called upon to combine faith with acts. Let us act with love, with peace, and with righteous anger. The lives of our children depend on it. #NeverAgain

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog