Dominican Sister of Peace Sister Catherine (Kay) Burland, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Sister Catherine (Kay) Burland, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Sister Catherine Burland, OP, 84, died at Mohun Health Care Center in Columbus, OH, on Thursday, July 12, 2018.  She was born in 1934 in New Haven, CT, the older of Helen Kenny and Francis Burland’s two daughters.

Sr. Kay joined the Congregation of St. Mary of the Springs, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace, in 1953. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the College of St. Mary of the Springs, now Ohio Dominican University.

Sr. Kay taught elementary school in New York, Michigan, and Ohio for twelve years, sharing her love of learning with children in their earliest years of school.

In 1968, Sr. Kay was the victim of a tragic shooting. This injury caused her severe pain and other afflictions that affected her for the rest of her life, but she continued to support her Congregation and the people of God to the best of her ability. She served as a Volunteer and in Support Services at the Columbus Motherhouse and St. George Hospital in Cincinnati, OH, as a librarian at St. Brendan School in Braddock, PA, and as a volunteer at the Dominican Learning Center and St. Stephen’s Community House.

She continued her volunteer work after moving to Mohun Hall in Columbus in 1982. Her favorite ministry during this time was serving as sacristan at the Motherhouse and Mohun Health Care Center.  In her diligent and loving care of the vestments and sacred vessels of the Mass, she said she felt closer to God.

In a written memorial to her beloved aunt, her niece, Katie Renwaldt, admired Sr. Kay’s sense of style. Sr. Kay believed that tending to her appearance was one way to help reflect the beauty of God’s creation, and she showed a real sense of style. She was loved deeply by her family and returned that love joyfully.

Father Mike DeTemple, Chaplain at the Mohun Health Care Center, compared Sr. Kay’s service to her Congregation to the miracle of the loaves and fishes. “We can take what we have – however little it may seem and give thanks for God for it. Then we can distribute what we have to others and there will always be enough. I think this is what Kay did in her life.  Despite her own adversity and the pain she suffered for much of her life, she was always looking for ways to serve others.”

Sr. Kay Burland was preceded in death by her parents, Edward and Helen Kenny Burland. She is survived by her sister, Frances Renwaldt and her nieces, Helen and Katie.

A Vigil of Remembrance was held on Wednesday, July 18, at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse in Columbus, OH. The funeral liturgy was held at the Columbus Motherhouse on Thursday, July 19, followed by burial at St. Joseph Cemetery.

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

Memorial gifts in Sr. Kay’s memory may be submitted securely online or sent to:

Dominican Sisters of Peace
Office of Mission Advancement
2320 Airport Drive
Columbus, OH 43219

Posted in Obituaries

Joining the Dance for the First Time

Blog by Public Relations Specialist Dee Holleran, who spent more time taking video than dancing at the Assembly.

As a “newer” member of the Dominican Sisters of Peace Communications staff and a relatively new convert to Catholicism (I entered the Church in 2010), I was asked more than a few questions about my reaction to last weekend’s Assembly.

The word that most describes my feelings after my first Dominican Sisters of Peace Assembly is not “different,” or “refreshing,” or even “spirited.” From the view of my own religious and life background, the word I would apply to the ceremonies and the discussions would be “inclusive.”

A little background – I grew up Pentecostal in rural West Virginia. Dancing in the spirit, delivering prophecy, speaking in tongues – these “charismatic” events were a regular part of our worship service. Seeing people dance as part of a Church service is rare for me now, but not unknown in my faith history.

Scripture study, however, was often less study and more memorization (my dad was a champion at “Bible Baseball,” where the leader read the beginning of a scriptural passage and the players complete the verse), without much analysis and application to the problems of everyday society.  The book of Revelations was a study focus at least once a year, and I grew up terrified of being left behind in the rapture we expected at any time.

I often compare the faith of my youth to the faith that I chose as a woman in my forties. And I find comparing those two faiths very much like comparing our recent Assembly to a Pentecostal tent service.

The application of Scripture within the two events is vastly different.  In a standard tent meeting, Scripture was literally quoted chapter and verse, stated as black and white regulations to be followed in fear of a vengeful God.

As a Catholic, and most notably, through the eyes and minds of our Sisters, I have learned to view Scripture more like the law in the hands of a well-educated and thoughtful jurist – a jurist who views everything through the lens of Christ’s love. Our discussion Friday, where Sisters and Associates of different races, cultures and even sexual identities, were given equal weight in a discussion of multicultural living, was eye-opening and, to me, the definition of loving inclusion.

The thoughtful application of current events to our charism presented in the opening ceremony moved my heart. We acknowledged to God that our world is broken – we looked to the Saints for ways to repair it – and we pledged to each other to make that happen. It was sad and hopeful, all at the same time.

And the dancing! Oh the dancing! As I said earlier, dancing in the spirit was a relatively common sight for me growing up, but it was completely different than what I experienced as part of our Assembly. In addition, to me, the dancing was a metaphor for the openness that was evident throughout those four days.

In the past, when I have watched a fellow worshipper dance in the spirit, it was a joyful but very personal experience, as though God were speaking to just one person and the rest of us were to observe. But as a participant in our Assembly, it seemed to me that dance was performed as a glorious gift to God, planned in such a way that, like so many other parts of Mass, everyone could take part in the offering of joy.

As Ana and Margaret danced into their profession ceremony, I watched Margaret’s brother dance on the edge of the aisle, offering his happiness to the occasion.

Sisters, associates, family and clergy twirled scarves and napkins to celebrate our new Sisters – and Ana’s brother literally boogied through the procession with his flowing banner. Others followed behind, maybe clapping, maybe just walking, but all with a look of joy and thanksgiving.

For every offering made – preaching, teaching, Eucharist – everyone was given the opportunity to participate in her or his own way. Whether we danced in the aisles, swayed in our chairs, clapped our hands or simply smiled, we were all part of the dance. And I was happy to be one of the dancers.



Posted in News, Wednesday's Word

Five Practices

Blog by Sr. Barbara Kane, OP

Have you ever attended a family dinner where you wondered if you and your siblings grew up in the same household – your view on the issues were so different from each other?

Or visited with friends and wondered if you both belonged to the same Catholic church because your understanding of living the gospel was so different?

If so, you might understand this comment by Jesus that “a prophet is not without honor expect in his native place and among his own kin.” (Mark 6:4)  Being a prophet is tough work.  Speaking on God’s behalf is not easy.

The nation – our world –  needs prophets more than ever today.  Each of us is called to speak on God’s behalf on the injustice that’s prevalent today.  So, how do we do it?    I would like to suggest five practices will help us with our prophecy work.

  1. Stay civil even when we are on opposite sides of an issue. Think of all the times Jesus was treated disrespectfully. He was asked to leave town… criticized for healing people…. called names.  During all these situations and others, he stayed civil.  He might have totally disagreed but he stayed respectful. We are called to be courageous but also civil in our prophetic work whether in person or on social media.
  2. Listen carefully. One of Stephen Covey’s habits for highly successful people is “Seek first to understand then to be understood.” It’s hard to have any dialogue when one person refuses to listen to another.  Jesus listened carefully and patiently to the couple traveling to Emmaus. Once they shared their experience, he was able to share his and open up their eyes and hearts.  I image our own Father Dominic with the innkeeper.  Surely, he listened to the inn keeper’s point of view before presenting his own.  He respected the innkeeper enough to listen to him which encouraged the innkeeper’s willingness to be open as well.  We may not agree with someone but we must listen to them if we ever want them to listen.
  3. Don’t buy into stereotypes. Stereotypes build walls and keep us from connecting with other. Look at how Jesus is stereotyped in Mark 6:3.   He’s not Jesus, the wonder worker, he’s the carpenter…. Mary’s son…..a normal Joe from the town.  He can’t possibly do all these miraculous things. And because they couldn’t see past their vision of what someone like Jesus is supposed to be,  he is not able to be truly what he was… a healer… a teacher… a prophet.
  4. Give up gossip. Gossip saps our energy and we prophets need energy to do our work.  Total waste of energy.  Jesus’ own experience with gossip in Mark 6:1-6 leads to his not being able to do much healing.  The crowd’s gossip sowed seeds of disbelief that drained his energy.
  5. Have mercy. One of Pope Francis’ famous lines is “Who am I to judge.”  It’s really hard not to judge people who seem to have such misguided opinions.  Of course, they think the same about us! But if we walk into a conversation judging the other, we will never be able to connect with them.  Being prophetic is speaking in God’s voice and our God is a merciful God.

So even though we may feel totally unprepared or, like Jesus, feel rejected in our own homes or with friends for preaching the truth of Jesus’ inclusion, openness and healing, we can’t give up.

God is sending us out as prophets to people who seem to be on the opposite side of justice issues than we are… who seem to see Jesus in a totally different way than we do. Come on… let’s support each other as prophets in a world desperate for God’s love.  God’s spirit will be with us.


(Adapted from a preaching on July 8, 2018)

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog


Blog by Associate Carol Lemelin, OPA

St. Paul was a man who threw himself into his work, passionately sure of the rightness of his causes.  He was a diligent persecutor of Christians and was heading to Damascus at full speed to round up the followers of Christ and bring them to justice when God intervened.

Knowing Paul very well, God stopped him in his tracks with a dramatic flash of light, which threw him off his horse and blinded him.  God knew when to fight fire with fire.

Thus began the transformation of Paul of Tarsus from enemy to friend. As the transformation progressed Paul did not change personalities because God needed him just the way he was to spread the Good News, he just changed his perspective and understanding of Jesus of Nazareth and what He would mean to the world.

Armed with his usual single-minded drive, Paul set out on the greatest evangelical journey in history.  He went from place to place proclaiming Christ as the Messiah, but like all forceful people he sometimes worried that he was too forceful, that he might be turning people off with his approach.

The Jews were not responding and he had gotten angry and stormed off.  One night as he slept, God spoke to him: “Do not be afraid. Go on speaking; do not be silent, for I am with you.” (Acts 18:9-18)

Most people shy away from the idea of evangelizing; it sounds as though they are expected to be like St. Paul, which does not come naturally to them, but the important part of God’s command is ”Do not be silent, for I am with you.”

Those are words we should keep in the forefront of our thoughts when the occasion arises.  No one expects you to preach like Paul but to be yourself and say simple things like: “I believe in Jesus and I think you would too if you knew Him. He can change your life and give you hope.”

There was once a Jewish man named Apollos who came to Ephesus.  He was a believer and it was said of him: “He gave great assistance to those who had come to believe through grace”. (Acts:18:23-28)   It’s as simple as that.  We shy away from speaking, afraid of the reaction.  We forget we are not alone!

Look about you. The power of Christ to change lives is from God, you are simply the instrument he uses to enrich the lives of his creation. If God were not the driving force behind Paul’s ministry and that of the the other early believers, Christianity would have died in infancy.

As it is, Christianity has survived every test and will continue to do so until God decides it is enough. You must believe that God is at the center of it all, that we are not alone, and never will be. See in his words to Paul the promise of everlasting companionship and be brave.

There are people who need to know Jesus and when you encounter them hear the words of God: “Do not be silent.  I am with you.” 


Posted in Associate Blog, News

2018 Jubilarian Sister Vincent de Paul Hutton, 85 years

“She still completes a full genuflect at every mass.”

Sr. Vincent de Paul Hutton at her 107th birthday celebration in April, 2018.

That’s one thing that almost every Dominican Sister of Peace who has met Sister Vincent de Paul Hutton says at the very mention of her name.

At 107 years old, Sr. Vincent de Paul is celebrating 85 years of religious life, and still going strong.

Sr. Vincent de Paul’s ministry reflects her times. After entering the Kentucky Dominicans in 1933, she served as a teacher and a school administrator for 50 years, bringing a love of learning to children in Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Massachusetts, West Virginia and Puerto Rico.

After retiring from teaching, Sr. Vincent de Paul was an Assistant in the Finance Department for the St. Catharine Kentucky Congregational offices for 14 years. Today she serves her Congregation and God’s people through her ministry of prayer and presence at the Sansbury Care Center in St. Catharine, KY.

Yes, I want to make a donation to the Congregation in Sister Vincent de Paul’s honor!

Posted in News