“My hope for the future of my congregation and religious life, in general, is that the focus of “meeting the needs of the time” remains.” It’s an appropriate goal for Sr. Judy Morris, who, in true Dominican fashion, has traveled to where she is needed to serve the people of the Church, most especially the marginalized. Sr. Judy, a Dominican Sister of Peace, is celebrating 50 years of religious life in 2019.
Sr. Judy earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and Sociology from Siena College in Memphis and entered her Congregation in Kentucky in 1969. She served as a teacher and a tutor at St. Catherine Academy during her postulancy and novitiate and ended her teaching ministry teaching high school English at the Congregation’s founded school in Memphis, TN, St. Agnes Academy.
Sr. Judy developed an interest in social service work while serving as Parish Social Service Coordinator at Catholic Charities in Chicago, and earned her Master’s in Social Work from Barry College in Miami, FL, in 1976. She went on to serve as a case manager in Louisville, and then as Director of Development for the Development Fund Office, also in Louisville.
She continued her work in social service in 1983, ministering at Catholic Charities and the Home of the Innocents. Sr. Judy returned to St. Catharine, KY, to serve her Congregation as Assistant to the President, during which time she also earned her Master of Arts in Religious Studies from Spaulding University in Louisville.
A move to Owensboro, KY, fond Sr. Judy serving as Director of Social Concerns for that diocese. She also ministered as Director of Social Services for the Sacred Heart Southern Mission in Walls, MS, before returning again to St. Catharine to as Coordinator of Community Relations. She served as a Case Worker for Sister Visitor, an emergency assistance program in Louisville, KY, for about a year before helping to build churches and Church communities as a Field Representative for Catholic Extension.
Sr. Judy served as her Congregation’s Justice Promoter for more than 6 years before moving to Louisville to help raise funds for St. Mary’s Center, a training center for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities.
Sr. Judy remains active in matters of social justice and non-violence from her home at the Akron, OH, Motherhouse. She currently serves as Community Liaison for Mobile Meals in Akron, an affiliate of Meals on Wheels.
Like most Dominican Sisters of Peace. Sr. Judy is saddened by the current state of unrest on our nation, but she also feels that there are ways to work for peace.
“Listening is an important act of nonviolence. No one possesses all truth, and much can be learned by hearing differing opinions, rationales, or experiences,” she says. “By listening we are saying ‘I respect you, even if I disagree with your political opinion’ – and we may find that we have more in common than we think.”