Word Power

Patricia Thomas, OP
Blog by Sr. Pat Thomas, OP

Recently, the Peace Center of the Dominican Sisters of Peace in New Orleans sponsored a Peace Camp for a group of boys between the ages of seven and ten for five days. The center has been blessed with 13 computers which have been used for adult computer classes and online job applications; the center has been cursed with 13 computers where the neighborhood kids come to play computer games. The blessing has been that we have a good base for relationships with the neighbors and a safe place for the kids to come. The curse has been the game choices the kids will make. No matter how many times we tell them they may not play games with any kind of violent activities or sexual content as a part of them, the kids somehow get back around to them. We have said no guns, no fighting of any kind, no war games, no violence, etc. Still they persist. We keep trying. Then we learned some new perspectives. When we again said the violent games had to stop, we heard that the games really were not violent. There was no blood. New definition of violence: no visible blood shed? Is this a new twist on a well known word?

Back in the day, the expression “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me” was our defense against the rough treatment and physical stuff that the bullies used to do. Now, we have found that real power does come from the name calling, the labelling; the verbal abuse has become much more powerful in making us feel less than human. Words evoke fear in us and we feel less secure on all levels. We worry about what others think of us, how they describe us to other people, whether we will measure up to some imaginary expectation. Words have become more powerful than ever. Words have become even greater tools for violence towards others.

People can try to put words into our mouths, but we decide if those are the words that will eventually come out or not. We choose the words we are going to use. As we look around at all that is happening in our own towns, states and country, what are the words we are using?

Is the Word of God part of our vocabulary these days? Jesus gave us powerful words to guide us: “Turn the other cheek,” “Judge not lest you be judged,” “Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me,” “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Those are just a few, but sometimes they have just become meaningless. We can live our lives by the guidance of these words and that can make a difference in so many ways. I say, let’s use words like these a lot more and let Jesus speak through us and our actions.

Posted in Wednesday's Word

Growing Up in the South with Flags and Racism

Blog by Sr. Judy Morris, OP
Blog by Sr. Judy Morris, OP

When I reflect on growing up in the south one incident comes to mind immediately. A young associate pastor issued a challenge to members of Young Christian Students attending the public high school in Danville, KY, a segregated town in a segregated state. He challenged students to approach the managers of local restaurants and ask why they did not serve African-Americans. Needless to say, when I followed through with questions my presence was not appreciated. This was my first, up close and personal experience of racism, and served as a catalyst for my involvement in social justice concerns. I continued to see many forms of racism throughout high school. Continue reading →

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

Sr. Bea Tiboldi – Makes First Profession of Vows

beaprofessionSr. Beata (Bea) Tiboldi professed first vows amid a joyous celebration on Saturday, July 11 in the Akron Motherhouse Chapel, OH. Click here for photos.

Sr. Therese Leckert welcomed Bea’s American host family, friends, as well as Sisters and Associates to the Eucharistic Liturgy . With the presider, Rev. Gordon A. Yahner, Sr. Margaret Ormond, OP, Prioress, blessed the congregation with holy water. Readers were Srs. Joye Gros and Megan McElroy (Grand Rapids) Directors of the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate in St. Louis, MO. Associate Madelein Breen led the responsorial psalm. Continue reading →

Posted in News

Sr. Siena Ward

Sr. Siena Ward, OP, died at the age of 85 on Friday, July 3, 2015, at Regina Health Center, Richfield, OH. She was born to Edward and Sarah Lilly Ward of Youngstown, OH. She graduated from Our Lady of the Elms High School in 1948, entered the Sisters of St. Dominic of Akron, now Dominican Sisters of Peace, on August 24, 1947, and made religious profession on June 20, 1949. Sr. Siena was in her 66th year of religious profession. She earned her BSE from St. John College, Cleveland in 1959. In 1980, she became certified in Clinical Pastoral Education from St. Louis, MO. Continue reading →

Posted in News, Obituaries

Sr. Theresina Greenwell

Dominican Sister of Peace Theresina Greenwell, OP, died at the age of 92 on July 1, 2015, at Sansbury Care Center in St. Catharine, KY.

Sr. Theresina earned a BA in History and English from Spalding College (Louisville, KY), and two master’s degrees – one in Sociology from Catholic University of America (Washington, DC), and one in Religious Studies from Spalding University (Louisville, KY).

 Continue reading →

Posted in News, Obituaries