Celebrations of Life

Blog by Sr. Amy McFrederick, OP
Blog by Sr. Amy McFrederick, OP

This past two weeks Dominican Sisters and Associates of Peace have celebrated the life, death, and entry into Eternal Life of four of our Sisters: Carmelite Zibilich OP, Theresina Greenwell OP, Aniceta Pitstick OP, Siena Ward OP, and Gemma Doll OP’s Father, Jane Brown OPA’s Mother, plus relatives of several Sisters and Associates.

As a relatively new Congregation uniting Sisters from eight different congregations and cultures, it is both gift and challenge to get to know and appreciate each other. To this end, we gather in Chapter Meetings, yearly or bi-yearly Assemblies, have monthly webcasts by our Leadership Team, share Daily OPPeace E-News and Weekly Associates E-News, and have set up geographic Mission Groups (and a Free Formed one).

When one of our Sisters pass away, I am especially grateful for the practice of Wake services where family, friends, Sisters and Associates have a chance to share memories of the Sister. When I am able to attend these, whether I have personally known the Sister or not, I have always come to appreciate the person through the eyes of those closest to her and/or influenced by her life and ministry, and I come away feeling privileged to belong to this awesome family of Dominican Sisters and Associates of Peace.

Last Saturday, July 11, marked a very special life step for our novice, Beata Tiboldi and for our Congregation as well, as she made her First Profession of Vows as a Dominican Sister of Peace and we welcomed her as a vowed member. This was just two days after we said goodbye to and entrusted our Sr. Siena to God. Both gatherings were celebrations of new LIFE, both a giant leap of FAITH, both graced moments for us to reflect and renew our own gift of self to God and others.

I held all of this in my heart as we sang the Communion Meditation at Bea’s Profession Mass: “How shall I sing to God when life is filled with gladness, loving and birth, wonder and worth? I’ll sing from the heart, thankfully receiving, joyful in believing. This is my song, I’ll sing it with love…How shall I sing to God and tell my Savior’s story: passover bread, life from the dead? I’ll sing with my life, witnessing and giving, risking and forgiving. This is my song, I’ll sing it with love.”
– How Shall I Sing to God by Brian Wren.

Posted in Associate Blog

What Anniversaries Do You Celebrate/Honor?

Catherine Arnold, OP
Blog by Sr. Cathy Arnold, OP

Ten years ago today, I celebrated with my community, family, and friends my perpetual profession of vows as a Dominican Sister. I found out that day that many of my Dominican Sisters also celebrated anniversaries of profession on July 9 so it became even more special to me as I pondered all the Dominican women on whose shoulders I stood. In addition, today is the 49th anniversary of my Dad’s death, so the day has always been very significant to my family. This week we have also celebrated the lives of Srs. Aniceta Pitstick (Columbus, OH), Theresina Greenwell (St. Catharine, KY), and Siena Ward (Akron, OH) who have completed their lives on this earth and have now joined the saints in heaven.

beachocolateTwo days from now our congregation – Dominican Sisters of Peace: Sisters and Associates in Mission – will affirm and celebrate the first profession of vows of our novice, Sr. Bea Tiboldi. Most of the preparations – interiorly and exteriorly – are ready as Bea and we look forward to another woman joining the long line of followers of Christ in the tradition of Dominic de Guzman.

As Dominicans, we are in the midst of a ten year celebration (2006-2016) of the 800th anniversary of the Order, so it is especially exciting to witness Bea walk her journey in the footsteps of Dominic and Catherine of Siena and the multitudes of Dominican women and men who have come before her. May she and all of us follow closely the last words attributed to Dominic, “Have charity for one another, guard humility, make your treasure out of voluntary poverty.” Congratulations, Sister Bea!

What anniversaries do you celebrate or honor? Whether anniversaries of joy or sorrow may you know the loving presence of Christ in all the events of your life. Peace.

Posted in God Calling??

God Empowers You and Sets You Free

Janet Schlichting, OP
Wednesday’s Word by Sr. Jan Schlichting, OP

Scripturally speaking, this is not the week for appreciating the joys and comforts of God’s presence; or resting in the peaceful protective valleys of God’s mercy. This week’s God, as we jump through the Jacob-through-Joseph section of Genesis, seems abrupt, mysterious and demanding in interactions with the major characters as we continue on to the Egyptian captivity and the Moses story. A God who breaks in every once in awhile, alternately fearsome and blessing, choosing humans who are no great models of sanctity, to keep the promise made to Abraham. Continue reading →

Posted in Wednesday's Word

Action for a More Peaceful World

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

The Peace and Collaborative Development Network recently posted a reflection on creating a more peaceful year in one’s personal life and community/world. After having just celebrated the 4th of July with the constant background music of warnings about ISIS threats to disrupt the celebrations, this was a welcome read. The author offers practical suggestions coming from peace resources around the world. Continue reading →

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

Amazing grace. If We Can Find That Grace, Anything is Possible.

Blog by Associate Conni Dubick, OPA
Blog by Associate Conni Dubick, OPA

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see.”

President Obama made the following statement in his eulogy for Pastor Clementa Pinckney in Charleston: “According to Christian tradition, grace is not earned. Grace is not inherited. Grace is not merited. It’s not something we deserve. Rather, grace is the free and benevolent favor of God. As a nation, out of this terrible tragedy, God visited grace upon us for He allowed us to see where we’ve been blind.” Click here for the video.

These words linger in my mind as I take time this July 4 weekend to contemplate the events of the world and to ponder my responsibility as an individual American, Christian, and Dominican Associate of Peace. What grace has God visited upon me to see better as I observe the horrific acts of racism and gun violence, the abuse of human dignity in trafficking and immigration policies, and the destruction of the earth through careless inattention. Other issues exist which require careful dialogue including world economic disparity and the need to engage in deeper reflection and discussions on the meaning of marriage, both civil and sacramental. The President said “What grace freely gives me is to have an open heart so not to slip back into a comfortable silence again. If we can find that grace, anything is possible. If we can tap that grace, everything can change.”

Mary Catherine Hilkert, OP, stated in her book Naming Grace that “Naming the grace that is to be found in the faith experience of the community involves listening to and learning from members of the community. Preaching is the retelling of the story of Jesus in word and deed. In the African American community, no one asks whether the Pastor’s story is the story of Jesus or the people’s story; the community knows that in the end it is the same story.”

I believe that living as a Dominican of Peace Associate is the opportunity to name the grace that I see around me. Hilkert expresses it this way, “If the story of Jesus is a living tradition, it has to be retold anew in every period of history. Never before has the gospel been proclaimed or heard in the way we will announce it from our own unique moment in history.” Since this is my moment in history, I must tell the story of Jesus in today’s world and not slip back into a comfortable silence.

Posted in Associate Blog