Peace and Justice Updates 5.20.2020

Navajo Nation Receives Needed Assistance, More Needed
As we reported last week, the Navajo Nation has been hit hard by the COVID-19 virus. The good news is that Doctors without Borders has announced its first-ever mission to the United States, helping the hard-hit Navajo Nation fight COVID-19.

However, news reports tell us that South Dakota Governor Republican Kristi Noem has threatened to sue Cheyenne River Sioux and Oglala Sioux leaders to force them to remove COVID-19 checkpoint set up to protect tribal lands from the spread of the disease. Tribal governments haven’t received one penny of the $8 billion allocated by the CARES Act.

Please join a Zoom call today to see how you can help.

WHAT: COVID-19 and Native American Communities

WHEN: Wednesday, May 20, 7:00 PM Eastern / 4:00PM Pacific


  • Special guest Rep. Deb Haaland (NM-01, Laguna Pueblo)
  • Faith Spotted Eagle (Native Organizers Alliance, Brave Heart Society, Yankton Sioux)
  • State Rep. Ruth Buffalo (ND-HD27, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation)
  • Tara Houska (Giniw Collective)
  • Kevin Allis (National Congress of American Indians, Forest County Potawatomi)

Click here to register.

Laudato Si’ Week Events
There are many virtual learning and celebration opportunities available to help us celebrate the Fifth Anniversary of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’. Please click here to see the entire list and to register.

Help Protect Those Who Protect Children
The Administration’s border wall is now threatening a Catholic orphanage near the U.S.-Mexico border. The Department of Justice has filed an eminent-domain lawsuit against Sacred Heart Children’s Home in Laredo, Texas, demanding access to the orphanage’s land in order to conduct surveys for the wall.

As an attorney for the Texas Civil Rights Project told the Laredo Morning Times, the administration seems to be taking advantage of the pandemic to speed up wall construction, since public demonstrations aren’t possible during social distancing.

Under eminent domain laws, the government must pay landowners a fair price — yet Trump’s callous administration only wants to give the sisters a paltry $100 to let its construction teams parade around their land.

This orphanage has been run for more than 100 years by the Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of the Poor. As these sisters fight back in court, let’s show them that they are not alone, and submit 10,000 signatures demanding the DOJ drop this outrageous lawsuit!

Click here to tell the Dept. of Justice: Drop your border-wall lawsuit against a Catholic orphanage. 

2020 Census – Every Person Counts
In a time when so many are marginalized by our government, a fair and accurate count in the Census is more important than ever.

In 2010:
2.2 million children weren’t counted
3.7 million African-Americans weren’t counted
3.8 million Latinos weren’t counted

You can join Faith in Public Life to become a Faith Census Ambassador. Click here to learn more.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Serving those Most in Need – The Homeless and Trafficked

Sr. Louis Mary Passeri helps pack bags.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many of those who need assistance to become even more desperate. Unfortunately, those of us who minister to the homeless and trafficked women and men have not been able to go out and by providing food and supplies.

Sister Nadine Buchanan works with Monday Sanctuary Nights, a “drop-in” event that welcomes trafficked women and men for a meal, supplies, and safe conversation. Traditionally the meals have been provided by local volunteers, but with the concern about food safety caused by the pandemic, meals must now be prepared by a commercial kitchen.

At the most recent Sanctuary Night, homeless women and men came during a terrible thunderstorm to pick up a good meal prepared and packaged by Freedom ala Carte, a local ministry that employs those coming out of trafficking. The Dominican Sisters of Peace, Columbus Motherhouse Administrator Jean Sylvester, and Keith Johnson, Kitchen Manager, along with the Columbus Motherhouse Kitchen Staff, donated sandwiches. To-go bags including t-shirts, underwear, socks, washcloths, toilet paper and wipes, notes of encouragement and a $5.00 McDonalds gift card were provided by generous donors to Sr. Nadine’s street ministry.

We were so blessed to be able to help our sisters and brothers on the streets, and look forward to when we can see them more regularly, Thanks to everyone who helped make this night of ministry possible.

Sr. Nadine Buchanan collected supplies to distribute at a Sanctuary Night drop in.
Sr. Nadine loading her bags for Sanctuary Night.
Posted in News

Dominican Sister of Peace Thomasine Hardesty

Dominican Sister of Peace Thomasine Hardesty

Dominican Sister of Peace Thomasine (Ann) Hardesty entered into Heaven on April 5, 2020, at the Mohun Health Care Center in Columbus, OH. A native of Columbus, OH, Sister Thomasine was born in 1925 to Agnes Daoust and Frank Hardesty. She entered the Congregation in 1951.

Sister Thomasine earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Saint Mary of the Spring College, now Ohio Dominican University, and Mount Carmel School of Nursing in 1948 and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati in 1986. She ministered to the sick at the Columbus Motherhouse infirmary and Wellness Center, Saint Francis/Saint George Hospital in Cincinnati, and the Huntington Surgery Center in New York. While at St. Francis/St. George Hospital, she developed and implemented the hospital’s case cart system.

She also was the Director of Health Care for the School Sisters of Notre Dame and the Nursing Care Coordinator for the Dominican Sisters in Newburg, now the Dominican Sisters of Hope.

After moving to our Oxford Motherhouse in 2013, Sister Thomasine became involved in a wide variety of activities to benefit the community and the Congregation, from planning parties to liturgical responsibilities. She also assisted in transportation and volunteered in many other areas.

When she returned to the Columbus Motherhouse in 2017, Sr. Thomasine delighted in attending lectures at Ohio Dominican University and the Martin de Porres Center, volunteering at the Bishop Griffin Center, joining in numerous activities and social justice events, being of service wherever needed and spending time with her friends.

Even during her final ministry at the Mohun Health Care Center, Sister Thomasine continued to aid her friends and the Community through her prayers.

In her preaching at the funeral, Sr. Louis Mary Passeri noted that the readings that Sister Thomasine chose for her funeral liturgy were all centered around the Eucharist as their theme, because of her own deep devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist. “Thomasine was in my crowd and a great community woman.,” Sister Louis Mary said. “She took every occasion to celebrate together and she was ready to help anyone in need.”

She was preceded in death by her parents Frank and Agnes. She is survived by her first cousins, Catherine, Jeanne and William, her Dominican Family and friends.

A private service was held. Sr. Thomasine was interred at St. Joseph Cemetery in Columbus, OH. Memorial gifts in Sr. Thomasine’s memory may be sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr.

To donate in Sr. Thomasine’s memory, please click here.

To view a printable PDF copy of Sr. Thomasine’s memorial, please click here.

Posted in Obituaries


Blog by Associate Colette Parker

Did you watch the “Graduate Together: High School Class of 2020 Commencement” broadcast?

If you didn’t, you missed some inspiring moments. If you did, I hope you received some messages of hope and empowerment – I know I did!

Some of those messages are worth repeating because their relevance extends beyond the targeted audience of 2020 high school graduates to each of us.

LeBron James, philanthropist and NBA great, challenged students to recommit themselves to their communities, saying “building your community changes the world.”

Hmmm … I wonder what our world would look like if we worked together to rebuild our communities for the common good?

Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Prize laureate and Pakistani activist, declared that “The class of 2020 won’t be defined by what we lost to this virus but by how we responded to it.”

Hmmm … I wonder what our world will look like when we emerge on the other side of this pandemic?

President Barack Obama offered three pieces of advice: Don’t be afraid. Do what you think is right. Build a community. He encouraged students to “… be alive to one another’s struggles. Stand up for one another’s rights. Leave behind all the old ways of thinking that divide us — sexism, racial prejudice, status, greed — and set the world on a different path.”

Hmmm … I wonder what our world would look like if we were alive to each other’s struggle, if we stood up for the rights of others, if we left behind divisive ways?

What are you willing to do to set the world on a different path?

As we move forward, into the future, we all have the power to effect positive change. Each one of us can make a difference. Together we can change the world!

Posted in Associate Blog, News

Be Who You Are Meant to Be

Blog by Associate Mary Ellen George, OPA

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” I find these words from Saint Catherine of Siena to be comforting, inviting, and challenging.  While it is comforting to rest in the belief that God, who is the source of my Being, accepts and loves me unconditionally, I find this journey of self-discovery is hard work.  What I find challenging is abandoning who I think I should be or who others want me to be. This journey of self-discovery, of becoming who I am meant to be, is a faith journey, a journey of courage, of letting go of fears, and being open to new revelations, new experiences that bring me to a greater appreciation of this life, living it with passion and purpose as God’s beloved.

Discovering who we are is a profound and sacred journey, a journey that unfolds and changes over time.  Our search to answer “Who am I?” is connected to the deeper question of “Who is God?” As David Benner notes in The Gift of Being Yourself, “both God and self are most fully known in relationship to each other.” He explains that “there is no deep knowing of God without a deep knowing of self, and no deep knowing of self without a deep knowing of God. Hence, to know God is to know self and to know self is to know God.  Or, as St. Augustine prayed, “Grant, Lord, that I may know myself that I may know thee.”

We are continually discovering who we are and who God is. We are not static beings.  We are always changing in one way or another because our experiences—our joys and sorrows– transform us.  We are often at crossroads between choosing one direction or another, one path or another.  Whether we decide to follow a familiar path or an uncertain path, our choices reveal who we are and who we will become.

In the biblical story of Ruth, we see the dilemma of three women—Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah–having to choose which life-altering path to take upon the loss of their husbands soon after moving from Bethlehem to Moab.  Orpah chooses to stay in Moab and do what is expected of her as a woman—to marry again and conform to cultural norms.  Ruth and Naomi, on the other hand, decide to return to an uncertain future in Bethlehem, and opt not to marry and rely on a man to care for them.  These choices put them at odds with their culture, their religion, their country, and their acceptable role in life.

Like Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah, our personal journeys often present us with choices of taking the familiar and safe path, or a new and uncertain path.  At different times in our lives, we may choose one or the other path—what is expected of us or we can break the chains that keep us from being independent and claiming our own voices, our own uniqueness.

Choices do change us and as Joan Chittister, OSB, states in The Story of Ruth, “like Naomi and Ruth we find not only that life has changed but that we have changed.  Then we know with certainty that God is working in our soul.” She also writes that “transformation is the process of coming to wholeness, of growing into the skin of creation in such a way that we become more than we ever thought we could be before we realized that God was our God, too.”

May Ruth, Naomi, and Catherine be your companions and guide you on your journey this day and always.

If you feel God may be calling you to life as a Dominican Sister, give us a call.  We’ll be happy to walk with you on this journey of discovery.

Posted in God Calling?, News