Where do you find HOPE?

The First Sunday of Advent – November 27, 2022


As we enter this season of Advent,
we ask an important question –

Where do you find hope?

We Dominican Sisters of Peace
find hope in our work.

In the immigrant that can now read
her child’s storybooks in English,
offering hope for a world of acceptance.

In the newly-born calves and cria that totter
across our farms in Kentucky and Kansas,
offering hope for a hungry world.

In the women who have said “Yes” to their call from God,
creating a future of hope
for our Congregation and for religious life.

As we await the coming of the Christ Child, the hope of the world,
we share hope with each other,
and with you, our beloved friends.

Click here for a video of HOPE.

Click here to help the Dominican Sisters of Peace share HOPE.

 

Posted in News, Seasonal Observances

A Reflection on Gratitude – Thanksgiving 2022


oday is a national holiday in the US. It is Thanksgiving Day, a day when we express our gratitude for blessings we have received as a nation and individuals. So the reading I chose is from St. Luke, the cleansing of the ten lepers.

Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem and he is approached by ten men with leprosy. They don’t come too near, because they are unclean. They had to have known about him because they call out to him, “Jesus, Master, take pity on us.” That was enough and Jesus tells them to show themselves to the priests and they are made clean while on their way, while they carried out his command without question.

Only one of the ten returned to give thanks to Jesus for this gift of healing. He is so happy and grateful that he turns back, praising God aloud, throws himself down at Jesus’ feet and thanks him. Jesus, although touched by the man’s gratitude, expresses his disappointment that the other nine did not come back to share their joy and to thank him. No doubt, each of us can understand Jesus’ disappointment. Haven’t we felt the sting of ingratitude at one time or another? It is disappointing and hurtful to realize we have been kind and generous to someone and have received no acknowledgment or gratitude in return.

After Jesus expresses his disappointment, he says to the man who is a Samaritan, “Stand up and go on your way; your faith has cured you.” What could Jesus have meant? The man was already cured of his leprosy. What did his faith, expressed in gratitude, cure him of? I wonder if the Samaritan realized that this man who cured him of leprosy also regarded him with the respect due every human being, even Samaritans. I wonder if he was grateful, even for his having had leprosy, which brought him to the place where he had this encounter with Jesus and so his faith not only caused him to follow Jesus’ command “to go and show yourself to the priest,” but this faith also caused him to know his own worth as affirmed by Jesus. Although leprosy brought him to Jesus, it brought him to know something of this Jesus. Maybe this is what Jesus was telling him: that life was more than being free of leprosy, that life had meaning beyond what was obvious, that he had discovered something of worth that couldn’t be measured.

Today, we thank God for blessings which are obvious. Perhaps we are called to thank God for the blessings that come in disguise, too. Henri Nouwen encourages us to be grateful for joy and sorrow, successes and failures, rewards and rejections…all that has brought us to this moment. Leprosy brought the man to his encounter with Jesus. Whatever has led us to be closer to God is a blessing.

We thank you, loving God, for all the blessings you have given us…
the obvious and those which came to us in disguise. Amen.

From Crumbs from the Table by Sr. Louis Mary Passeri, OP

 

 

 

 

Posted in News, Seasonal Observances

Celebrate the Feast of St. Dominic With the Dominican Sisters of Peace

Dear friends…

In the opening verses of the book of Ephesians, St. Paul tells the members of this new church,

In God we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of God’s will.

This verse has particular meaning to the Dominican Sisters of Peace in this year of celebration. As we look back on two hundred years of Dominican women religious in the United States, we know that when Fr. Samuel Thomas Wilson, OP, asked parishioners at Sr. Rose Church in Springfield, KY, to become members of the Dominican Order, not only were the nine women who responded choosing God, but God was choosing them to help accomplish God’s intentions in the newly formed United States.

And what a two hundred years it has been.

From nine women in a tiny cabin on the banks of Cartwright Creek in Kentucky to an entire order of women – teaching children, caring for the sick and the aged, opening the doors of education for women and immigrants, being a refuge for families in need and an advocate for God’s beloved creation, Earth.

Like our patron, Dominic and our beloved sister, St. Catherine of Siena, we still strive to meet the people of God where they are…on the frontier, on their sickbeds, at the border, or in the church. And like our Order’s co-patroness, St. Mary Magdalene, we bring the Gospel of Christ’s Peace with us.

On this feast of St. Dominic, we are choosing to look not backward at the worthy work in our past, but forward to what we believe will be a bright and joyous future – a future where, with your love, your prayers, and your financial support, the Dominican Sisters of Peace may continue to accomplish God’s will.

  • In April, the Dominican Sisters of Peace held their Third General Chapter. Over these four days, we adopted a series of Direction Statement to guide us for the next six years, including a commitment to inclusion, a pledge to care for Earth, a commitment to prayer, contemplation and preaching, and dedication to fostering the future of active Dominican life. We also elected a new leadership team to help shepherd our Congregation into this future.
  • We are proud to share that as of July 2022, 606 acres of St. Catharine Farm in Kentucky has been placed into trust with the Bluegrass Land Conservancy, a nationally accredited, community supported trust that encourages the preservation of land. We are blessed to safeguard this precious space where Dominican Sisterhood began for future generations.
  • Between 2021 and 2023, 14 of our ministries have celebrated major anniversaries. We are celebrating more than 550 years of nurturing and teaching the children of our church, 110 years of higher education, 100 years of care to the elderly and those in poverty, 50 years of education and assistance to those new to our country, 110 years of offering spiritual care to God’s people through our retreat ministries, and 295 years of preserving God’s precious creation, Earth. These and our other ministries continue to preach peace through our service to God’s people.
  • In 2022, we have welcomed four new women to the Congregation as candidates. In the past year, two Sisters have made final vows and two have become temporarily professed. Through the grace of God, and the joyful ministry of our Sisters, our Congregation continues to grow and to prepare for a future of service to God’s people.

Just as our foremothers faced the challenges of their day, we look with hope and faith to the challenges now: a divided nation; Gun violence; Hunger in our cities; Continued devastation of our planet; Lack of compassion for refugees and the marginalized. These are the work that God intends us to do, and with your prayers, your support, and your financial donations, we are ready and able to do God’s will… to, in the spirit of our founder, Dominic de Guzman, to do everything – even the smallest things – to the glory of God.

We are each called and chosen by God to accomplish God’s will – to bring peace to the world. We are blessed to walk together with you in this work.

With a grateful heart,

Sr. Patricia A. Twohill, OP
Prioress, Dominican Sisters of Peace

Celebrate the Feast of St. Dominic with a special prayer service! Click to download your copy here.

Click here to assist us in our on-going ministry to preach Christ’s peace.

Posted in News, Seasonal Observances

Celebrate the Feast of St. Catherine of Siena with an Octave of Prayer

April 29 – The Feast of St. Catherine of Siena 
Loving and Faithful God, we praise your glory in the graced life of St. Catherine of Siena, Dominican, virgin and Doctor of the Church. As she spoke fearlessly to heads of the Church and the State, may we also be unafraid to speak God’s peace boldly to those in power. St. Catherine of Siena is a patroness of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. Through her merits and her intercession, we pray that we may attain her wisdom, her generosity of spirit, and her longing always to be closer to Christ. We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Concluding Prayer
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
St Catherine of Siena, pray for us.

 

April 30
Loving and Faithful God, we praise your glory in the justice-seeking life of St. Catherine of Siena, Dominican, virgin and Doctor of the Church. She helped bring unity in her home country of Italy and spoke peace to nations at war. We ask you Lord through her merits and intercession to hear our prayer.  As Catherine is the patron of Europe, we pray for peace on that continent, and especially for the people of Ukraine. We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Concluding Prayer
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
St Catherine of Siena, pray for us.

 

 

May 1
Loving and Faithful God, we praise your glory in the compassionate life of St. Catherine of Siena, Dominican, virgin and Doctor of the Church. Help us to serve as she did, offering our hands and our hearts to the needy of our day just as St. Catherine cared for those ill from the plague of her time.  As the patron of nurses, we ask for St. Catherine’s intercession for those who care for the sick, the wounded, and the dying. May they find strength, hope and peace to sustain them in this holy, compassionate work. We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Concluding Prayer
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
St Catherine of Siena, pray for us.

 

 

May 2
Loving and Faithful God, we praise your glory in the passionate life of the admirable St. Catherine of Siena, Dominican, virgin, and Doctor of the Church. St. Catherine was said to have been praying in the middle of a terrible fire. By God’s grace, she escaped the danger of the flames. St. Catherine is the patron saint of fire prevention.  Lord of Love, through her intercession, set our hearts afire as we pray for our earth and work to preserve and honor the gift you have given us in our own essence and that of creation around us. We ask for her prayers for those suffering from the many fires caused by climate change. We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Concluding Prayer
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
St Catherine of Siena, pray for us.

 

 

May 3
Loving and Faithful God, we praise your glory in the merciful life of the St. Catherine of Siena, Dominican, virgin, and Doctor of the Church. St. Catherine was one of 25 children born to her mother. She nursed many women who suffered from miscarriage or illness during their pregnancies and prayed for the soul of every lost child. Lord of Life we join with Catherine in prayer for families who suffer the pain of miscarriage and grieve the loss oF children.  May their souls find peace, and may they find union with their lost children in the kingdom of Heaven. We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Concluding Prayer
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
St Catherine of Siena, pray for us.

 

 

 

May 4

Loving and Faithful God, we praise your glory in the devoted life of the St. Catherine of Siena, Dominican, virgin, and Doctor of the Church.  Catherine’s parents sought to have her marry, but she persisted in her desire to serve God as the first Dominican Associate member. Grant us the strength to respond to the Spirit’s call in our lives and to persist on our vocations to serve God and God’s people. Lord of Mission, through Catherine’s intercession hear our prayer. St. Catherine is the patroness of those who suffer resistance to what they embrace. We pray for all those who suffer oppression and violence because of their belief. We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Concluding Prayer
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
St Catherine of Siena, pray for us.

 

May 5
Loving and Faithful God, we praise your glory in the dedicated life of the St. Catherine of Siena, Dominican, virgin and Doctor of the Church. Help us, like St. Catherine, to pass with pure heart and spirit through the chaos and confusion this world so often presents.  Help us to remain faithful in our relationship with You and to always discern our next thought/decision/act in the light of your presence and unconditional love. As the patroness of those struggling with temptation, we ask for St. Catherine’s prayers. May we faithfully follow our vocations to consecrated religious life, single life, or to the sacrament of marriage, and find strength and fortitude as we discern and respond to our call from the God of Love. We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Concluding Prayer
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
St Catherine of Siena, pray for us.

 

 


May 6
Loving and Faithful God, we praise your glory in the hope-filled and unifying life of the St. Catherine of Siena, Dominican, virgin, and Doctor of the Church. In troubled times within the Church. She used the power of the pen and the power of prayer to counteract strife, to unite the faithful and Church leadership, and to restore the Papacy to Rome. Lord of All,  as Catherine worked to heal divisions within the Church, let us also be ministers of Peace within the Church of today. As we take part in the Synod of the Church, let us, with the entire People of God, discern together how to move forward on the path towards being a more synodal Church in the long-term. We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Concluding Prayer
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
St Catherine of Siena, pray for us.

 

Posted in Seasonal Observances

In the Steps of St. Dominic: The Founding of Dominican Women in the United States

Articles by Marilyn Rhodes, OPA

This article is the first of in a series of twelve, one per month, celebrating the Bicentennial of Dominican Women in the United States.

St. Dominic was a traveling friar who shared his deep contemplation of the Gospel with others through his preaching. His Order of Preachers (OP) was formally designated by Pope Honorius III in 1218. Dominic wanted the friars, and soon the sisters of the order, to preach the truth of the Catholic faith. By his example, men and women Dominicans live in community and preach through their active involvement with others.

Angela Sansbury, the first elected Dominican Prioress in the United States

In the early years of our nation, many Catholic families migrated to Kentucky from Maryland in the late 1700s, and most settled in areas where they could continue to practice their faith. Central Kentucky became known as the new Holy Land as Catholic monasteries, convents, and schools sprang up around the area. By 1798, the little log church of St. Ann in Washington County was established. The parish quickly grew too large for this building, and on Christmas Day 1809, Dominican Fathers Fenwick, Wilson, and Tuite, blessed and opened a much larger brick church, St. Rose of Lima, just two miles away.

St. Rose of Lima provided spiritual care for twenty-three hundred souls and became the cradle for Dominican Friars in the United States. These friars founded the first seminary in the United States, a school for boys, the first Catholic college west of the Alleghenies, then turned to women to join the mission of the Dominicans.

In February 1822, Father Wilson invited young women to form a community of Dominican Sisters; nine women became candidates. On Easter Sunday, 1822, seven of these women, including Mariah Sansbury, who took the religious name Angela, were formally received into the Order of Preachers. Angela Sansbury was the first woman in the United States to receive the habit, and she, like those others who entered religious life that day, was part of a group unique in the Dominican order. These Nuns were not cloistered behind convent walls like their Sisters in Europe but called to lead active lives in their community and share the mission of the Dominican Friars – to respond to the needs of the world and the time.

In August, six more women joined the order. Their first mission would be to follow the prayer schedule of the friars and instruct girls. These pioneer women began their lives as Dominican Sisters in a log cabin named Bethany on the grounds of the Saint Rose Farm belonging to the Friars. This new community took the name of the Convent of St. Mary Magdalen, and Father Wilson appointed Judith McMan, a married woman from Cork, Ireland, as superior over the first candidates.

It was soon after that the Sisters moved to the Sienna Vale, near Cartwright Creek. Angela Sansbury and her blood sister Elizabeth, who entered religious life with the name  Benven, were the beneficiaries of their mother’s estate, which of course was passed on to the Community. These assets included land, a large log cabin, a still house, and farm animals, which the Sisters raised to help support the fledgling Congregation.

On January 6, 1823, Sister Angela Sansbury became the first woman in the United States to receive the habit as a Sister of the Dominican Order. Six months later, she was installed as the constitutionally elected Prioress of the Dominican Sisters in the United States.

 

 

Posted in News, Seasonal Observances