For further information on any of the news items listed here, please contact Alice Black, PhD, OPA, Director of Communications & Mission Advancement, at 614-416-1020.


Know Thy Self

Blog by Associate Mary Ellen George, OPA

Who do you think you are?  For many of us, our first association with this question might not be a pleasant one, having heard it as a sarcastic comment directed at us or another person.  But, another way to hear this question is as an inquisitive invitation to know, understand, and explore who you are.   

Knowing ourselves is a lifetime journey and a process of self-reflection and self-awareness. Our fascination with understanding ourselves and others is evidenced by the popularity of such personality assessment tools as the Enneagram Personality Test and Myers Briggs Type Indicator.   We are curious to know how we and others “live, move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) We have a great longing to get to the bottom of who we and others are, to understand all that we see and hear around us.  We want to make sense of our feelings, thoughts, and experiences.  We want to know what our strengths and growth edges are, why we do things a certain way, what motivates and influences us, what challenges us, what our social preferences are, and the list goes on.  Are we introverts or extroverts?  Do we like structure or spontaneity?  Are we motivated by achievement, belonging, power, or adventure?  Do we prefer social outings or quiet environments?    

When we know and accept who we are, we are better able to fulfill who we are meant to be and not who we think we should be.  Knowing ourselves makes it easier to embrace and value our gifts and the gifts of others, and what we bring to the table to share with others. When we feel secure in knowing ourselves, we are also better able to accept and appreciate the gifts of others. By knowing ourselves, we can also gain clarity in how we are called to “live, move and have our being.”  

We invite you to take some time to get to know yourself better.  Spend time in whatever way the Divine best speaks to you and is present to you—in nature, prayer, quiet contemplation, journal writing, music.  Be open to whatever emerges as you reflect on the stirrings in your heart.  Follow your own path and as the psalmist proclaims, “to thine own self be true.” (Psalm 23:3) 

As you reflect on who you are and wonder if God is calling you to become a religious sister,  we invite you to contact us. Together, we can listen and discern how God is calling you to live, move, and be in this world.  Be gentle with yourself and remember, “Who we are is God’s gift to us.  Who we become is our gift to God,” a modified quote from Eleanor Torrey Powell. 

We are offering a FREE Come and See weekend, Called by Name: A Discernment Retreat, at our Motherhouse in St. Catharine, Kentucky, September 8-10, 2023. Give yourself the gift of time to reflect on who you are and how you are called to be by joining us in the hills of Kentucky.  For more information, click here or contact Sr. Mai-dung Nguyen. Click here to register. 

Posted in God Calling?, News, Vocations Blog

Community Supported Agriculture: A New Normal for the Post-COVID Food System?

Blog by Julie Laudick Dougherty, owner/operator of Oxbow Farm in Maryland, and member of the Eco-Justice Committee for the Dominican Sisters of Peace

When grocery stores had shortages at the start of the pandemic and the stay-at-home orders took effect, people had more time and reason than ever to start asking questions about where their food is coming from and how to get it locally. Many expanded their gardens or started one for the first time.

Next to shopping at farmers’ markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares are one of the most popular ways to get fresh produce directly from local farms. While there are many different variations on the concept, the most basic CSA model involves the customer paying upfront at the beginning of the year for a weekly subscription to a box of in-season vegetables. Some CSA farms will allow you to personalize your CSA box by opting in and out of certain items, and some memberships involve volunteer opportunities at the farm.

The term “Community Supported Agriculture” was first popularized among farmers in the Northeast US in the late 1980s, but the same concept was used by black farmers in the south many years earlier. Dr. Booker T. Washington, a black farmer and professor from Tuskegee University in Alabama promoted “Clientele Membership Clubs” where members would pay an annual fee to pick their own fruits and vegetables at a discounted price throughout the season. This model was particularly helpful for farmers who lacked access to capital in the spring to cover seed, input, and labor costs. The annual upfront membership fee solves this cash flow problem and provides a steady sales outlet.

Despite the benefits of the CSA model and its importance in the local food movement, CSA membership numbers for many farms had been dwindling across the country in recent years before the pandemic. Fewer people had the knowledge or time to cook the variety of fresh produce that comes in a CSA box, and there are more convenient meal kit and grocery delivery options to choose from now than ever before. When the pandemic started revealing weaknesses in our industrial food system, the membership numbers for many CSA farms doubled or even tripled, which provided much needed hope for sustainable and organic farmers who had been finding it harder and harder to make ends meet.

Growing your own food or buying from your local farmer isn’t just about your personal health or food security, it is an act of participation in a more just food system, and a way of re-connecting to our original vocation from God: to till the earth and to keep it. Hopefully this trend of people growing more of their own food, buying it locally, and spending more time at home making quality meals will continue as our society returns to a “new normal.” As the pace of life picks up and schedules start getting busy again, take time to consider what you really want to invite back into your life and which things or activities you can do without. If you are interested in supporting a local farm, visit your neighborhood farmer’s market, or look online at Local Harvest to find small organic farms near you:

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

Make Me An Instrument Of Your Peace

Dominican Sisters of Peace Formations and Vocations team, from back left, Sr. Pat Dual, OP, Mary Ellen George, OPA. Front from left: Sr. Mai Dung Nguyen, OP, Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP, Sr. Bea Tiboldi, OP.

Blog by Mary Ellen George, OPA

When you reflect on this phrase, “mission for peace,” what image(s) come to mind?  Do you picture a far-away mission in a foreign land where others have been dispatched to bring peace and conflict resolution to a warring community or society?  Is the necessity of making peace an “out there” or “away from me” imagining that is everyone else’s responsibility?  Do you insulate yourself from seeing or hearing the call to “be peace, preach peace, and build peace”? Do you refrain from becoming involved when the lack of peace happens around you in your relationships, in your workplace, and in your living community?

Or, are you looking, instead, for an opportunity to be an “instrument of peace,” as expressed here in The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi?




Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Are you ready to be the hands and feet of Christ, bringing peace and hope to others?  Then, why not join our Sisters and other women who are considering religious life, June 2-6, 2023, in Akron, Ohio for a “Mission for Peace” experience.  This five-day, service-based, hands-on learning experience offers you a real-life experience of prayer and community living.  You will have time also to talk to our Sisters to get answers to the questions you have about religious life and about serving others as a Dominican Sister of Peace.  Check out these testimonials from participants who experienced this program

Click here for more information about this free opportunity or click here to register now.

Peace be with you


Posted in God Calling?, News, Vocations Blog

Novena Against Gun Violence

“Loving God, You created for us a world of beauty, order, and endless possibilities. But today ours is a world often in chaos: war, famine, drought, so many “isms”, lack of respect for life and for one another. In this our very own beloved country we face these issues day after day. One of these is uppermost in our minds these days—the horror of gun violence which continues to ravage our nation, our society, our people, even the youngest of our children. 

“Spirit God, we give you all names: Holy, Sanctifier, Paraclete, Advocate. Yet you are so much more: Challenger, Nudger, whirling Wind and engulfing Fire, Mover, Enabler, Lover, Breath of Life. Be that for us, we pray. Instill in us your gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, reverence, and awe. Pentecost us. Enable us to be as daring as the newly inspired Apostles—to be bold in our defense of the right of all persons to feel safe wherever we are, unafraid of being forever silenced by those who are armed with weapons and anger and sometimes even hatred.

“Give us the courage to speak the Word. Give us the audacity to take the actions needed to end this needless violence against innocent victims.

In the name of our Creator God, in the name of the Word of Life and in the name of the Fire of Love. Amen.”                                                                                                                   

— Prayer by Sister Michele Bisaillon, DHS  

Click here to download a copy of the novena.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

Dominican Students Post Wins at New Orleans and National Academic Games

St. Mary’s Dominican High School students Isabelle Anderson (left) and Camille Truxillo with their Academic Games wins from nationals and New Orleans competitions.

St. Mary‘s Dominican High School students Isabelle Anderson, Tess Baker, Mia Bavido, Truc Nguyen, and Camille Truxillo competed at the Academic Games League of America nationals held in Orlando, Florida. Truxillo placed Fourth out of 87 competitors, with a perfect score in Equations. In the playoffs she competed against the top six students. Truxillo and  Anderson, along with William Xi and Jack McAvoy from Willow School and Erin Powell from St. Charles Catholic, competed against 17 teams and placed second in Presidents and against 24 teams placing third in Propaganda.

Winning levels at the New Orleans Academic Games League: Presidents – Individual: Truxillo placed second out of 28 competitors; On-Sets – Individual: Anderson and Truxillo placed third out of 26 competitors. Dominican’s Academic Games club moderators are Spencer Schnell and Monica Haag.

Academic Games is a competition in the U.S. in which players win by out-thinking each other in mathematics, language arts, and social studies. Formal tournaments are organized by local leagues, and on a national level by the Academic Games Leagues of America. Started in 1966, the New Orleans Academic Games League inspires students to become critical thinkers through friendly competition, open to all schools and individuals,  in challenging mathematics, language arts, and social studies games. Students in Grades 4 through 12 from over 20 schools in the Greater New Orleans metro area compete in the New Orleans Academic Games League each school year.


Posted in News