News

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.


 

Dominican Sisters of Peace host weekend for Survivors of Human Trafficking

Members of the Butterfly Group

Many people who want to make a major life change will join a support group. Whether it’s Weight Watchers, Alcoholics Anonymous, or couples counseling, the group dynamic – being with people who face the same issues – can make that change more successful.

Here in Columbus, women who have completed the two-year program at CATCH  (Changing Actions To Change Habits) Court, a therapeutic justice program for trafficked women, often find themselves without that important moral support and group accountability. So to help those women continue their recovery, the Butterfly Group was born.

The women in the Butterfly Group meet twice a month. One meeting focuses on topics that promote their personal/spiritual growth. The other meeting is for socialization, fun and bonding.

The Dominican Sisters of Peace were honored to host the Butterfly Group, all women survivors of human trafficking,

Sister Nadine Buchanan and April Thacker.

for a weekend of support, healing, and pampering earlier in June.

The women met on Saturday, June 2, at the Martin de Porres Center, an outreach of the Dominican Sisters of Peace Outreach Center, and

spent the night enjoying a grown-up slumber party in a dorm at Ohio Dominican University. The event was organized by Sister Nadine Buchanan, OP, and April Thacker, a local woman who is a survivor of human trafficking.

The women who attended this event were treated to a day of pampering, including manicures, pedicures, facials, and hair styling, along with a picnic lunch. They also had a chance to express themselves through art projects, games and storytelling. Sisters from the Congregation joined the women, and many new friendships were created. Movies and catered Mexican food rounded out the first day of the weekend event.

Sunday began with breakfast, followed by a Healing Circle and Blessings lead by Sister Louis Mary Passeri, OP.

Women from the Butterfly Group enjoy their weekend at the Dominican Sisters of Peace.

Sister Louis Mary reflected on healing, and on letting go of the past to create a better future. This concept was made real for each woman when Sister Louis Mary asked them to write something they wanted to leave behind on soluble paper and then stir it away in a bowl of water. This ceremony was very powerful for all of the women involved.

Each woman left refreshed and renewed, and with gifts from the Dominican Sisters of Peace. They left gifts as well – gifts of grace and love for the Sisters who walked beside them on this special weekend.

 

 

 

Posted in News

All for the Wall

Sr. Doris Reagan served in a ministry to the people of Honduras for 18 years.

They say that pictures are worth a thousand words. On June 17, the New York Times featured a front-page picture of a little girl in red clothes at the border. She was crying as her mother was being patted down by a border agent. They were from Honduras as are so many others. Similar pictures have appeared each day and have touched the hearts (and souls) of many – myself in particular – because they represent the hundreds of children and families I knew and loved in Honduras during my 18 years in that country.

We are hearing of more than 2000 children separated from their mothers. We question the misuse of selective Biblical quotes used as justification for “zero tolerance” policies. We can’t believe it.

We notice once again that no one is asking why these families make their way to the border through the desert, the rivers, and all the other dangers. They know full well what may await them but they are desperate. Honduras, for example, is a military government (and considered as dangerous as the gangs that rule its cities).

We question why the voices of Congressional men and women do not shout out, why the wives of Congressional members do not speak out

Our President wants a “physical wall” at all costs. We fear that the cost of “the wall” will be the excuse to do nothing about the children.

Law is meant as a protection for the common good – Jesus’ law is about the love of enemies as the readings of this week tell us. How we see the “other” determines how we act.  We exist in relation to one another as God’s children. That seems to be a foreign language to this administration.

Those who espouse “zero tolerance” are really afraid. So let us not be afraid: to speak out, to love, to be who we really are: preachers of the truth, preachers of love and members of God’s family.

Posted in Just Reflecting, News

Is this really the best that we can do?

Blog by Sr. Barbara Kane, OP, Justice Promoter

We’ve encouraged you to call your representatives to vote NO on two bills: The Securing America’s Future Act (also called the Goodlatte bill) and the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018 (the Paul Ryan Compromise bill).  Here’s why:

  • Neither bills were crafted by or have bipartisan support.
  • Both make cuts to legal immigration by eliminating the diversity visa lottery and some forms of family-based immigration.
    • The Compromise Bill would end immigration of adult children and siblings of US citizens and would eliminate the diversity visa for immigrants from countries that don’t typically send many people to the US.
    • The Goodlatte bill would ultimately cut overall legal immigration by 25%, eliminating the diversity visa lottery and most family-based immigration. It would expand employer-based green cards by fewer than 50,000 a year.
  • Both significantly tighten asylum standards, making it easier for the government to detain and deport asylum seekers. (Attorney General Sessions recently decided that domestic and gang violence were not adequate reasons to seek asylum.) It allows ICE to detain parents and their children indefinitely.
  • Neither bill offers a satisfactory solution for Dreamers.
    • The Border Security Act creates a new form of legal status, called conditional nonimmigrant status, for DACA recipients and immigrants eligible for DACA. It is a six-year renewable option that can be renewed. This bill would allow DACA recipients to apply for green cards, making them eligible for citizenship after three to five years. The trouble is, they won’t be guaranteed to actually get green cards but will be given points based on English-language proficiency, military service, and employment.
    • The Securing American’s Future Act has no provisions for addressing current DACA recipients.
  • The Compromise bill has the promise of $25 billion for the wall that is tied to the issuance of merit-based visas. It’s a kind of immigrant blackmail.
  • Neither bills address the current situation of the separation of children from their parents, a policy being implemented by the administration.

So, if you haven’t called your representatives yet, please do.  The vote may come as early as Thursday.

Sr. Shawn Fitzpatrick, Staff Member Gaye Reissland, and Sr. Barb Kane stand for immigrants in Columbus.
Dominican Sisters of Peace Barbara Catalano (right), Marilyn Mihalic, (lower right) Daniel Weakland, and Alicia Alvarado join the “Families belong Together” rally in Akron.

 

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

What Manner of Love Does your God Prescribe?

Blog by Associate Colette Parker

I wonder how many people were as incensed as I was when hearing U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III use the Bible to defend ripping apart families — arresting parents and placing children in internment camps (oops, I mean “detention centers”).

I wonder if my exasperation is similar to that of my Muslim friends who are often frustrated by the misrepresentation of their sacred book.

I am sick and tired of, dare I say, Christian extremists, trying to justify their oppressive views with biblical scripture (taken out of context). I’m no theologian (and apparently neither is Jeff Sessions), but the last time I checked, Christians were commanded to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

What manner of love abuses asylum seekers (who, by the way, have a right to come here), traumatizes children, and degrades human beings?

Everything within me rejects the attorney general’s spiritual arrogance and dangerously misguided and perverted interpretation of biblical scripture as justification for the inhuman treatment of immigrants.

I would like to draw attention to an alternative interpretation of Paul’s message via “Paul’s Letter to American Christians,” delivered by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1956 at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. Rev. King described the basis of his sermon as what he imagined the Apostle Paul would write to Christians in America at that time:

“… American Christians, I must say to you as I said to the Roman Christians years ago, ‘Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ Or, as I said to the Philippian Christians, ‘Ye are a colony of heaven.’ This means that although you live in the colony of time, your ultimate allegiance is to the empire of eternity. You have a dual citizenry. You live both in time and eternity; both in heaven and earth. Therefore, your ultimate allegiance is not to the government, not to the state, not to nation, not to any man-made institution. The Christian owes his ultimate allegiance to God, and if any earthly institution conflicts with God’s will it is your Christian duty to take a stand against it. You must never allow the transitory evanescent demands of man-made institutions to take precedence over the eternal demands of the Almighty God.”

https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/publications/knock-midnight-inspiration-great-sermons-reverend-martin-luther-king-jr-1

As a Christian, I adhere to a just and loving God. I stand against the inhuman and unjust treatment of any human being.

Posted in Associate Blog

Poetry as Prayer

Have you ever written a prayer poem to God?

Blog by Associate Mary Ellen George, OPA

In my teens and young adult years, I found writing poetry to be an effective way of expressing my thoughts and feelings. Words that I found difficult to express aloud flowed easily and freely when pen and paper were my writing tools. Now, my medium for writing and expressing myself is through these once-a-month blogs, using a wordprocessing software program instead to capture my thoughts, and sometimes applying graphics to spruce up a piece.

I think the need to express oneself is important to our well-being and to our soul. We may find that writing or music, art, dancing, acting, or engaging in a hobby empowers us to express who we are. Writing in a journal or writing in a quiet place, for example, are ways that can help us hear and discern how God is speaking to us.

Sometimes we can have a profound experience with God when we engage in the expressive arts. As I look back on my early years of poetry writing, I can see that God was present in these moments when I was searching and discovering what life was about.

At various times throughout my life, poetry served as a form of prayer for me. Poetry became a way to connect with the divine spirit in me and for God to speak to me. One such poem, entitled “Let Me Be With You” that emerged where I believe God was speaking to me is shared below with the hope that perhaps its message enfolds you in God’s caressing care.

Let me fill your emptiness.
Let me heal your brokenness.
Let me nourish you and console you.
Let me speak to your heart and give you peace.
You need not always search deeply for me.
Sometimes I am a quiet whisper.
Sometimes I am a gentle breeze upon your cheek.
Sometimes I am in the silence or in the thunder.

But always I am with you and for you.

Come to me and let me love you.
Come to me and rest from your busyness.
Come to me and just be
So I can embrace you in my endless love.

How is God speaking to you? Is God calling you to religious life? Come and explore God’s love in our community and get to know more about how you might serve God as a Dominican Sister of Peace. Our next Come and See weekend is September 7-9, 2018 and is being held in St. Catharine, KY.

Check out this Come and See Flyer for more details and for registration information. We’d love to have you join us!

Posted in God Calling??, News