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.


 

Knowledge Is Power

Sr. Pat Thomas, OP
Blog by Sr. Pat Thomas, OP

I graduated from high school in 1967, and during those years the Dominican Sisters engaged us in so many ways to enlighten, inspire and motivate us to see what was going on with the war protests, the civil rights movement and the world of the missions. The high school was a charter member of the Catholic Students’ Mission Crusade and, as a result of my membership in it, I learned all about the Micronesian, Polynesian and Melanesian island groups and began my deep desire to visit some of the African countries. We sponsored bake sales and made caramel apples for sale to earn money to “buy” Pagan Babies (and we got to name them, too). We had the experience every two years of the CSMC Conference for high school students from around the country and held at the University of Notre Dame. 10, 000 students and mentors gathered to hear speakers from around the world, missionaries with years of experience, e.g., Maryknoll Sister Maria del Ray, author and world traveler to so many mission lands; Monsignor Ssebayigga from Uganda who told us of the Mountains of the Moon( and who just passed in 2006); John Cardinal Wright who sang about the “little boxes on the hillside that all looked just the same”, but he compared them to the hovels of Appalachia not just the sameness of suburbia; and so many other inspiring missionaries. They lit the fire in so many of us to get to the work of home missionaries or international missionaries. We would save the world for God because all of those people were heathens and needed our help! Boomers—-this was our truth then, and you know it!

Somewhere along the line, I read Michener’s book Hawaii, and, as crazy as it sounds, that is where I had my AHA moment about the colonial mentality of our church and white society. My attitude was never the same and I wanted to learn more about not only how the church repressed the native spiritualties, but also what the people in those different places really believed in and why. There is such a thing as African theology and spirituality and, like our Native Americans, their connectedness to the earth is immense and intense.

Knowledge is a dangerous thing, for true! My intellect and my spirit now know how much damage has been done to the minds of citizens of all countries. White is not the best; it is one among many. White is not the safest; it is just as fragile. White is not the strongest; it has its weaknesses. White is not the smartest, but it does have access to better education most of the time. White is not always right…..

A few days ago, there was the remembrance of Juneteenth, the day when the slaves on Galveston Island finally found out that Lincoln had freed them—two years before. Why did it take so long for them to hear something that was “old news” to Blacks in other states and unimportant to their white masters? Poor communication lines from outside the state have been blamed, but the White masters on the island knew and didn’t want to lose their workers before crops could be harvested and barns could be built, so they waited a little while. No harm done, and it kept the economy alive.

There is so much to unlearn about the growth and development of our country. History is still being written, still being discovered. It must not make us feel bad or depressed. It must make us want to really be the best at cherishing the lives of all those God has created. It must make us realize the mistakes that were made, why they were made and make sure they are not still being made or ever made again. It is hard work, but what we learn will guide us, and our prayers will inspire us.

Posted in News, Weekly Word

June OPPeace News

OPPeace News will return to its print version with the September 2021 issue. If you have missed an issue of the OPPeace News, please click here for our archives.

Posted in News

OPPeace News Archives

Did you miss an issue of OPPeace News, the monthly newsletter of the Dominican Sisters of Peace? Click on the month below to download a printable PDF of each month’s newsletter!

June 2021 

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

 

 

Posted in News

Be a Part of 200 Years of Dominican History

As part of our 200th-anniversary celebration, the Congregation is planning a podcast – a series of audio stories that can be downloaded from the internet – that will chronicle the history of and tell the stories of our Congregation. We need your help – your stories and your memories – to make this special program as rich and as beautiful as our community.

WHY ARE WE CREATING A PODCAST?
The 200th-anniversary podcast is meant to introduce listeners to the women of the United States Dominican community as founded by our foremothers in Kentucky, and as lived through today by our Sisters from the nine congregations that make up the present-day DSOP. The content contributed by our Sisters will be written into narratives that can be presented in the podcast format. Some stories might be recorded using the voice of the Sister who contributed it… others, particularly stories about Sisters who have died, will be voiced.

HOW CAN I BE A PART OF THE PODCAST?
While Dominican life is about COMMUNITY, it is also about INDIVIDUALS. Each of us has lived our own form of the Dominican charism, and each of us has stories about that experience that we can share. Just as important, many of us know and remember our beloved Sisters who have gone home to God and carry stories in our hearts that we can share with our Sisters now, and those who come after us.

We are looking for stories from Sisters, Associates, and staff that illustrate the pioneering spirit of our Sisters across the past two centuries … the stories that you heard as a discerner or postulate that attracted you to our congregation, the stories of Sisters past and present who have made our community what it is, and the historical events that provided the context for the community and spiritual growth of our congregation. Do you have a story about a Sister that you would like to share? This narrative podcast is a way to keep our stories alive and to share them with generations of our Sisters to come.

Right now, we are looking for story ideas. You can call (614) 416-1017, give us your name and your phone number, and tell us a little about your story…just a line or two.  We will call you back to talk about your story. After this initial discussion, we ask that you be open to a longer conversation where you can tell us the entire story, and even answer questions that might make the story better.

DO I HAVE TO PARTICIPATE?
No Sister or Associate has to participate, but please remember, YOU are the carrier of our history … the stories of our Sisters and our Congregation reside in your mind and your heart. We hope that you will be generous enough to share them with us, and with future generations.

WHO WILL LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST
The podcast is designed to appeal to Sisters, Associates, Staff, discerners Staff, discerners, and anyone interested in the stories of the brave and inspiring Sisters who pioneered by bringing the Dominican Charism to the United States. We expect that we will also get listeners who are interested in United States history, Catholic history, religious history, and history of religious women.

The podcast will be available on OPPeace.org.

———

If you are not familiar with podcasts, here is some information about what podcasts are and how you can listen to them 

WHAT IS A PODCAST?
A podcast is the 21st-century version of the old radio programs that many of our older Sisters may have enjoyed growing up. It is simply a series of episodes of an audio program on a specific topic.

When writers and creators began releasing these new audio programs, the tech world dubbed them “podcasts” because they could be downloaded into an iPod and listened to anytime, anywhere. Even that name has become dated as ipods have been replaced by cell phones, but the name has stuck.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO LISTEN TO A PODCAST?
Our 200th Anniversary Podcast will be available to anyone who wants to listen to it at no cost. Most other podcasts are also available at no cost.

WHAT TECHNOLOGY WILL I NEED TO LISTEN TO A PODCAST?
You can listen to a podcast using your smartphone, your computer, or your tablet, as long as it is connected to the internet and has audio capabilities.

HOW CAN I FIND PODCASTS TO LISTEN TO?
Our 200th Anniversary Podcast will be available on OPPeace.

Podcasts are distributed through streaming services or podcasting services, which can be likened to the radio networks that distributed radio serials years ago. These services act as “libraries” for podcasts, where users can search podcasts by subject matter or creator.

We are so very excited to hear your stories, and to share them with our Sisters, our Associates, and the future Sisters of our and other congregations. Remember, each of us are the keepers of our shared history, and we hope that you will be generous enough to share with us and with future generations.

Posted in News

Which Way?

Sr. Mai-dung Nguyen, OP

One day, as I was taking a walk around a nearby university campus, I watched a two or three-year-old girl walking with her Mom. There are many walking paths around the campus. As the little girl and her Mom came closer to an intersection on the path they were walking, the girl said to her Mom:

“This way, Mom,” she said as she pointed to the right side of the path.
“No, this way,” Mom said to her, directing her to another path in front of them.
“No, this way,” said the girl as she began to walk in the direction she wanted to go.
“Come on, this way ….” the Mom asserted and kept walking.
“This way,” the girl insisted, sounding a little stubborn, wanting to go her way.
“No, come on this way, we need to go. Come on,” urged Mom, as she slowed down to wait for the girl and tried to influence her little daughter.

At the intersection, the girl stopped walking and looked over the path she wanted to take for a few short seconds. Then, she turned and ran towards her Mom. Both began to walk together and I heard them chatting along the way.

Seeing what just happened, I smiled and thought about that moment as a profound discernment in this young girl’s life.

Does this experience of uncertainty and not knowing which direction to take sound familiar to you?

It is not easy to know the path to follow sometimes, whether it is listening to God’s call to live in religious life, to change a ministry and residency, or to respond to the signs of our time. When we hear the invitation to “Come, and follow me,” we may resist this path and may instead want to keep going “our way.” However, God’s invitation continuously shows up inside us, showing us another direction that we may not want to follow and requires changes that we may resist.  However, the more we resist God’s calling, the more restless we may become.

In the Bible, we learn about the callings of Moses, Jeremiah, and Jonah. None of them accepted God’s call right away without being hesitant or questioning, expressing such concerns as “I am too young” or “I have a problem with speech.” Jonah even ran away. However, no matter how many times each individual resisted God’s call, all of them eventually did what God asked them to do and were faithful to that call until they died. And God blessed and journeyed with them all to the end.

The girl in the story above did not like what her Mom commanded her. No matter how much the girl wanted to go her way, she finally changed her mind. What made her change her mind? I think pausing for a moment allowed her to think about where she was. Seeing the little girl and her Mom talking and walking together reminds me of how God walks and journeys with us.  

Sometimes on our journey, we need to take a break and pause to reflect on what God’s invitation to us is about. Just as the Mom waited for her daughter to join her, God is waiting for us to respond to God’s invitation and journey with us. If we allow ourselves to pause and look at our faith journey, we may have the courage to see and hear the direction that God invites us to follow, just like the girl listened to the path her mom was calling for her to follow.

Have you ever paused to reflect on how God is calling you? If so, you may be interested to know that we have an effective discernment program to help you reflect deeply on your call. Visit us or contact us for more information. We invite you also to a time of discernment at our September Come & See Discernment Retreat. For more details on this hybrid retreat weekend, September 10-12, please contact Sr. June Fitzgerald at June.Fitzgerald@oppeace.org.

Posted in News, Vocations Blog