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.


 

Compassionate Hope

Blog by Sr. Beata Tiboldi

Recently, I watched the movie: “Secret: Dare to Dream. I feel inspired by the movie, mostly, because Bray, who helps a widowed mother and her family, exemplifies how positive thoughts can transform minds and can lead to a heart full of compassion and hope. In daring to dream, the characters are challenged to be open and to think beyond reality, taking the courage to work toward achieving something they would like to see happen. Whether it’s the stress of having most of your classes online, or battling with the pandemic and its effects on us, or losing a loved one recently, or feeling uncertain about God’s call, I thought that we all could use some inspiration.

At times, the thought of discerning God’s call might make you wrestle with your thoughts. It may be difficult to be open about where these thoughts may take you. At first, you might ‘ditch’ the idea of being called to religious life, but if it keeps nudging you, you might want to explore what this call means for you. Bray offers this inspiration in the movie: “When the time is right, you’ll know what to do.”

You might begin exploring this call by examining these questions: What does your prayer life look like when you pray about God’s call? What values do you hold dear? What is it that you look for in a religious community? In the movie, Bray points out: “if you don’t know what you want, how can you ask for it?” When discerning religious life, it is important that you look at the charism, prayer life, mission, and community life of the religious orders. These factors might help you narrowing down your search to just a few religious communities.

We, Dominicans, study the Word and study the needs of our time, and in doing so, we examine what attitude to adopt or what action to follow. This coming Sunday, in the Gospel we are reminded to love God with all our heart, mind and soul, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Easier said than done. But countless people throughout history have shown us the way to love and Jesus’ life and teachings are foremost the best example of how to love. Jesus offered hope and compassion to many and we are called to do the same. Bray embodies a humble attitude, and he exemplifies what compassion and hope can do. When facing a question or concern, our attitude can ‘decide’ the outcome. As Bray reminds viewers in the movie, we “have to be careful because we get what we expect.” I agree. A “yeah, right” with a frown might not take us anywhere, while a “yeah, right” with a courageous tone might inspire us to work for a more peaceful world, or even more, it might open doors to new opportunities that God has in store for us.

In the movie, Bray didn’t think that anything was coincidental. In fact, he quoted Albert Einstein when he was asked: “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” Think about this statement for a moment. How has God shown up seemingly by coincidence in your life?

Whether it’s your discernment, or a current event in today’s world, such as the current election in the U.S., the immigration situation at the southern U.S. border, or knowing that the parents of 545 children are still separated and cannot be found, reflecting on the effects of climate change or on the effects of the pandemic, you might want to ponder what is your attitude and what action are you willing to take. You might also ponder these two questions–What inspires you in nurturing your relationship with God? How can or are you an instrument of God’s love and hope for others in this wounded world?

If you are discerning religious life and you are a single, Catholic woman between age 18-45, and you would like to deepen your relationship with God through prayer, contact Sr. June Fitzgerald via email at jfitzgerald@oppeace.org for information about our monthly prayer group. If you would like to explore God’s call with other discerning women, we offer a discernment group monthly. We also have a mini-retreat coming up in November, click here to access more information.

Posted in God Calling?, News

Peace and Justice Updates 10.20.2020

October 2020 Stop Trafficking Newsletter
The October issue of Stop Trafficking examines the issue of sexual slavery in Native American communities. Click here to read the new issue.

Sowing Hope for the Planet Webinar, Oct. 22, 2020
The webinar will develop the theme “Instruments for Sowing Hope” with Br. Albero Parise mccj, programs specialist, discussing the Laudato Si’ Roll Out Plan and sharing practical developments for men and women religious. Inspiring examples will be featured from our congregations. Important updates will be given regarding our partnership with the Dicastery Promoting Integral Human Development (DIHD) and the work of the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM).

Schedule: 2 pm to 4 pm (Rome time) in EN, ES, FR and IT.

Click here to join.

A Prayer for the Coming Election
We have much to consider before we cast our ballots. Click here for a prayer to guide our contemplation from the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Celebrate the Gift of Our Modern Martyrs
LCWR and the SHARE Foundation invite women religious to celebrate the gift of Dorothy Kazel, OSU, Maura Clarke, MM, Ita Ford, MM, and Jean Donovan who were brutally murdered by the U.S.-supported Salvadoran military on December 2, 1980.  Please plan now to host a prayer vigil, an evening of conversation and story-telling, a retreat, or other gatherings in your communities, parishes, or educational institutions to honor the memory of the four “Roses in December” and all who followed in their footsteps.

Organizers hope to commemorate the lives of the martyrs by hosting 40 remembrances in 40 cities to mark the 40th anniversary.  A Roses in December Toolkit to help with local organizing is now available on the SHARE El Salvador website. The toolkit includes the story of the four churchwomen; background on El Salvador; ideas for the celebration; a prayer service; suggestions for action and advocacy; media suggestions; and a list of resources.

The SHARE Foundation is collecting brief descriptions of local events. Send details about your commemoration to Jose Artiga (jose@share-elsalvador.org) to be counted among the 40.

Urge the President to Complete the PD and Allow Refugees to Be Resettled in the United States!
Despite the Trump Administration sending its notice to Congress on September 30, signaling its intent to only allow 15,000 refugees to be resettled in the United States for Fiscal Year 2021 (the lowest number ever). Refugees still are not allowed to come to the United States as the Trump Administration has not completed the statutory process required for the Presidential Determination (PD). Without the completed PD process no refugees can arrive in the United States.

There are steps that still need to be taken in order for refugees to be allowed to be resettled in the United States. Read our new FAQ on the FY 2021 Report to Congress and the Presidential Determination on Refugee Admission to learn more about what is at stake.  Also please continue to sign and share our action alert.

 

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

The Next Pandemic

Blog by Justice Promoter Sister Judy Morris, OP

2020 has been a year of endless harsh realities.  With over 219,000 dying of COVID–19, 30 million unemployed, businesses closing every day around the country, and the most divisive election to date, it is easy to lose sight of the next pandemic — homelessness.

In an interview with NPR, Cruz Santos said that she thought her life was finally turning around in early March when, after months of searching, she found a job at a shoe store. Two weeks later the store shut down, throwing her back onto the unemployment lines, and leaving her and her three school-age children at risk of losing the one-bedroom Bronx apartment where they live.  She says, “I don’t know what’s going to happen and if they’re going to kick me out of my apartment.  And that’s something hard, you know. You can hardly even sleep sometimes.”

She is not alone.  According to Zach Newman of the Aspen Institute, at least 30 million people are at risk of eviction, or not being able to pay a mortgage.  They are in danger of losing their homes because the $600 a week unemployment benefit from the federal government’s CARES Act has expired, and there seems to be no new relief on the horizon.

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, on a single day, an estimated 292,623 single adults experiencing homelessness are over the age of 50, suggesting they may be uniquely vulnerable to becoming seriously ill during the pandemic.  There were 567,715 homeless in 2019.  Those who were fortunate enough to have an “emergency fund” have long since exhausted that small lifeline.

In the meantime, the three branches of government have played ping-pong with the lives of millions of Americans.  The House passed a bill to provide relief for those facing eviction, the Senate responded with a much smaller package, and the House countered with a bill that landed in between the original two bills.  The compromise offer was rejected by the Senate, and this bill, which could save 40 million people from eviction and homelessness, is in limbo.

With millions facing eviction, Senate and House members went home to campaign for reelection.  And with millions of people facing eviction, food insecurity for children climbing to as high as 17%, and more than 200,000 dead, the White House changed the script and called Senators back to Washington – not to help a nation in crisis, but to confirm a Supreme Court justice.

What is lost in this socio-drama are the millions of people who are suffering. People who simply want a job, food, and a roof over their heads. As winter comes on, those already on the streets and those fighting to keep their homes don’t need political posturing or “winning at any cost.” They deserve mercy.

Is anyone paying attention?

 

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

God is Present Within Us

Blog by Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP

Prayer is as essential to my life as breathing.  I learned long ago that if I do not ground my day in prayer, things often go awry as the day goes on.  In fact, when I was a novice, I received a little sign that read, “A day hemmed in prayer seldom unravels.”  This sign still hangs above our convent stairway to remind us of the importance of praying daily.

Dominicans hold prayer as one of the four pillars (or foundation stones) of life.   Along with study, community and ministry/service, prayer grounds and informs our life.  Our connection with God reminds us that God is present to us, as we hear in this quote from St. Teresa of Avila, “We need no wings to go in search of God, but have only to look upon God ever present within us.”  Yet, we need to be guided in learning how to pray and to build that relationship with God so we can discern well.

When I was in formation, I had a wise guide in Sr. Mary Carmel.  Sister lived next door to me in the convent and would often share with me a few words of wisdom as we passed in the hall or when she would invite me in to share a book or article she thought I would find enlightening.  She would then invite me to sit down and pray with her.  From her, I learned that I first needed to develop a regular practice of prayer and from that foundation, my relationship with God would grow naturally.

Fast forward to a few months ago, when several of the women we are walking with in discernment asked if we could start a prayer group for them. They know prayer is essential to their journey, but they wanted to learn how to pray, needed some direction and yearned for group support and encouragement to do so.  Thus, we are delighted to share that a brand new prayer group for discerning women is forming and our first meeting will be on Sunday, October 25.

We will do as Sr. Carmel did with me.  We will share some instruction & inspiration and then dive right into practicing different forms of prayer.  It is by praying that one learns to pray.

If you are interested in learning more about this prayer group or beginning the discernment journey with us, please contact us here.  We also invite discerning women to consider attending our Online Advent Mini-retreat on Sunday, November 29.  For more information and to register click here.

Posted in God Calling?, News

Peace and Justice Updates 10.14.2020

Curing Poverty, Inequality and the Coronavirus

This year’s Jubilee Weekend 2020: Curing Poverty, Inequality and the Coronavirus will be held October 16th – 18th, the same weekend as the major IMF and World Bank meetings this year. We need your help to lift the voices of the faithful in defense of the world’s most vulnerable during this critical time. With your help, we can expand debt relief for the 73 poorest countries and move forward more aid for developing countries.

During Jubilee Weekend 2020: Curing Poverty, Inequality and the Coronavirus, the IMF and World Bank will make decisions that will determine whether or not tens of millions of people will enter extreme poverty or if hundreds of millions of people in the US and around the world can exit poverty.

We need hundreds of faith communities to offer one prayer during October 16-18 and organizations to take action. The list of participants sent to decision-makers is what moves forward our campaigns. Please sign-up your faith community or organization for one prayer or action.

Keep our Elections Safe and Secure

On Thursday, October 15 at 11am, Faithful Democracy, Washington Interfaith Staff Community (WISC) and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) are sponsoring a panel for faith leaders on election security. They have put together an outstanding panel (See details below).

Click here to register.

Save Our Coastlines

After wavering back and forth, and following much public outcry, the Trump administration has extended a moratorium on offshore drilling off Florida’s Gulf Coast and extended it to apply to its Atlantic coastline.1

This is a great first step — and it shows the administration is willing to budge on this issue — but it doesn’t go far enough.

We’re calling for a permanent ban on offshore drilling in the Gulf and the Atlantic. Tell your senators: Ban offshore drilling off our coasts permanently. Click here to contact the lawmaker in your district.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates