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.


Sister Dorothy Sarachene

Sister Dorothy Sarachene, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Sister Dorothy Sarachene, OP, formerly Sister Josette, died at the Regina Health Center in Richfield, OH, on June 29, 2017.  She was 82 years old.

She was born in 1934 in Massillon, OH, the eldest and the only daughter of Inez Rugini and John Sarachene. She entered the Sisters of St. Dominic of Akron, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace, in 1954.

Sr. Dorothy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics from Ohio Dominican in Columbus, OH, a Masters in American History from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY, and a Master of Theological Studies in Pastoral Mission from St. Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology in St. Meinrad, IN. She also earned several professional development certificates from the Diocese of Cleveland, where she spent most of her ministry.

Sr. Dorothy served as a high school teacher in Akron and Mentor, OH for more than 20 years. She spent another 17 years in parish work, serving the people of God in the St. Michael and St. Dominic parishes in the Cleveland diocese. She was also called to serve her Congregation, both as Directress of Novices and as a member of Leadership.

Even after her retirement, Sr. Dorothy was moved to help others. She assisted single mothers and their children at the Beatitude House, directed study groups for Congregation associates and was an active volunteer at the Crown Point Ecology Center in Bath, OH.

In her preaching at the funeral, Sr. Diana Culbertson, OP, remembered with fondness Sr. Dorothy’s self-effacing manner with this anecdote: “A few days before her death, Sr. Dorothy asked me if I would be preaching at her wake. I told her yes, I would, and she responded – ‘Well, keep it short.’ ”  Despite her modesty, Sr. Dorothy’s strong will and determination, combined with her desire to work for the greater glory of God and the good of souls, made her a quiet but mighty force among her Sisters in the Congregation.

Sr. Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Joseph. She is survived by a brother, John, nieces, and nephews.

A Vigil of Remembrance and the Mass of Christian Burial were held on July 15 at the Motherhouse in Akron, OH.  She was interred at the Holy Cross Cemetery, also in Akron.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Dorothy Sarachene’s memory may be submitted securely online or sent to:

Dominican Sisters of Peace
Office of Mission Advancement
2320 Airport Drive, Columbus, OH 43219.

Posted in Obituaries

I climbed a pyramid…

Sr. Anna and June at the top of the pyramid
Blog by Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP

I climbed a pyramid . . .

and other adventures in the life of a Dominican Sister of Peace.

It’s all about perspective you know.  Photographers and theologians alike know that one’s perspective directly influences what one sees and how it is interpreted.  Yet, how often are we consciously aware of our own perspective?

For a moment, I invite you to think about your perspective.  Where do you live?  What cultural lens, physical condition, gender, values and religious beliefs make up your “view” of the world around you?

Ponder that for a moment, look around you.  How often do you/we really look around ourselves fully conscious of our perspective on the world?  I’d like to share a recent adventure where my perspective of the world required seeing from a different lens.

Last month, when visiting Mexico City for a cultural and language immersion program, I had the opportunity to climb the Pyramid of Cuicuilco which is the oldest pyramid in Mesoamerica.  The pyramid was built around 6,000 BC and it was used for religious ceremonies and cultural gatherings.  The legends tell that it was a place, “where they make songs and dances”.  It was buried under volcanic rock and ash after the eruption of the volcano Xitli around 60 BC.

The site has been excavated and some of the pyramid has been repaired to represent its original shape and size.  It is one of the few pyramids that were built in the shape of a circle or a cone.  Actually, the people of this area believed that at the center of the pyramid was the place where all civilization had emerged.  That point was believed to be the “belly-button” of the earth and that they were the first people.  That was their perspective, as coming from and being in the center of all creation.

Fast forward to a hot day in June 2017, standing at the apex of the pyramid we were able to see for many miles in each direction.  We could see the ancient volcanoes, open fields, and a dense city-scape circling out around us.  From our perspective we could imagine being in the center of all creation.  Yet . . . we know that we are not – we are a part of the whole of creation.  God is at the center.

If I live out of that reality – that God is at the center – then, my perspective changes.  My life changes focus, as do all of my choices.  Today, as I stand where my feet are, I turn to my center – take God’s hand and step out in faith.

What is your perspective?  Where is your center?

Discerning a call from God can sometimes feel like being called out onto a new vista – a new perspective.  If you find yourself being called to this something new, this something more why not explore this call with one of our vocation ministers?  Be bold in your response to God.

Posted in Just Reflecting, News

Peace & Justice Updates-July 25, 2017

Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017
In the weeks ahead, Senator Rob Portman (OH) will be introducing legislation called the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017. This bill will amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) to help hold those who run sites that facilitate sex trafficking (such as civilly and criminally accountable for their crimes. Click here for a one-page summary of the bill.

From Interfaith Power and Light
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is trying to delay and rewrite methane pollution standards that protect our children and our planet from dangerous methane pollution. For more information, click here. ACT NOW: Tell EPA Administrator Pruitt that weakening the methane pollution standard is unacceptable.

From World Beyond War
Sign the Declaration of Peace which states “I understand that wars and militarism make us less safe rather than protect us, that they kill, injure and traumatize adults, children and infants, severely damage the natural environment, erode civil liberties, and drain our economies, siphoning resources from life-affirming activities. I commit to engage in and support nonviolent efforts to end all war and preparations for war and to create a sustainable and just peace.”

From Catholic Climate Movement
Pope Francis just endorsed the Laudato Si Pledge! Have you signed the pledge yet to commit to pray for and with creation, live more simply, and advocate to protect our common home? Click here to sign the pledge.

From USCCB Justice for Immigration
Call on your Senators to support DACA and DREAMERS by sending this letter.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Seeking Baptism, Ending Execution


Blog by Justice Promoter Kelly Litt

“Now what?” I thought to myself as I crossed the street to find my car in the parking garage. After standing with Ohioans to Stop Executions and community members to call on Ohio Governor Kasich to end executions, I politely handed back the “thou shall not kill” sign I held and dispersed with the rest of the small crowd that had gathered just outside the Ohio Statehouse on a hot afternoon.

Rallies and demonstrations can be powerful. They bring us together with others who are passionate and committed to similar justice issues. They draw courage out of us in order to stand up for our values, for our faith, and for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Yet perhaps the courage we need most is for the quiet after the demonstration.

How do we take energy from vigils and demonstrations and carry that with us throughout our daily lives when schedules get filled and days get hectic?

On July 26th executions are scheduled to resume in Ohio. There are still 31 states with the death penalty and we have Sisters and Associates living in 22 of those states. As individuals of faith, we understand that the death penalty steals away an individual’s dignity and disregards respect for all life. Sister Helen Prejean, the Sister portrayed in the movie Dead Man Walking, gave an explanation against the death penalty that is direct and poignant. She said, “Execution is the opposite of baptism into a community. Baptism into a community means “We are all connected, we are all one family and you are part of us.” And execution is removing a person from the human family, step by step, saying, “You are no longer part of us. You are not human, like we are, and so we can terminate you.”

As we continue to search for ways to unify our communities, our nation, and our world, we must embrace those on the outskirts of society and give them an opportunity for conversion. Let us begin by embracing them with prayer and seeking a baptism of love and peace in our communities.

For more information about the death penalty, see this fact sheet. Please pray for those scheduled to be executed in July:

July 26 – Ronald R. Phillips, OH

July 27 – Taichin Preyor, TX

Our faith and Catholic teaching offer a moral framework for choices about the use of the death penalty. A principled Catholic response to crime and punishment is rooted in our convictions about good and evil, sin and redemption, justice and mercy. It is also shaped by our commitment to the life and dignity of every human person, and the common good. The opening chapters of the Book of Genesis teach that every life is a precious gift from God (see Genesis 2:7, 21-23). This gift must be respected and protected.
A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

Hundred Homes, But Still Sent

Blog by Sr. Amy McFrederick, OP

Hidden within the invitation to become the Dominican Sisters of Peace was a fulfillment of Christ’s promise:  “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands…” (Mark 10:29-30)

In April, 2009, seven congregations of Dominican Sisters gave up their separate identities to become a new community—the Dominican Sisters of Peace—and were joined by one more in 2012. The Associates who were in a committed relationship with each of these congregations were invited to participate in a year of study and discernment, then join in mission with this new unfolding reality. They made a 2 year commitment as Associates of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, thereafter renewing their commitment at 4 year intervals.  Whether they experienced it at that time or later, both Sisters’ and Associates’ lives expanded to include “a hundred times more houses, sisters, brothers, mothers, children and lands…”

Our mission of preaching the Good News of Christ from the pulpits of our lives–of being, building and preaching peace–continues to call us to new horizons, new cultures, new life. Being itinerant active contemplatives who are sent on mission is an important characteristic of disciples of Christ and followers of St. Dominic.

Diana Culbertson, O.P. said in a recent preaching: “It would be wrong, I believe, to assume that in our later years we are not being sent anymore. We are all—or most of us, home—or so it seems. That assumption, I suggest, would be manifestly un-Dominican.  We can never cease being preachers, missionaries, healers, contemplatives.”

“The greatest missionaries have been contemplatives. They have reflected on the situation in which they find themselves and struggled to understand—and then respond to the needs around them.”

“When I read the texts of great Dominicans, I do not see much preoccupation with their own private needs. They are always looking around: Catherine is preoccupied with the state of the Church; Las Casas with the plight of the Indians. Even Meister Eckhart—the great mystical writer—taught his disciples: ‘All that God asks of you is to go out of yourself and let God be God in you.’ That injunction ‘Go out of yourself’ is the only real missionary mandate.”

“It is not only our ancestors in the faith that were sent. We were not sent just in our youth or midlife. We are still being sent.”

“When God calls to us—as God does everyday…we can answer: “Here I Am.” That willingness opens our heart. We may have to respond by going out of whatever personal space we call ‘home.’”

Posted in Associate Blog, News