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.


A Reflection on the Gospel, March 26, 2023

Blog by Pat Schnee, OPA

Death and evil are all around us. Natural disasters throughout the world take hundreds, sometimes thousands, of lives at once as in Turkey and  Northern Syria. Children are gunned down in the middle of a school day. Sometimes it is hard to believe that God is in charge. Sometimes it is hard to hope.

In today’s gospel, Martha is overcome with grief at the death of her brother, Lazarus. She acknowledges that she understands that he will rise in the resurrection on the last day, but that does not take away all her pain. She wants him here… now. Jesus shares her grief. The scripture tells us he is deeply troubled, even weeps.

When Jesus reminds Martha that he is the resurrection and the life he reminds her that, “whoever believes in me, even if he dies will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”  Jesus brings Lazarus back to life. Lazarus is resuscitated, and given mortal life again. But mortal life is not all there is. In Jesus, Lazarus, and Martha and we are promised more, life that will never end..

The Jesus who resuscitated Lazarus is alive and well and living among us. Even in the midst of death and evil, love and commitment to life can be found. He lives in the “White Hats”, those rescuers in white helmets who endanger their own lives searching through the wreckage for survivors of an earthquake. He lives in those parents who have lost a child to gun violence and turn their grief into action to end gun violence so that other parents do not experience their crushing grief.

Belief in Jesus as our resurrection and life is not simply “afterlife insurance;” it is a commitment to live our lives as he lived his, to confront evil with love and death with life.  And in the words of the prayer, to bring love where there is hatred, pardon where there is injury, faith where there is doubt, hope where there is despair, light where there is darkness, joy where there is sadness.

Jesus promises that if we believe in him and live that belief, we will never die.  We are promised more than mortal life. And if we live that way, our “more than” life can begin here.

Posted in Associate Blog, News

Every day a YES.

Blog by Sr. Barbara Kane, OP

People often ask me if discernment in religious life ever ends.  My simple answer, is, “No, discernment about how I live my life, as a Dominican Sister, is an ongoing and daily practice.” Some days, it is an easy “Yes.” Other days, it’s not so clear. All of us undoubtedly have days when our decisions about life choices leave us with uncertainty, wondering if we are following the path God calls us to.

Take for example a day last week. I woke up, and said to myself, “I wonder if this will be the day–the day I decide that I no longer want to be a sister.” This unsettling feeling emerges when community living no longer appeals to me, or when I want more control over what I do, such as writing a check for myself, or when I desire more freedom about where I’m going. I struggle so to be a woman of peace. It can be so hard. What might be the tipping point in discerning the path to follow or not follow? Is this the day when I tell God, “Sorry, this life is not meant for me after all.”

As I contemplate these thoughts, I give an internal sigh and I recognize that my heart feels heavier. I reflect on the loss of being a ‘Sister’ and the connection and comfort that this title provides for some of the patients, families, and staff at the hospital where I minister. I name the many sisters who have been wisdom-women for me and greatly influenced my understanding of myself and of God. I smile as I think about the fun and funny experiences I’ve had in the community and with other sisters whom I care deeply about.  I relish the freedom that comes from simplifying my life. I count the many blessings and challenges I’ve experienced in my 20+ years as a Dominican Sister, especially as a Dominican Sister of Peace. I’ve grown in ways I never expected.

Some days, living this life as a religious sister is an easy, “Yes,” and other days, it’s not so clear.  Yet, as people of faith, uncertainty, and doubt are frequent companions for all of us. Yes, the God, who is faithful, loves us in our discernment and especially when we struggle.

“You duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped” cries the prophet, Jeremiah. I feel like Jeremiah some days, crying out and asking, “Why, God, did you call me to a life I can’t possibly live?”  The answer comes in this same verse from Jeremiah 20:4, where Jeremiah proclaims, “the Lord is with me, like a mighty champion!”  Another sigh, and this time, I know that God is with me always and today will be the day I will affirm my vow again to live out my commitment to religious life–to these women, my sisters, and to God who will be with me this day and forever.

Clearly now, this is the life God meant for me, and today, I say “YES!” to this life as a religious sister that God has called me to.

If you are discerning whether God is calling you to live as a religious sister, we can help you with this discernment.  Just contact us and we will walk with you to hear where you are being called.

Posted in God Calling?, News, Vocations Blog

FAITH that makes me break the rules.

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

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to see the film “Women Talking.” Was not planning to see it, could not imagine watching women talking for almost two hours, but that thought came before I knew the plot line.

Women of many ages, living in a religious colony, had been abused, raped, sometimes by many young boys in the colony, sometimes impregnated, and shared their insights, opinions, and answers to the question “Should we flee, stay and fight, stay and do nothing?”. In the end, well, I won’t spoil it for someone who plans to see the film.

Because this is a religious colony, so much of what has happened comes from the teachings of their religion, thus legitimizing the actions of the men who will not educate the women, other than in church; who beat them and approve the rapes which have taken place as part of the life of the colony; it is what men do.

The talking becomes loud, gets soft, is intergenerational at times, but establishes each woman’s perspective. When questions of their faith become intense, one woman screams loudly “My faith makes me break the rules!”.

What came to my mind at that point was that Jesus broke the rules that had become a part of Jewish life as part of their religious practices. He did this to try to make the leaders see that their rules had suddenly superseded the “rules” of God. Go back and reread all of the Gospels since at least Ash Wednesday, and what are Jesus’ words all about according to Gospel writers? Things like “I have not come to break the Law but to fulfill the law;” “Love your enemy, and pray for those who persecute you;”; or “Stop judging and you shall not be judged,” and others.

We as humans are much more comfortable with the Judeo traditions of our religion and are less so with the Christian aspects. But for me, the distinction lies in what the woman said, “It is my FAITH that makes me break the rules.” I have had my faith since birth because I came from God, but the religion I grew up with tries to form that faith and give it structure, The structures are breaking, are cracking, are dividing us, and so my faith has to make sense of it all and, maybe, spend some time with Philippians 4:8:

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

These are the words the women leave us with by the end of the film.

Featured image from the film Women Talking, sourced from IMBD.

Posted in News, Weekly Word

Enjoying St. Mary’s Dominican High School’s annual Easter Egg Roll are Elijah Williams (age 4) and Eden Williams (age 2) with their parents Tanika Williams and Eric Williams Jr. of New Orleans.
Four-year-old Myla Rabalais of Covington is intrigued by a butterfly resting on the finger of her grandmother June Rabalais during the butterfly release at the end of St. Mary’s High School’s annual Easter Egg Roll.
Five-year-old Julia Beguiristain and her mother Beth (Metairie) try to figure out how magician and balloon artist Billy Ferguson made a scarf disappear at St. Mary’s High School’s annual Easter Egg Roll.
A delighted nine-month-old Marie Huber with her Easter Egg find and mom Dr. Lindsay Huber (Metairie) following the Easter Egg Hunt for toddlers in the Peace Garden at St. Mary’s High School.












More than 3,000 Easter Eggs covered the lawn at St. Mary’s Dominican High School’s annual Easter Egg Roll, hosted by the Alumnae Association, that drew 400 plus guests who enjoyed an array of crafts, photos with the Easter Bunny, magic tricks, and a butterfly release.







Posted in News

Local Author, Associate Visits Columbus Motherhouse

Rev. Tim Ahrens, OPA, Senior Minister of the First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ in downtown Columbus, Ohio, visited with Sisters and Associates at the Columbus Motherhouse to read from his new book, “The Genius of Justice.”

In this book. Rev. Ahrens interviewed and had conversations with 53 leaders in social justice to discover what they have learned that must be passed down to continue in this work and struggle. Among those interviewed for their own “justice genius” was Sr. Margaret Ormond, OP.



At Tim’s request, Sr. Maxine Shonk led the group in prayer before he shared excerpts from his book. Sr. Margaret was visibly moved as Tim read her contribution to the book.

You can order Tim’s book here. 




Posted in Associate Blog, News