Celebrating our 2017 Jubilarians

Join us in celebrating our Dominican Sisters of Peace celebrating 50 years of religious life.

Sr. Nancy Ames, OP
Sr. Patricia Cusack, OP
Sr. Joye Gros, OP
Sr. Carole Hermann, OP
Sr. Anne Kilbride, OP
Sr. Mary Ruth Leandres, OP
Sr. Maria Emmanuel Martinez, OP
Sr. Marilyn Mihalic, OP
Sr. Marietta Miller, OP
Sr. Charlene Moser, OP
Sr. Mary Riley, OP
Sr. Rose Ann Van Buren, OP

*View a full list of our Sisters celebrating other milestones in religious life.

Totally Unplanned and Totally Appreciated

Blog by Sr. Beata Tiboldi

I recently took my perpetual profession of vows. It was a very joyful celebration. As the ‘big day’ approached, I became more and more excited. I was filled with all the hyper-active energy the Spirit could provide. During the planning days, I was reminded many times, lightheartedly and at times even jokingly, to focus, and I’m sure they meant it. However, there was an unplanned happening during Mass which moved me a lot. I didn’t even need to be reminded to ‘focus’ at that time. It naturally came. This was an experience that I most likely have shared with many people in the chapel. Several sisters came to me after liturgy, expressing how grateful they were for ‘it’ and the entire celebration helped them feel like they were renewing their commitment to God within our community.

Before Mass, we told Fr. Mike Trainor, OP, our priest, that we would sing all three verses of the song: “How shall I sing to God” because we would sing it for meditation. After receiving communion, I usually start my prayer with: “Jesus, let your way be my way.” Choosing the song: “How shall I sing to God” by Brian Wren (text) and David Haas (tune) for meditation was very intentional, but it was the “it” that opened my heart and allowed me to let the Spirit work in me, tuning me into what I was about proclaim in song.

So, what was the ‘it’? What was that unexpected ‘thing’ that helped us be moved into a deeper meditation or helped to renew our vows? It was the pause and the waiting right before the song for meditation. It might seem subtle to anyone who wasn’t there, but the pause was so powerful. It was totally unplanned and totally appreciated. The pause was so perfectly timed, and it added a lot for me. I’m not talking about a usual pause between two songs. It was a pause, lasting until everyone, including extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and altar servers, would have the opportunity to sit down and tune into what we were about to sing and reflect on. That pause provided the prayerful environment to be able to allow God work in us and to be able to full-heartedly sing that song to God.

When we receive a news, whether it’s a joyful news, a sad news or a shocking news, we usually pause for a moment to let it sink in before we respond to the news. There were so much joys and emotions to handle during the celebration: professing my vows for my whole life, celebrating with so many sisters, family members, and all who have been journeying with me in faith, remembering our deceased loved ones, being inspired by the reflection of the Mass readings, receiving communion, the joyful music, the boost of the Easter joy, and the list could go on. The pause helped me to let all of these emotions sink in, and then it helped me to allow the Spirit to move in me to sing this song to God as my response to God’s call.

In the song, we sang that, whether life is filled with gladness or bleakness, either way, we would sing God’s song with love. Whether I just took my vows for my life, or the sisters who took their vows for life, or married couples who took their vows for life, or associates who took their commitments, or the women discerning vowed religious life; we all sang this song together, singing God’s love. In times of gladness, as well as in times of sufferings – we continue to proclaim God’s love until love conquers all. This is our response to God’s call in the various ministries we serve. It is a life-long commitment and a “thanksgiving sacrifice” as the psalmist writes in Psalm 116. Let me close this blog with the last line of each verse of this song: “This is my song, and I’ll sing it with love.”

If you are considering responding to God’s call as a vowed religious or as an associate, please contact us at vocations@oppeace.org.

Lyrics of the song:

How shall I sing to God when life is filled with gladness, loving and birth, wonder and worth?
I’ll sing from the heart, thankfully receiving, joyful in believing;
This is my song – I’ll sing it with love.

How shall I sing to God when life is filled with bleakness, empty and chill, breaking my will?
I’ll sing through my pain, angrily or aching, crying or complaining;
This is my song – I’ll sing it with love.

How shall I sing to God and tell my Savior’s story, Passover bread, life from the dead?
I’ll sing with my life: witnessing and giving, risking and forgiving;
This is my song – I’ll sing it with love.

Posted in God Calling??, News

A Tradition of Care Continues

In 1964, the Dominican Sisters of Peace in Akron founded and staffed the Village of St. Edward in Fairlawn, OH, a senior living facility providing Christ-centered care.

Since then, there has always been at least one Dominican Sister on the staff at the facility, caring for the physical and spiritual needs of the residents and patients. This has been an important and valued ministry for our Akron Sisters. Today, Sr. Marilyn Ambrosic carries on that work as the Center’s Spiritual Care Coordinator, and Sr. Barbara Ebner also ministers there in a Spiritual Care capacity.

In March 2019, the Village of St. Edward opened a new facility in Wadsworth, OH, and Sisters from the Akron Motherhouse and community were on hand to celebrate our 50+ years of caring for Akron-area seniors. Sr. Philomena Cook, who was one of the first nurses to serve in 1964, was also there to celebrate.

President and CEO John Stoner, Sr. Philomena Cook, OP, Akron MGC Sr. Valerie Shaul, and Spiritual Care Coordinator Sr. Marilyn Ambrosic at the March grand opening of the new St. Edward of Wadsworth Senior Living Facility.
Sr. Marilyn Ambrosic addresses guests at the March grand opening of the new St. Edward of Wadsworth Senior Living Facility.

 

Residents of the new St. Edward of Wadsworth Senior Living Facility will be able to use this beautiful chapel.
Posted in News

Paschal Mystery: The Play of Light and Shadow

Blog by Sr. Janet Schlichting

“I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me/ and what can be the use of it is more than I can see.”    Robert Louis Stephenson

“Glory be to God for dappled things!”  G.M. Hopkins

We are born creatures of light and darkness, on many levels. From the darkness of the womb, we are pushed into the startling instancy of light. We sleep and wake according to the pattern of day and night. We spend our lives in the rhythm of sunrise and sunset, the color that lingers as evening fades into darkness, and “rosy-fingered dawn” (Homer), streaks the sky of a new day. Darkness and light become metaphors for ignorance and truth, for evil and redemption, for hate and love, for grief and joy.

Shadow, the product of darkness and light, is a constant for us, and a necessity for establishing the dimensions of what we see. Shadow can function to obscure and deform, to bring drabness and dreariness, and then again, reveal in the shifts—or play– of light and darkness the changing shape of the world around us, ebbing softly into roundness, dividing sharply into angles and planes– a box, a pyramid– or rendering the folds and falls of a tablecloth or a garment. An artist relies on light and shadow to compose a painting, rendering portraits that seem to shine from within like Rembrandt’s, or the dramatic contrast of the chiaroscuro used by Caravaggio.

All over the earth, light and shadow play in an ever-varying drama. Our lives play out that way, too, and so did those of the apostles, in the shadows of fear and hopelessness transformed into light-bearers, as darkness turned to dawn in the garden for Mary of Magdala, as the fearful tightness of the Upper Room yielded to Peace and Joy.  There was Thomas, in the shadow of doubt, invited into the wounds of Jesus and believing; there was the Risen Lord tending a charcoal fire, a  jolt of shame for Peter the betrayer, now turned into an Easter breakfast of love and mercy in abundance. Peter’s shadow was transformed into healing power for people who sought to lie in his shadow and be cured. There was Stephen, standing in the shadow of certain death, his face glowing like an angel’s. And they are us.

I am musing about the inevitability of shadow. Even as we profess the glory of salvation in Christ Risen, we dwell in spaces of darkness. Set free from bonds of sin and death, we are not spared times of doubt and pain. Shadow seems part of being human. But we are graced—Christed–with this insight: shadows are impermanent. In and around us they dim and flare, flash and fade, stretch and shrink, shaping our own unique play of light and darkness. We know the weight and weariness of the world. But the light that dapples our journey is sure–a promise that will not fail us.

As with Peter and the flame-lit disciples, there is a sort of Divine burnishing going on with us. We  develop a certain glow, and to our surprise, flicker as light for others. Christ illumines our common path on the journey of faith and love that the Eastern church calls “divinization.”  Standing around the new fire this past Easter Vigil, we heard the Exultet:  “Rejoice O earth in shining splendor, radiant in the brightness of your king!” and we saw how the candle flames moved over the faces of those gathered. In truth, we are together aglow, walking in the shining shadow of the Paschal Mystery.

Posted in News, Wednesday's Word

Justice Updates Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Kindness is everywhere. Watch some on this 5-minute video called Laundromat.

Everyone deserves to be counted. The national CENSUS which occurs every 10 years will begin next April 2020. The goal of the census is to count every person living in the U.S. The data is used to make planning decisions about where to provide services for seniors, build new roads and schools, locate job training centers, allocate funding for neighborhood improvements, public health, education, transportation. Over $800 billion in annual federal funding will be distributed based on the 2020 Census. This is why it is so important that all individuals are counted whether they are documented or not, citizens or green card holders, urban, suburban, or rural.

This administration has proposed to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census which will likely decrease the number of undocumented persons responding to the census because of fear that it will be used to deport them.  Undercounting this population will reduce the monies available for towns and states to help them.  Arguments for and against this citizenship question were recently heard in the Supreme Court.

In order to ensure that the citizenship question is NOT included on this census, a bill has been introduced in the House called the 2020 Census IDEA (Improving Data and Enhanced Accuracy Act). This Act will prohibit the Department of Commerce from implementing any major operational design features that have not been researched, studied, and tested for at least three years before the date of the census or include on the census questionnaire any subject, type of information, or questions that were not submitted to Congress. (The citizenship question was kind of snuck in by the Department of Commerce so it hasn’t been tested which is the common approach to changes in the census.) Please call your representative and urge them to support H.R. 732.  To see the co-sponsors of the IDEA Act or if your representative is backing the bill, click here:

You can also add your name to this petition from Faith in Public Life to keep the citizenship question off the census questionnaire.

Why should we be concerned about the 2020 Census? Faith in Public Life explains why.

  1. Everyone deserves to be counted. Our shared faiths teach that every person is created with equal dignity by God. That means everyone deserves to be counted by their government.
  2. The Census is completely confidential. When you fill out the Census survey, your personally identifiable information will not be shared outside the Census Bureau with any other government agencies. Everything is confidential and protected by ironclad laws. Personal census information is only public after 72 years, and historians often use those data for important research.
  3. The 2020 Census is the first high-tech Census with an online response option. However, you will have the option to respond by telephone or with a paper questionnaire.
  4. Our community benefits from everyone being counted. Over $800 billion in annual federal funding is distributed based on the 2020 Census.
    • Federal agencies use census data to allocate billions of dollars at the state and local levels for vital community services such as hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, job training centers, senior centers and police departments.
    • It also determines how many Representatives each state has in Congress.
    • Our Congressional and state legislative districts are redrawn using census data.
    • If we get under-counted, we get underfunded and underrepresented.
  5. As a consequence of systemic racism, people of color have historically been under-counted in the Census.
    • In the 2010 Census, 3.7 million African Americans and 3.8 million Hispanics were not counted.
    • The legacy of racist systems that have privileged white communities with access to capital and education have contributed to people of color being harder to count.
    • Ensuring everyone is counted in the 2020 Census is a matter of racial justice long overdue.
  6. We have a legal and moral responsibility to participate in the Census.
    • Part of looking out for our community is ensuring that we have the resources we need to thrive. We have a responsibility to participate in the Census.
    • Our families, children and neighbors are counting on us. We have to work together to ensure that everyone in our community is counted.
  7. Completing the Census is easy and you can get help or support. The 2020 Census will be the first high-tech Census with an online response option. 80% of households will receive a postcard from the Census Bureau in the mail including a link to the official 2020 Census website and a unique identification code. With the identification code, you can answer the 11 questions online. If you do not respond online or by phone, a paper questionnaire will be sent to you which you can fill out and mail back to the Census Bureau. If you do not respond to that, individual Census workers may come to your door to collect your responses. The other 20% of households, mostly those with older adults and low broadband access and internet usage, will be sent the actual survey to be completed and returned by mail along with a unique identification code to respond online. (Faith in Public Life Toolkit)

The re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (H.R. 1585) passed the House of Representatives in April.  Now we need the Senate to reauthorize it.   Some additions to the act include gun safety measures to decrease firearm-related domestic homicides, protecting families living in federal housing from evictions when abusers act violently, and addressing the reality that Native women and children endure domestic and sexual violence at rates higher than the national average by providing legal avenues for holding non-Native abusers and predators accountable.

VAWA has had a profound impact on survivors’ lives by providing funding for programs and services to support close to 50,000 survivors and provide over a million victim services between 2014 and 2016 alone.

Please call your Senators and urge them to pass this legislation.  Here is some suggested language for your call:

The Violence Against Women Re-authorization Act of 2019 (VAWA) is an important piece of legislation that provides tens of thousands of survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their families with critical resources. It is imperative that you reauthorize VAWA with all proposed improvements and with NO amendments that would exclude certain groups of providers and survivors as they seek justice, healing and safety. Survivors’ lives depend on VAWA.

 More on the border.  The administration continues to take actions to stop the flow of asylum seekers at the southern border.  The only action that will really stop this is to fix the systemic problems in their home countries that force asylum seekers to flee to America to save themselves and their children.  One tactic is to force them to remain in Mexico until their hearing. It called the “Remain in Mexico” Policy. Here is information about this program.

You can send an email to the Department of Homeland Security asking them to rescind the “Remain in Mexico” policy by clicking here.

Read about Morena Mendoza and her 11-year-old son, Antonio, who fled El Salvador, fearing gang violence in their native country.

Why boycott Wendy’s?   Want to know more about the Fair Food Program or the boycott of Wendy’s or Krogers?

Watch this 1 minute video to know more about the Fair Food Program.

Here are letters you can give the managers to explain why you are boycotting their businesses.    Kroger Letter   Wendy’s Letter

Please let me know if you take this action.  Thanks.

It’s not too late…to save the planet. We have all heard the dire news about what humans are doing to the planet.  Those warnings are legitimate and we can all make a difference to slow down the destruction. According to the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Serves (IPBES), a UN committee reported on the rate of species extinction. They recently released a report written by 145 experts from 50 countries.

Despite the ominous picture “it is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global,” said Sir Robert Watson, chair of the committee, adding that this would require an overhaul of economic systems and a shift in political and social mindsets.

For an overview of the report click here.

 

Posted in News

Why Boycott Wendy’s?

Blog by Sr. Barbara Kane, OP, Justice Promoter

Now that the weather has gotten warmer and dryer, I’ve been doing some weeding and planting in our garden. The new House of Welcome in Columbus is blessed with a big lot and some wonderful beds for vegetables and flowers. I haven’t gardened in a few years and forgot how back breaking it can be. Muscles that had lain dormant reared their sore selves.   What must it be like to do this type of work hour after hour, day after day?  What would ensure that at least the working conditions and wages were fair?

There is a program call the Fair Food Program (FFP) developed by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a worker based human rights organization.  They describe the FFP as “a unique partnership among farmers, farmworkers, and retail food companies that ensures humane wages and working conditions for the workers who pick fruits and vegetables on participating farms. It harnesses the power of consumer demand to give farmworkers a voice in the decisions that affect their lives, and to eliminate the longstanding abuses that have plagued agriculture for generations.”

It’s pretty simple. Retail food companies agree to pay $.01 more per pound for tomatoes (or an agreed to amount for other fruits or vegetables). That money goes into a pot to increase the wages of the workers and pay for programs/legal help for any abuses that occur to the workers.  Growers agree to implement the Fair Food Code of Conduct on their farms, to cooperate with monitoring, and pass along the Fair Food Premium to their workers.

There is also a Fair Food Standards Council that monitors the development of a sustainable agricultural industry that advances the human rights of farmworkers, the long-term interests of growers, and the ethical supply chain concerns of retail food companies through the implementation of the Fair Food Program.  It’s really a win-win-win-win for growers, retailers, farmworkers, and consumers.

Sadly, two big companies are missing from the list of participating retail food companies that participate in the program – Kroger and Wendy’s. Neither has agreed to purchase from Fair Food suppliers and/or pay the additional penny per pound for their tomatoes.  This is why many are boycotting Wendy’s and Kroger and letting them know about it by giving a letter to the management of their local outlet.  Giving up your favorite grocery or fast food store might be tough but consider how hard it is to grow and harvest the food we eat. It’s time to let Kroger’s and Wendy’s know that we want farmworkers to be treated with the dignity they deserve.

(Copies of letters you can use for Wendy’s or Kroger’s are in the Justice Updates for May 7, 2019.)

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog