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.

Dominican Sister of Peace Mary Lois Schmeltzer

Dominican Sister of Peace Mary Lois Schmeltzer

Dominican Sister of Peace Mary Lois Schmeltzer, (92), died on October 7, 2019, at the Mohun Hall Health Care Center in Columbus, OH.  One of twelve children born to Mary Alice Gordon and Alphonsus Ligouri Schmeltzer in Somerset, OH, young Mary Schmeltzer was educated by Dominican Sisters and Friars from a young age and entered the Congregation herself in 1944.

Sister Mary Lois earned her BS in Elementary Education in 1957 from Saint Mary of the Springs College and her MEd from Duquesne University in 1962. She also earned certification in Administration and Supervision from Ohio State University. She served as an educator and principal for more than 30 years, teaching children in grades 1-8 in Connecticut, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, instructing children in choir and music, and also served as School Principal.

One of Sr. Mary Lois’ Sisters has commented that “She was a woman of great enthusiasm, and did everything that she did with 100% effort.” That was never truer than when she was asked to take on a new assignment for the good of the Church or her Community. After three decades as an educator, she left her ministry to serve the Congregation as Vocation Director and, later, as Director of Public Relations and Development.

She served as Director of Religious Education at St. Mary Parish in Marietta, OH, for nearly 10 years, then became the Administrator of Nazareth Towers, a HUD-subsidized senior citizen housing complex in Columbus, OH, where she served for eight years. She entered her final ministry of prayer and presence at Mohun Health Care Center in 2013.

When asked, “What ministry has been your favorite?” Sr. Lois always had the same answer: “I am doing my favorite ministry now, just where I am.” As she grew older and serving others became more difficult, she spoke often of how grateful she was for the care that she received from the staff at Mohun, saying how she appreciated being “a member of two wonderful families: a loving biological family and an outstanding religious congregation.”

Sr. Mary Lois’ was preceded in death by her parents, Alphonsus and Mary Alice Gordon Schmeltzer, her sisters, Madeline Takacs, Juanita Cline, Rita Keller, Betty Heyman, Audrey Hicks, and Nancy Palmer, and her brothers, William, Michael, and Edmund. She is survived by her sisters, Eloise Krumlauf, and Frances Orr.

A Vigil of Remembrance Service and Wake was held at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse Chapel, Columbus, Ohio on October 15, 2019. The funeral liturgy was held at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse Chapel, October 16. Sr. Mary Lois was interred at St. Joseph Cemetery in Columbus, OH.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Mary Lois’ memory may be sent to Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr., Columbus, OH 43219-2098, or made online at oppeace.org.

To view or print a copy of this memorial, please click here. 

Posted in Obituaries

Dominican Sister of Peace Joan Dropski

Dominican Sister of Peace Joan Dropski

Dominican Sister of Peace Joan Marie (David Marie) Dropski, (86), died on October 4, 2019, at the Sansbury Care Center in St. Catharine, KY.  Born in 1933 in Lynn, MA, Sr. Joan and her two brothers were raised by two loving parents, Madeline Casey and Joseph Thomas. Sr. Joan worked for two years before entering religious life in 1953, and served God’s people for 64 years.

Sister Joan graduated from Rosary Academy and earned her AA in Education from Saint Catharine Junior College in 1957, her BA in Education, Social Studies and English from Siena College in Memphis in 1965, and her MA in Religious Studies from Mundelein College in 1971. She delighted in learning, and in sharing knowledge with others, so she continued her education throughout her years of ministry by attending many workshops and institutes.

Sister Joan’s early ministry was in education, serving as an elementary and junior high teacher and principal in Nebraska. Her study at Mundelein deepened her knowledge, and she moved on to serve as Director of Religious Education and Parish Minister in both Nebraska and Massachusetts.

Sister Joan shared her gifts and talents with our Order as both a Regional Coordinator and as an Administrative Assistant to the Regional in Watertown. For fourteen years she conscientiously fulfilled her responsibility as bursar for the Eastern Region, recognized for her faithfulness and dedicated service.

It’s hard to say that Sister Joan “retired” in 2005 because she continued to offer her caring service wherever she was needed and even after entering Sansbury Care Center, witnessed to others through her presence and prayer. In a reflection, Sister Joan wrote that she “would hope to enable others to be ALIVE with the love of the Lord.” Throughout her 64 years of ministry, she herself was alive to God’s love and shared it with others.

In her preaching at Sr. Joan’s funeral, Sr. Rose Cummins noted that Sr. Joan was a woman of great faith and optimism. Even though she suffered twice from breast cancer and eventually became legally blind, she had a great love for her community and offered her heart and hands in service to the Congregation and to God’s people. She also refused to let these things discourage her, and continued to enjoy her friends, traveling and reading.

A vigil of remembrance was held for Sr. Joan on October 13 at the Sansbury Care Center Chapel.  The Mass of Christian Burial was held on October 10 at Sansbury Care Center Chapel. Sr. Joan was interred in the St. Catharine Motherhouse cemetery.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Joan’s memory may be sent to Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr., Columbus, OH 43219-2098. To make a secure online donation, please click here.

To view or print a copy of this memorial, please click here.

Posted in Obituaries

Justice Update – October 29, 2019

How do we act in solidarity with forcibly displaced people while still supporting the needs of hurting citizens?  Read David Hollenbach’s essay in America Magazine.

“Nonviolence is not a political weapon or a technique for social change so much as it is an essential art—perhaps the essential art—of civilization. Nonviolence is a way of thinking, a way of life, not a tactic, but a way of putting love to work in resolving problems, healing relationships, and generally raising the quality of our lives. Nonviolence is a skill. Love is a skill. The transformation of anger is a skill. All these can be learned. We cannot say we aren’t capable of nonviolence; all we can say is we are not willing to do what is necessary to learn.” Eknath Easwaran

Thanks to all who attended Blessed Are the Peacemakers webinar either at the Martin de Porres Center or remotely in Great Bend, Akron, New Orleans, Kentucky, New York, Colorado, Columbus, and other locations.  For those who were not able to attend, the webinar was recorded and will be posted next week.  Here are the materials used or recommended.  Martin Luther King Six Principles of Nonviolence, CLARA, Walter Wink’s Facing the Myth of Redemptive Violence, Walter Wink’s Jesus and Alinsky, and Nancy Shreck OSF’s The Faithful Nonviolence of Jesus.  All are recommended for your reading and reflection.

In spite of pain and sorrow, children will always have fun. Take a look at this see saw connecting children on both sides of the border in El Paso.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Call your Senator and demand that the Violence Against Women Act be reauthorized.  Six months ago, the House passed H.R. 1585 to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  H.R. 1585 is a step towards ending domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. It will increase protections for more victims of domestic violence, especially Native American victims, who are victims of domestic violence at three times the national rate.  It would also close the ‘boyfriend loophole,’ which currently allows physically abusive dating partners, convicted stalkers, and former partners access to guns.  Call your senators and tell them to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. You can call 1-888-885-1748 to be connected or use their direct line.

Environment activists working to protect the Guapinol River in Honduras from mining interests who pollute the drinking water have been killed, beaten and criminalized by the government. Email the US Embassy in Honduras and them  to speak out to ensure justice in the case of the Guapinol water defenders.  Here is their email address.  Tell them that you support the release of the 7 Guapinol River Defenders from maximum security prisons in Honduras and an end to illegal mining threatening their water supply.

On November 12th the Supreme Court will hear arguments about the legality of DACA. Please keep the DACA recipients in your prayers during this time.  Here is a special prayer you can use.  Here are petitions that you can use at Mass.

Prayer of Hope in defense of DACA

We pray for DACA recipients, for their protection, their dignity, their hope. And for ourselves, as allies, that we may boldly lift our voices again and again as advocates. That we may remember our own times of uncertainty and fear, and authentically stand in solidarity with those for whom DACA has brought light and hope. And, as those directly affected by migration and inhumane policies, we pray for our community— people of undocumented, DACA, migrant, refugee, mixed-status; for our families, our homes, and our dreams. Sustain our vision, strength, and ongoing action for justice, oh God, that we may maintain hope and find light, as we live our days with the constant backdrop of uncertainty. And we pray for the policy makers— all those in positions of power in our government and courts. May the United States Supreme Court, the President of the United States, and all elected and appointed officials have the wisdom to see and uphold the dignity of all people, regardless of immigration status. Amen.

Communities continue to prosecute victims of trafficking saying its consensual sex.  They fail to see the power imbalance between the person purchased in sex and the purchaser. The person with the money, the buyer, is the one with power.  Paid sex is coerced sex.  The District of Columbia is about to open the floodgate of sexual exploitation and trafficking with new laws.

A common argument for capital punishment is that families of the slain victim will get closure.  Some people don’t believe that’s true.  NPR talked to some of the survivors of the Tree of Life Shooting about punishment for the killer.

The Amazon Synod has ended.  It proposed a definition of “ecological sin,” as “an action or omission against God, against others, the community and the environment” saying “it is a sin against future generations and manifests itself in acts and habits of pollution and destruction of the environmental harmony, transgressions against the principles of interdependence and the breaking of solidarity networks among creatures and against the virtue of justice.” “The human being is created in the image and likeness of God the Creator, and its dignity is inviolable,” say the bishops. “Therefore the defense and promotion of human rights is not merely a political duty or a social task, but also and above all a requirement of faith.” For more on the synod, click here.





Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

DACA Dreams

Blog by Sr. Barbara Kane, OP

On November 12th, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about the legality of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Program.  DACA is an immigration option for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. before the age of 16. Although it does not provide a pathway to lawful permanent residence, it does provide temporary protection from deportation, work authorization, and the ability to apply for a social security number.

Below is a written response by one DACA teen living in Kansas about why he needs to get a work authorization. He was brought to the U.S. as a 9-year-old when his parents moved to the U.S. to be able to provide enough food and education for their five children. They have had another child since moving to the U.S.

“I want a work permit because I want to help my parents out.  I see that they struggle a lot especially since there’s six children in our family.  I want to be able to help pay the bills and take some weight off their backs.  It’s hard for my parents to keep food on our table.  Some days I go to bed hungry.  I want to give my little brother and little sister a better life style than the one I lived.  That’s why I want a permit.

I also have crooked teeth.  They overlap and they don’t match with each other when I eat.  I went to the dentist four times this year.  That’s why my expenses are so high.  The dentist says I really need braces.  There’s no way my parents can afford that.  This is why I want my work permit so my parents don’t have to worry about another bill.

I also want a permit because I want to go to college and study to be an architect.  I know my parents won’t be able to help out.  I want to work so I can save and go to my dream college, Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS.”

His dreams mirror the dreams of many young people who have fled violence and climate disaster to make a life of peace in the United States.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

Dominican Sister of Peace Joann Mascari

Dominican Sister of Peace JoAnn Mascari

Dominican Sister of Peace Joann (Agnes Joseph) Mascari, (89), died on October 2, 2019, at the Sansbury Care Center in St. Catharine, KY.  One of six children born to Mary Sorce and Joseph Mascari, she was born in Memphis, TN, and graduated from our own St. Agnes Academy before entering religious life in 1949.

Sr. Joann earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Education from Siena College in 1965, a Certificate in Religious Education from Mundelein College in 1971, a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry from the Chicago Theological Union in 1976 and her MA in Pastoral Studies and Spirituality from Loyola University in 1983. In true Dominican fashion, she also attended many workshops and institutes to enrich her knowledge and her ability to fully carry out her ministry.

Sr. Joann followed the Dominican charism in her choice of early ministry, sharing learning as both a teacher and a principal in Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, and Nebraska. Perhaps it was those many years of teaching that made her so attuned to the world around her, as she has been described as having a “wonderful understanding of contemporary religious life.”

Sr. Joann also served in pastoral care in Tennessee, Illinois, Mississippi, and Kentucky. As Promoter of New Dominican Life and as a mentor to young women in initial formation, Sr. Joann made a lasting contribution to her Congregation and the Church. She served on the Board of Trustees of St. Agnes Academy for many years. She also helped many find peace through her ministry of Centering Prayer in Tennessee before beginning her final ministry of prayer and presence in St. Catharine, KY.

In the homily given at Sr. Joann’s funeral, Sr. Elaine DesRosiers remembered her as a “gracious Southern lady” who shared her welcoming hospitality with her Community and with those to whom she ministered.  She was also remembered as a deeply contemplative and prayerful woman who shared her love of God and neighbor through her ministry of teaching centering prayer.

Sr. Joann’s love of family was shown through her loving care of her sister, Doris, when they both lived at Sansbury Health Care Center in St. Catharine, KY.

Sr. Joann is survived by several nieces and nephews.

A vigil of remembrance was held for Sr. Joann on October 9 at the Sansbury Care Center Chapel.  The Mass of Christian Burial was held Thursday, October 10, at Sansbury Care Center Chapel. Sr. Joann was interred in the St. Catharine Motherhouse cemetery.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Joann’s memory may be sent to Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr., Columbus, OH 43219-2098. To make a secure online donation, please click here.

To download a printable version of this memorial, please click here.

Posted in News, Obituaries