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.

Justice Updates August 20, 2019

Human Trafficking come in many forms. This story about Fedelina is heartbreaking.   Fedelina was 81 years old when she collapsed of malnourishment and fatigue at the hospital while caring for her employer. For decades, she had been held captive as a domestic servant in Los Angeles. She began her life of servitude as a teenager and later was brought to the US where her passport and other forms of identification were stripped from her. She was kept as a domestic worker for one extended family for 65 years without ever being paid. Fedelina had cared, cooked, and cleaned for four generations of one family. In return, she was kept captive for almost her entire life through carefully honed and extremely effective methods of control that are all too common.

A huge reason is the domestic work workforce’s near total lack of legal options and protections — unfair wage deductions, no requirement for paid time off, no realistic recourse for sexual harassment, and nowhere to turn. Of the 8,000 labor trafficking cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, almost 25% involved domestic workers.

The National Domestic Workers Alliance is sponsoring a Bill of Rights for Domestic Workers. Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Senator Kamala Harris have introduced companion bills.   Call your representative and ask her/him to support these bills.

American Magazine editors write “The Trump administration’s immigration policies consistently betray not only a profound misunderstanding of what drives the tired and poor to our shores and borders but what they long for—and have historically achieved—when they arrive.” Read their article The myth of the self-sufficient immigrant that’s fueling the White House’s draconian policy.

Despite the over 250,000 comments including those submitted by our sisters decrying these rules, the administration is planning to implement new rules to deny green cards to immigrants needing public assistance. Any possibility that an immigrant may need public assistance may result in the inability to get more permanent status.  For the details.

Tom Roberts writes that language can enable white nationalism and threaten others. Read his article here.

Justice for Immigrants Campaign is suggesting that Monday be “Migration Monday” and that we use this day for personal prayer, fasting, and almsgiving on behalf of the children detained at the U.S. border and in the various camps around the country. You can see pictures of children who have died and a prayer for them here.

The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It examines the legacy of slavery on American and consists of poems, essays, and stories.   To access these resources, click here and then scroll down to see the various items. Click on the page to read an essay or poem.

Tennessee executed Steven Michael West last Thursday, August 15. Margaret Renkl reflects “my own reason for wanting to end the death penalty is simpler than any of these arguments, as compelling as they truly are. As a Christian, I keep coming back to exhortations like “Thou shalt not kill” and “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone” and “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” It seems to me that Jesus was very clear on this question of mercy. At his own execution, he prayed, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” Read the rest of her reflections.

Save the Dates.  The annual School of the Americas gathering will be November 15-17 in Ft. Benning, Georgia. In addition to training officers in foreign countries, Fort Benning is being considered as a detention center facility for children.  US trained military are part of the root problems plaguing Central American especially Honduras. Here is more information about what’s happening in Honduras.  If you are interested in the SOA Watch, click here.

 

 

Posted in News

WIELDING PEACE, NOT GUNS

Blog by Associate Colette Parker

The first time that I saw Cameron Boyce, he was about 12 years old.

Little did I know that he – the little freckle-faced youngster portraying Luke Ross in the Disney Channel comedy series Jessie — would grow up to be one of my heroes.

Cameron – who died unexpectedly in his home at age 20 on July 6, after having an epileptic seizure – left behind a legacy of caring for others and of making a positive change in the world. His humanitarian and philanthropic efforts included helping bring clean water to underdeveloped countries; working to end homelessness in the United States; raising awareness and fighting against sexual assault on college campuses; spreading kindness, and fighting to end gun violence.

(Sidebar:  For those “adults” who still believe that young people are not committed to social justice or that young people need “adults” to lead the way, I offer Cameron as an example of the many young people who are leading the way and making a difference in the world. Therefore, I reiterate one of my favorite sayings: DON’T WRITE OFF YOUNG PEOPLE. THEY CARE DEEPLY ABOUT A BETTER WORLD.)

In the wake of Cameron’s death, the Cameron Boyce Foundation (a nonprofit organization founded in Los Angeles to provide young people with artistic and creative outlets as alternatives to violence and negativity) teamed up with Refinery29 to continue Cameron’s final project, Wielding Peace, by launching a social media campaign.

The project includes a collection of images of people from all walks of life (in Cameron’s own words) “wielding anything that might inspire someone creatively as well as make a strong statement with the sentiment that we need to choose a different weapon” (other than a gun).

What do you think would happen, if we could get everyone to yield peace and not guns?

Last year on social media, Cameron wrote: “It’s so important to think selflessly. To acknowledge that problems exist even if they don’t apply to you. To understand how lucky we are to even be here and how nothing in your life will ever be more fulfilling than helping others.”

(You might want to go back, read that quote again and let it penetrate deeply into your heart and mind)

In my opinion, Cameron was wise beyond his years. He will always be one of my heroes because he gave of himself for the greater good of others.

Posted in Associate Blog, News

When the Well Runs Dry

Blog by Associate Mary Ellen George

Ever feel like your well has run dry?  Sometimes when it’s my turn to write this week’s blog, I struggle with coming up with meaningful topics to write or share about. This phrase, when the well runs dry, keeps popping up in my mind as a metaphorical awareness of where my life is at the moment and so it deserves some reflection.

I like to do Google searches on phrases to get ideas beyond my own to see what emerges. Quotes, a book, and two films are attributed to this phrase.  Let’s look at each of these findings to see what bubbles up.

Perhaps some of you are aware that Benjamin Franklin is attributed with saying “When the well is dry, we know the value of water.”  Another way of interpreting this saying is that you never know what you have until it is gone.  A twist on this phrase is the expression, “You’ll never miss the water ‘til the well runs dry” by W.C. Handy.  Both expressions are a wake-up call to take time to cherish the people in our lives who mean so much to us and to be mindful of what we do have because it could be gone tomorrow.

When we dig deep into the well of our being, we can see also whether we are a glass-half-empty person or half-full person.  We can ask ourselves whether we hold onto a pessimistic or optimistic worldview and we can try to shift our perspective if we find ourselves needing to move from the negative to the positive.

The Jesuit priest, Thomas H. Green, wrote a book on prayer that holds this phrase and is entitled When the Well Runs Dry: Prayer Beyond the Beginnings. It’s sitting on my bookshelf at home and this may be a good time for me to reflect on his words and to quench my thirst on the wellspring of prayer.

A movie and a documentary film also hold this phrase as its title. One is a 2018 movie about two brothers who struggle with their relationship after the loss of their mother. I suspect that one takeaway from the movie is an understanding of the difficulty we all have to appreciate what we have while we still have it. Turning to a pragmatic understanding of what happens when a well runs dry, is a half-hour documentary film, produced in 2015, that portrays “the vital connection that rural Kansans have with water” and “the ongoing threats [ranchers, farmers, and residents] face to the availability of the water they depend on.”  This environmental threat to our water resources adds another layer of meaning not to be forgotten when pondering the literal impact of a well running dry.

In Scripture, there are many references to callings, conversions, and healings that take place at a well or some reservoir of water. The story of the woman at the well illustrates not only her conversion but also the unconditional love Jesus extends to her. On the Sea of Galilee, Jesus calls Peter and other fishermen to follow him.  Both of these scriptural examples highlight the transformative power and healing nature of water and that when our well runs dry, God is there with us.

When discerning what to do in a particular situation or what life choice to make, we may find the well runs dry.  But, I think when we examine what is happening inside ourselves and listen to what thoughts and feelings are surfacing, we are being called to a deeper awareness of God’s workings in our lives and a deeper relationship with God.

Do you hear or feel God’s presence nudging you to dig deeper and to respond to a call to explore life as a religious sister?  If so, contact us and begin the journey to discovering a wellspring of possibilities.

Posted in God Calling??

Formation Update

Congratulations to our Sisters in Formation

for taking the next step towards religious life!

 

Sr. Phuong Vu, bottom left, has completed the Canonical Year of her Novitiate at the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate, and will move to New Orleans to serve her Apostolic year at St. Mary Dominican High School.
Candidate Ellen Coates, center, was welcomed to the Novitiate of the Dominican Sisters of Peace by Formation Minister Pat Dual, left, and Prioress Pat Twohill, right, on July 27, 2019.
Annie Killian, left, of Nashville, TN, and Vocations Minister Sr. June Fitzgerald wait outside of the Columbus Motherhouse Chapel before the ceremony welcoming Anne as a Candidate of the Dominican Sisters of Peace on July 6, 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please pray for all of our Sisters in Formation: Sr. Margaret Uche, Temporary Professed; Sr. Ana Gonzalez, Temporary Professed; Sr. Phuong Vu, Apostolic Novice; Sr. Ellen Coates, Canonical Novice and Candidate Annie Killian. Please also offer your prayers for our Formation Minister, Sr. Pat Dual and Vocations Minister Sr. June Fitzgerald.
Posted in God Calling??, News

Blowing It: The Mystery of Vocation 

Here we are at Jubilee, rejoicing and marveling at 10 years, and 25 years, and 50 years, and God’s boundless faithfulness.  I’ve been thinking about vocation, and call and response, so here are some stories, of us and of God, that might plumb the mystery, which of course does not promise us more clarity….

A friend of mine, young in religious life and struggling with community and her ministry, came home from teaching Saturday catechism class and was dutifully attending to her charge, the community bathroom. She was putting newspaper down on the floor, and the page opened to the wedding section. She immediately recognized a friend from high school, looking beautiful in her bridal finery, walking out of the chapel at West Point arm in arm with her spouse splendid in his dress uniform, under an arch of swords.  And she said to herself, “I really blew it.”

Much later in life, she had a chance to see two old friends, long separated by time and space, and my friend told them this story.

They all had a good laugh, and one of them said, “O My! Well wait till you hear this!

It was four years into our marriage, and life was so hard.  My husband lost his job, we had 3 children under 4, and bills were piling up, we were falling behind in our mortgage payments, and I was totally a quivering mess. One evening the parish had a potluck supper in the grade school cafeteria, with all the kids and the noise, and the metal chairs scraping, and I glanced over and in a room off to the side I saw the sisters from the grade school around their table, and they were talking and laughing and enjoying their meal and  one another, and I said to myself, “Oh, I really blew it!”

Would this possibly resonate at all with you, in various moments of your Dominican life? Moments when your heart was just not so set on “Be it done unto me…”?

Have you said to yourself or a friend or an (often) shrouded or opaque God, after making a tough decision, or a loss, or changing a ministry, or losing your “cool” in a meeting, or saying something hurtful to someone dear—

“Oh, did I blow it!?”

In these  dark and confusing times when  the country and the world are  beset by hatreds and wars and so many little ones are suffering, and –well, you know the never-ending litany of woes—when we see how we have despoiled and poisoned Earth our Mother in this time being called the “sixth extinction;” when we see genocide and forced migration, and we are outraged and saddened and feeling both guilty and helpless amid this oh so huge and daily and casual evil – we can yield to cynicism and the temptation to withdraw from the words and actions of protest and healing.

When it is so obvious that humanity has blown it—we start asking ourselves about the best way to be faithful to our Dominican charism, and wonder whether we’re choosing the right path  as witnesses, as women and men of right action and truth-speaking, and ask again the nagging question: “Are we truly faithful individually and corporately, or have we missed something crucial somewhere along the line? Have we blown it?

Are we responding to the dual call of our OP roots and the call of the future?”

These are all moments of our vocation, an ongoing medley of call and response—God’s call to us, ours toward God, God toward us— and we learn (again and again!) that whatever surety we thought we had—however confident we are that God agrees with us– eventually get blown!

But our wrong turns and illusions are themselves paths to growth, however painful.

I did say growth.

And here is the reason: We blow it and  GOD BLOWS BACK!

As Isaiah 55 puts it: God’s word is faithful. “It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I sent it to do.”

And the breath of God—Spirit, Ruah—still hovers over the deepness, the darkness, the unknowns—some 13 billion years since the exploding of creation. And the Spirit continues to breathe life and promise and memory and strength and the fire of love.

The Spirit: who is still Sophia, Wisdom, playing before God in creation, and who is still and always a surprise, and provides another learning for us that “God’s ways are not our ways” and that we are painfully prone to keeping God at our size and manageable or agreeable to our dictates.

We have the Word, the Breath, breezing among us, and steadily growing us, enlarging our hearts, making of every ”We really blew it” a profound occasion for becoming what we receive—Words of God— very human, very flawed, but more and more identifiable with and hospitable to every human being who like us, “Blows it”–.

Becoming, each of us, a breath of the Spirit– imperfect Words, incomplete Love, yes, but through whom Christ never ceases to pour himself out, and in whom the Spirit never ceases to simmer.

And we are Words of memory and promise that God is faithful, and as Catherine of Siena wrote,” Mad with love for your creatures.” All this as we go on blowing it and giving God great delight in blowing back, blowing holes in our hearts, making space in our lives even as we might be mourning our failure, our confusion, our barrenness.

Here is the Mystery: that in our turns and tumbles, massive and minor, we are actually helping God form us in “The breadth and the length and the height and the depth of the Love of Christ which is beyond all understanding that we may be filled with the utter fullness of God.”

And in ways we don’t understand or notice, become preachers, become lovers, become Living Words.

So we gather as we grow, and celebrate together in wisdom and grace and joy and jubilation because as we “blow it”

God’s breath, Ruah, Spirit blows back –and in and around and among and through us, blowing all God’s people toward unity in love.

GLORY to God whose power/love/breath/ Peace

working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine

Posted in Wednesday's Word