Truthfully, I never thought that April would come. We scheduled the trip for our Dominican Kentucky Experience Extravaganza in the fall and so much life happened in between the planning and the doing. Alas, the day finally came and all seven of us – three Sisters, two students, one Priest, and one Justice Promoter – squeezed into a van and hit the road. We were finally Kentucky-bound. We had our fair share of bathroom breaks and snack stops before we reached our first destination: The Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani. We toured the guest chapel and bookshop before heading in the main chapel to devote a half an hour of Vesper’s prayer with the monks. What a truly wonderful way to begin our trip by talking with our Lord in His House! I didn’t realize the power of taking 30 minutes to talk with God, especially when it’s difficult to find 10 minutes. It was truly a blessing. Afterwards, with it being a Lenten Friday, we found our way to a church with two great pastimes: bingo and a fish fry. (If you’re ever hankering for some quality bean soup, that church has it.) Finally, we made it to the St. Catharine Motherhouse. Continue reading →
“Just Reflecting” features a variety of blogs and bloggers discussing various social justice topics that we encounter in our daily lives, whether it be within our communities or own families.
Yearning for Change
Kasha Sequoia Slavner was 14 years old when she decided she had enough of a constant barrage of negative news. Terrorism, war, human trafficking and negative political ads filled television screens in her native Canada. Kasha experienced her own time of being surrounded by domestic violence. Her mother was physically abused by her father and divorced him. They were homeless for a period of time before experiencing a stable home life.
At 14 she became involved in a peace and justice committee and began raising money to travel around the world videotaping scenes of people who made a difference in the lives of others. She traveled to Tanzania and interviewed a man who established a school for girls, a desperate need for girls in Africa and the Middle East. She created the documentary, The Sunrise Storyteller, a good news film that provided inspiration for many attending the 61st annual Commission on the Status of Women. I was privileged to represent Dominicans Sisters of North America at this important gathering at the United Nations. Continue reading →
It sounds so simple, but is it?
It sounds so simple: “We are all a part of one race – the human race.”
Yet the reality of that statement – declared more than a century ago by pioneering anthropologist Franz Boas and again in 1950 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – is complicated in our nation, where the undercurrent of systematic racism pulls us down. Living daily in an environment where racism abounds makes it difficult to accept that “race” is not a biological reality but a myth.
When we consider racism (a form of oppression in which one racial group dominates others), which can lead to discrimination – the unfair and unequal treatment of a group based on prejudice – a natural progression is to apply the attitudes that lead to the mistreatment of Native-Americans and African-Americans to other “isms” (sex-ism, age-ism, class-ism, weight-ism, etc.) and phobias, like Islamophobia and homophobia.
It is difficult for me to believe that any of the phobias or “isms” can be resolved until we deal with the elephant in the room – racism. Continue reading →
Responding to the Needs of the Times
From time to time over the centuries, situations peculiar to the times and culture have called on aspects of the Dominican charism for a response. This has always been what we have labeled – “responding to the needs of the times” – much as Dominic himself did in preaching against the heresy of his day. Continue reading →
Become a Point of Peace
Happy Feast Day since January 1 is the World Day of Peace and we are Dominican Sisters of Peace!
My favorite prayer for our community is that God help each of us become points of peace wherever we are and in whatever situation we find ourselves. It came to me when sitting by a small lake watching a child throwing pebbles into the water. Even the smallest one set up an ever expanding circle of ripples. Thus my prayer is that even the smallest action or word of ours brings peace. Continue reading →