God Calling??

Do you dream of doing something more with your life? Are you longing for deeper meaning and sometimes feel that there is more to life than what you are currently doing? Maybe God is inviting you to explore becoming a Dominican Sister of Peace. Share your gifts with others who want to make a difference in the world. For more information, contact us to begin a conversation.


Centering Prayer – Sacred Time

Blog by Sr. Cathy Arnold, OP

Seeing the news with all the violence in the lives of so many people in our world today, or perhaps experiencing violence in our own lives or in the lives of those we love can be overwhelming.  And while we may be working hard for justice and peace in our world to help reduce this violence, we can sometimes lose hope and get discouraged.  I know I need times of silence and solitude to ground me in hope in the goodness of God and of people.  Centering prayer helps me to grow in trust of God and to manage my emotions, especially anger and sadness when things get tough.

Many of our Sisters and Associates practice centering prayer.  The focus is the desire to be in relationship with God and being present to God’s Spirit.  I first learned this practice from a book by John Main back in my first experience of religious life.  As an introvert who processes my life’s experiences within, I discovered that I love times in prayer when I am invited to let go of all my thoughts, to sit quietly, and to return to my meditative word, Jesus or mercy or whatever word brings me back to my center.  There are no shoulds or oughts, and if I find that I am distracted, I return to my word.  The intention of my prayer is to be fully present to the One who loves me and all.

Contemplative practices, such as centering prayer, are essential for us as Christians to ground us as we reach beyond ourselves in works of justice and mercy and to carry the pain of the people and Earth.  If you are interested in learning about this method of prayer, check out Fr. Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O. on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FWvxwfN_CE).  He is a Trappist monk and priest, known as one of the architects of Centering Prayer, a contemporary method of Christian contemplative prayer.

Also, if you are interested in some time of prayer and reflection and are discerning your direction in life as a single woman 18-45, please consider coming to the Come and See weekend in Columbus March 9-11, 2018.  https://oppeace.org/blog/2018/02/09/come-see-retreat/

Posted in God Calling??, News

The Club No One Wants to Belong To

FEBRUARY 14, 2018. BREAKING NEWS: School shooting. Florida high school. Seventeen dead, many injured.

After the shock, where will the survivors find help? Who can fully understand their loss?

Blog By Sr. Rosemary Loomis, OP

There is a place of help. It’s found with The Parents of Murdered Children/Other Homicide Victims Survivors (POMC). It is a national organization with chapters in many states. Members of POMC are survivors themselves and are journeying through their loss one minute, one day at a time. Some have been on this path for a month, some for thirty-plus years. POMC understands murder loss.

Murder loss has its own dynamics: someone has purposefully chosen to take another’s life.  It never ends for the survivors. The case isn’t solved in an hour or two as in the movies. Families deal with the apprehension of the killer (hopefully); the court system; victim’s right statements (when allowed), sentencing; and parole blocks, to name a few.  Cold cases may finally be solved, but the new normal the family has built over the years is shattered, and everything about the murder is re-lived.

Families of murder victims have sought out groups that understand the particular pain and dynamics of murder loss. POMC offers support and the wisdom of the journey at both the local and national level. I am a non-survivor and have been with the Central Ohio Chapter for ten years. I continually witness the understanding and compassion of the members for one another at our monthly support meetings and other events. Tears, anger, frustration, and even laughter are shared. They have welcomed me into their courage.

To learn more about POMC, please view the official national website at www.pomc.com for information and state chapter locations.

Sr. Rosemary is a certified Bereavement Specialist.  She is a member of the National Catholic Ministry to the Bereaved and Parents of Murdered Children and Homicide Victims Survivors.

Posted in God Calling??, News

Love Messages

Blog by Associate Mary Ellen George, OPA

Sitting on my office desk is a heart-shaped pop-up note dispenser that was given to me as a gift.  Posted on the dispenser are the words “GOD LOVES YOU” in uppercase letters.  What a beautiful, simple way of keeping in sight a reminder of God’s affirming love.  Sometimes we need to surround ourselves and others with messages of love.

There are many ways God shows us love and sometimes it’s the little things people do for us.  For example, one frigid day, a gentleman saw me struggling with opening my car hood and came to help me.  I thanked him for his kindness and felt in that moment that God sent him to help me.  Just one of those messages of love and support that we can easily miss and shrug off as seemingly insignificant.

Driving into work one day, a vanity license plate with the words “I AM LOVD” caught my attention.  The words could have been a self-affirmation for the driver or a message to those seeing the plate.  Whatever the case, I thought it was one of those mystical moments of God sending a love message.  May you see and hear the love messages God is sending to you today.

We can be messengers of hope and love, not only around Valentine’s Day, but every day.  We can seek out opportunities to be agents of God’s message of love in simple and creative ways that may have a profound impact on another person’s life.  To realize that we have the power within us to be vessels of God’s love and compassion is something to reflect on.  Or, as Mother Teresa once said, “I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world” because she notes also that “I believe God loves the world through us—through you and me.”

If we believe that we are indeed made in the image and likeness of God, we can meet God in the crossroads of our life’s experience and see that God is always with us.  So if today you hear God’s voice or feel God’s presence, take heart and know that God loves you.  And, if you need a reminder, create a post-it note and place it on your bathroom mirror or refrigerator to see every day.

If you are eager to spread God’s love to others, why not consider being God’s disciple as a religious sister.  One of our Vocation Ministers will be happy to discern how God is calling you.  Click here for the names and contact information to reach one of our sisters.  Or, you may want to join us at our upcoming “Come and See” retreat, which is being held March 9-11, 2018 at our Columbus Motherhouse.  This free retreat is a great opportunity for personal reflection and to explore Dominican life, meet our Sisters, and share in our community life.

Posted in God Calling??, News

My Sisters’ Hands

Blog by Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP

Sisters Anna and Mary were laughing together as I came into the room. It was that hearty laughter shared by two friends who just shared something very funny and most probably something that only they would understand – being that they’ve been friends and Dominican Sisters together for more than 60 years.

I sat down with them and asked them what they were laughing about.

Mary replied, “Oh, about old hands and old times.” Smiling, she looked to Anna and picked up her hand as she said, “See this scar here?” She pointed to a white scar between the knuckles of Anna’s right hand.

“Yes,” I said.  What is it from?

“Well,” said Anna, “it is from when my brother and I decided we should be desperados, and that we needed to practice our knife-work.”

I grinned.  She was one of the gentlest people I knew – and the most unlikely person to carry a knife!  She was more apt to be speaking to someone in spiritual direction, bereavement ministry or preaching about the need for peace in our hearts and in our world.  Yet, here she was telling me about her practice with a jack knife – and that her knife slipped from her wet hands as she threw it and grazed her hand before it fell to the ground.  She and her brother were laughing so hard they didn’t even see the blood dripping from her hand until much later.

Mary chimed in, “And I was talking about how my hands still know how to dance, even if my legs don’t.” Anna reached over, held Mary’s hands in her own and smiled. “I remember when you danced at the professions, when it seemed as if you and the Holy Spirit would take flight at any moment. Your hands never stopped moving, until the end.  They are so expressive.”

Mary raised her hands and let them float through the air in a gesture of prayer, “And boy, they can still dance.” She and Anna laughed again as they held each other’s age-worn hands…wrinkles, prominent veins, beauty marks, scars and all.

These hands speak of resiliency, faith, and loving service.

My sisters’ hands. . .

Posted in God Calling??, News

Signs of God’s Invitation to Pursue Religious Life

Blog by Sr. Mai Dung Nguyen

If one day, you are called to become a sister, what will you do? Deny, ignore, or pursue what you believe is a call. But first, how do you know God is calling you?

God’s invitations can come in many different ways. A call is unique for each person in each circumstance.  This invitation may start within you when:

  • a voice within you keeps calling you to be a sister.
  • you experience a hunger for intimacy with God.
  • an inspiring quote, a sister’s story, or the works of a religious community touches you deeply and leads you to consider becoming a sister.
  • you dream of working with the poor or working for justice and peace.
  • you experience something missing in your life and you want to work for something bigger than yourself.

In some cases, the invitation can be unexpected:

  • a thunderbolt hitting your ears when someone says: “Have you ever thought of becoming a sister?”
  • a joke you may really hate; “You act or look like a nun, why don’t you be one of them?”
  • a bet between you and someone encouraging you to contact a religious community.

God’s invitation can also seem confusing or unsettling. For example:

  • Your fiancé hands you a retreat registration; “I registered you for a retreat. You should explore your call before we get married.” Don’t feel resentful towards him.
  • You often don’t feel peaceful, but have a sense of emptiness while dating, or even one or two weeks before getting married. Pay attention to that sign.

Remember “For humans, it is impossible; but for God, all is possible.” (Matthew 19:26).

As I mentioned, this invitation may scare you, making you resist, even deny it. Not everyone is called by God to become a sister, but why not at least explore the possibility? So, if you are experiencing a call or a nudge from God, contact us (vocation@oppeace.org). We will walk with you to help you discover what God is calling you to . . . and we promise, no strings attached.

If you’re ready to take the next step to explore your call and our community, we invite you to join us for a Come and See retreat at our Columbus Motherhouse, March 9-11, 2018.  For more details, contact Sr. Pat Dual at pdual@oppeace.org or call or text her at 614-216-7688.

Posted in God Calling??, News