Vocations Blog

Every vocation story begins with a call – a call to share your gifts with others who want to make a difference in the world. If you believe that you’ve heard God’s call, and you want to write your own story with the Dominican Sisters of Peace, contact us to begin a conversation.


Know Thy Self

Blog by Associate Mary Ellen George, OPA

Who do you think you are?  For many of us, our first association with this question might not be a pleasant one, having heard it as a sarcastic comment directed at us or another person.  But, another way to hear this question is as an inquisitive invitation to know, understand, and explore who you are.   

Knowing ourselves is a lifetime journey and a process of self-reflection and self-awareness. Our fascination with understanding ourselves and others is evidenced by the popularity of such personality assessment tools as the Enneagram Personality Test and Myers Briggs Type Indicator.   We are curious to know how we and others “live, move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) We have a great longing to get to the bottom of who we and others are, to understand all that we see and hear around us.  We want to make sense of our feelings, thoughts, and experiences.  We want to know what our strengths and growth edges are, why we do things a certain way, what motivates and influences us, what challenges us, what our social preferences are, and the list goes on.  Are we introverts or extroverts?  Do we like structure or spontaneity?  Are we motivated by achievement, belonging, power, or adventure?  Do we prefer social outings or quiet environments?    

When we know and accept who we are, we are better able to fulfill who we are meant to be and not who we think we should be.  Knowing ourselves makes it easier to embrace and value our gifts and the gifts of others, and what we bring to the table to share with others. When we feel secure in knowing ourselves, we are also better able to accept and appreciate the gifts of others. By knowing ourselves, we can also gain clarity in how we are called to “live, move and have our being.”  

We invite you to take some time to get to know yourself better.  Spend time in whatever way the Divine best speaks to you and is present to you—in nature, prayer, quiet contemplation, journal writing, music.  Be open to whatever emerges as you reflect on the stirrings in your heart.  Follow your own path and as the psalmist proclaims, “to thine own self be true.” (Psalm 23:3) 

As you reflect on who you are and wonder if God is calling you to become a religious sister,  we invite you to contact us. Together, we can listen and discern how God is calling you to live, move, and be in this world.  Be gentle with yourself and remember, “Who we are is God’s gift to us.  Who we become is our gift to God,” a modified quote from Eleanor Torrey Powell. 

We are offering a FREE Come and See weekend, Called by Name: A Discernment Retreat, at our Motherhouse in St. Catharine, Kentucky, September 8-10, 2023. Give yourself the gift of time to reflect on who you are and how you are called to be by joining us in the hills of Kentucky.  For more information, click here or contact Sr. Mai-dung Nguyen. Click here to register. 

Posted in God Calling?, News, Vocations Blog

Make Me An Instrument Of Your Peace

Dominican Sisters of Peace Formations and Vocations team, from back left, Sr. Pat Dual, OP, Mary Ellen George, OPA. Front from left: Sr. Mai Dung Nguyen, OP, Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP, Sr. Bea Tiboldi, OP.

Blog by Mary Ellen George, OPA

When you reflect on this phrase, “mission for peace,” what image(s) come to mind?  Do you picture a far-away mission in a foreign land where others have been dispatched to bring peace and conflict resolution to a warring community or society?  Is the necessity of making peace an “out there” or “away from me” imagining that is everyone else’s responsibility?  Do you insulate yourself from seeing or hearing the call to “be peace, preach peace, and build peace”? Do you refrain from becoming involved when the lack of peace happens around you in your relationships, in your workplace, and in your living community?

Or, are you looking, instead, for an opportunity to be an “instrument of peace,” as expressed here in The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi?




Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Are you ready to be the hands and feet of Christ, bringing peace and hope to others?  Then, why not join our Sisters and other women who are considering religious life, June 2-6, 2023, in Akron, Ohio for a “Mission for Peace” experience.  This five-day, service-based, hands-on learning experience offers you a real-life experience of prayer and community living.  You will have time also to talk to our Sisters to get answers to the questions you have about religious life and about serving others as a Dominican Sister of Peace.  Check out these testimonials from participants who experienced this program

Click here for more information about this free opportunity or click here to register now.

Peace be with you


Posted in God Calling?, News, Vocations Blog

The Bee and the Flower

Blog by Sr. Pat Connick, OP

Last summer, I noticed the Easter lilies and bees in a small garden on my way to church where I walk every weekday.  I first observed how all the bees were hovering over a bunch of blossoms.  Next, a single bee’s flight to the flower attracted my attention with so much curiosity that I caught myself only inches away from the pair!  When I realized how focused the bee was on the flower itself, and was not going to come in my direction, I relaxed, looked carefully, and saw how the bee stopped in the middle of the flower and then disappeared into its body, resurfacing a few moments later.

I lingered longer and leaned in even closer to see where the disappearing bee had gone.  To my great surprise and delight, I saw the bee drop from the middle of the flower upside down to the bottom of the flower, ever so gently.  When the bee reached the bottom, it began to roll back and forth, like a dog on its back in the middle of a plush plot of grass…to collect some of the pollen that had gathered there! Afterward, the bee slowly and somewhat “drunkenly” climbed up the middle of the flower (pollinating it in the process).  Then the bee staggered on to the next flower to continue its encounter with another flower.

Recalling this memory about the flower and the bee reminds me to live in the moment.  As Meister Eckhart notes, “There exists only the present instant…a Now which always and without end is itself new.  There is no yesterday not any tomorrow, but only Now, as it was a thousand years ago and as it will be a thousand years hence,” and again, “The most significant person is precisely the one sitting across from you right now.  The most necessary work is love.”

I have been reminded of the importance of “being in the moment” by the flower and the bee in so many other moments over the course of my sabbatical.  I hope to carry this incredible gift back with me as I transition back to a “regular” ministry in the years to come!

Pope Francis has often written about these moments of “encounter” and encourages us to develop the capacity for them.  He wrote about a “culture of encounter” in his morning meditation of Tuesday, September 13, 2016:

An invitation to work for “the culture of encounter,” in a simple way, “as Jesus did”: not just seeing, but looking; not just hearing, but listening; not just passing people by, but stopping with them; not just saying “what a shame, poor people!,” but allowing yourself to be moved with compassion; “and then to draw near, to touch and to say: ‘Do not weep’ and to give at least a drop of life.”

If you’re curious about how to look at the world differently, through the eyes and ears of a contemplative encounter, just stop and look around you.  What do you see?  What do you hear?  Just be!

Interested in learning more about religious life?  Consider talking with one of our vocation ministers, who are here to walk with you to help you discover how God is calling you in your life.  You’re also invited to check out our upcoming Vocation programs, such as the Mission for Peace – Mission and Service Program, June 2-6, 2023 in Akron, Ohio.

Posted in God Calling?, News, Vocations Blog

Go Proclaim the Gospel to Every Creature 

Blog by Sr. Barbara Kane, OP

During the Easter season, we hear in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus’ command to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” A daunting task and a core scripture for the Order of Preachers. Pope Honorius III, as he approved the Order, wrote “[God] who never ceases to make the Church fruitful through new offspring… wishes to make these modern times [the thirteenth century] the equal of former days [the first Christian centuries] and to spread the Catholic faith. So, he inspired you [Dominicans] with a holy desire to embrace poverty, profess the regular life and commit yourselves to the proclamation of the word of God, preaching everywhere the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”1 Here we are 800 years later. How do we make these modern times the equal of former days as we to proclaim the Gospel to every creature?

In some ways, preaching is like Dominic’s time – men go up to a pulpit and share their words of wisdom with their congregations during Mass. This is the traditional understanding of preaching. But it’s so much more today. In some religious orders and in their motherhouse chapels, sisters proclaim the Gospel message from a woman’s perspective. There is online audio and video preaching by men and women – lay, professed, and ordained. Blogs and podcasts proliferate providing yet more insights into the scriptures. I wonder if sometime in the future, we won’t have AI Chatbot sermons. (A chatbot is software that simulates human-like conversations with users via chat. AI means artificial intelligence.) Will computer software provide better insights than humans into God’s good news?

The word ‘preach’ comes from the Latin praedicare meaning, “To proclaim publicly.”  Words can be powerful, but the most powerful form of preaching is with our lives. What better way to proclaim publicly than to witness to the Gospel truth of Jesus than by demonstrating how we welcome the stranger, feed the hungry, forgive the hurtful, comfort the afflicted, respect all life – human and nature. Not many of us will ever preach from a pulpit but each day, we can give true witness to the love of Jesus Christ for each creature.

Do you feel called to preach the Gospel with your life as a Dominican Sister?  Why not contact us to begin a conversation or consider attending our 5-day Mission for Peace prayer and service immersion program at our Motherhouse in Akron, Ohio, from June 2 to June 6, 2023.

Check out word.op.org for daily preaching by Dominican women and men.

1Quote about Honorius comes from Romanus Cessario, OP “The Grace St. Dominic Brings to the World: A Fresh Look at Dominican Spirituality. Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 15(2):84-100.

Posted in God Calling?, News, Vocations Blog