Enter the convent and see the world! I’m only slightly exaggerating when I say this about my past 20 years as a Dominican Sister. When I entered, I expected to stay in Columbus and teach. This was before we became Dominican Sisters of Peace which greatly expanded ministry locations. The first ministry I was sent to was to our school in New York City – Dominican Academy. I loved living in the city and because our school had trips to Europe, I was able to visit Greece, Italy, Spain, France, and England. I was so proud when our girls showed their knowledge and curiosity. I also went to China on a recruiting trip to introduce girls to our school.
When I moved back to Columbus, I ministered in our GED/ESL Center – the Dominican Learning Center. While there I traveled through the stories of our learners about their home countries. A similar experience happened when, as justice promotor, I learned about the plight of immigrants in other counties who came to the US-Mexican border seeking asylum. We all love our homes even if we have to leave due to poverty, violence, war, or climate change.
I was invited to join a mission trip to Kingston, Jamaica which was eye-opening and wonderful. I’m convinced that I held God in my arms when a beautiful, little girl with Down’s Syndrome snuggled into my arms and allowed me to keep her close as we toured her home.
Ministry has now taken me to New Haven, Connecticut where I’m serving as a chaplain in the Yale New Haven Hospital Emergency Department. It’s a new part of the country for me filled with student doctors, nurses and patients from all over the country and world.
I’ve had the opportunity to visit our sisters in Kansas, Michigan, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Louisiana and taken retreats in Maine and New Jersey. During my Apostolic Novitiate, the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate was in St. Louis and my sister novices were from all over the country.
One of the most exciting and challenging trips I took was to walk the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain with two other sisters. We saved our retreat allowance to hike up the western coast of Spain from Portugal to Santiago. It was an incredible experience. So… I have been extremely blessed to visit in person and via others many parts of the world. It has given me a greater perspective on God’s beautiful earth and the many amazing people who inhabit it.
Itinerancy is an important part of our lifestyle as Dominicans, as Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP writes about in her blog, A Roamin’ Catholic Reflects on Itinerancy. We are on the move one way or another and invite you to explore our way of life. Contact us to learn more about what it means to be a Dominican Sister in today’s world.