News

For further information on any of the news items listed here, please contact Alice Black, PhD, OPA, Director of Communications & Mission Advancement, at 614-416-1020.


 

Dominican Sister of Peace Sister Mary Petra Flavin

Dominican Sister of Peace Sr. Mary Petra Flavin

Dominican Sister of Peace Sr. Mary Petra Flavin died at Mohun Health Care Center, Columbus, OH on Saturday, August 8, 2020.

A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Sr. Petra was born in 1925 to Helen (Nellie) Sheehan and Peter Flavin. She entered the Congregation in 1945 and served her Congregation and God’s people for 75 years.

After graduating from St. Lawrence High School, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Saint Mary of the Springs College, now Ohio Dominican University. In true Dominican fashion, she continued her study at Duquesne University, earning her Master of Arts in Guidance and Counseling in 1965.

Sr. Petra ministered as an elementary teacher for twenty years in Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. She found a long-time home when she was assigned to be principal at Saint Thomas the Apostle School in Columbus, OH.  She served the families of St. Thomas for 33 years, founding a kindergarten and a latchkey program for children of working parents. Sr. Petra loved her work at the school, remembering, “I especially loved being with the kids. I have such wonderful memories of ballgames, picnics in the convent backyard, seeing the kids all dressed up for Halloween, Christmas parties… But even just the day-to-day working with them was so nice.”

After retiring from her career as an educator, Sr. Petra entered a ministry of service to her community, where she volunteered as a receptionist, helped in the gift shop, and assisted with projects as needed. She also assisted her sister, Sr. Dolores Flavin, with holiday decorating of the Motherhouse and Mohun Care Center.

Sr. Mary Petra entered a ministry of prayer and presence in 2015.

Sister Petra’s was preceded in death by her parents, Peter and Nellie Sheehan Flavin, her brother, John and her sisters, Patricia Burke and Dominican Sister of Peace, Sister Dolores Flavin. She is survived by nieces and nephews.

Sr. Petra’s wake was held on Wednesday, August 12, and the Mass of Christian Burial was held on August 13. The private services were held at the Columbus Motherhouse Chapel. Sr. Mary Petra was buried at St. Joseph Cemetery in Columbus, OH.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Mary Petra’s memory may be sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr. Columbus, OH 43219 or submitted securely at oppeace.org

To donate in Sr. Mary Petra’s memory, please click here.

To view a printable PDF copy of Sr. Mary Petra’s memorial, click here.

Posted in Obituaries

Dominican Sister of Peace Sister Melinda Burkhart

Dominican Sister of Peace Melinda Burkhart

Dominican Sister of Peace Melinda Burkhart, 84, died on July 25, 2020, at the Mohun Health Care Center in Columbus, OH.

Sr. Melinda was born in Zanesville, OH, on July 27, 1935, to Ida Nau and Nicholas Burkhart. She entered the Congregation in 1957 and served God’s people for more than 60 years.

Sr. Melinda earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the College of Saint Mary of the Springs, now Ohio Dominican University. While serving as a teacher in Michigan, she also earned her Master of Education in Reading Education from Marygrove College.

Sr. Melinda taught elementary school students in Michigan, New Mexico, and Ohio for more than 35 years. In her personal annals she wrote: “In living the mission, there wasn’t a place or job that I didn’t like or get along. I loved every part of it. Education is tremendous and the children were wonderful and their families very supportive.” She used the “Workshop Way” with great success, giving her students a firm foundation to build on and a positive experience of school.

“It was a joy to share the ability that I had to bring children together as students to become mature students, she said. “Observe them until you find what was a natural talent in them and help them develop that talent.  Teaching is not just about giving to someone else; it is a two-way giving; the student gives to the teacher just as much as the teacher gives the student.”

Holy Trinity Somerset, known as the “Cradle of Catholicity” in Ohio, was Sr. Melinda’s ministry home for thirty years. She taught at the Holy Trinity grade school and served as a home visitor, sharing the Eucharist to the home-bound parishioners. As a member of the Liturgy Committee, she served both the school and the parish. In 2010, the Holy Trinity Alumni and Friends honored Sister Melinda for her service to the school and parish.

Sr. Melinda entered a ministry of prayer and presence at the Mohun Health Care Center in 2007. While she was not in the best of health, she maintained a grace and cheer that lifted the spirits of all she met.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Nicholas Burkhart and Ida Nau Burkhart, her brother, Leo Burkhart, and her sisters, Regina Dutro and Mary DeVol. She is survived by nieces and nephews.

A private Mass of Christian Burial was held on July 7 at the Columbus, OH, motherhouse. Sr. Melinda was buried at St. Joseph Cemetery in Columbus, OH.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Melinda’s memory may be sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr. Columbus, OH 43219 or submitted securely at oppeace.org.

To donate in Sr. Melinda’s memory, please click here.

To view a printable PDF copy of Sr. Melinda’s memorial, please click here.

 

Posted in News, Obituaries

Dominican Sister of Peace Sister Dolores Flavin

 

Dominican Sister of Peace Sister Dolores Flavin

Dominican Sister of Peace Dolores Flavin, 90, died at Mohun Health Care Center, Columbus, OH on Sunday, June 23, 2020.

Born in 1930, Sr. Dolores was one of the four children of Nellie Sheehan and Peter Flavin of Pittsburgh, PA. She graduated from St. Lawrence High School, then followed in the footsteps of her sister, Petra, and entered the Congregation in 1949, made first profession in 1950, and took her final vows in 1953.

Sr. Dolores earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1965 from Saint Mary of the Springs College, now Ohio Dominican University. She spent her summers attending seminars and educational programs to keep abreast of the changes in education and became interested in the Montessori approach. Sr. Dolores served as a primary grade teacher in Ohio and Pennsylvania for nearly 50 years.

During this time, Sr. Dolores also ministered as a Choir Director, trained altar servers, directed school plays and musicals, and published monthly newsletters for parents and students at the schools where she served.

After retiring from her teaching careers, Sr. Dolores became the Facilities Director at our Columbus Motherhouse and, later, the Hospitality Coordinator. She enjoyed decorating for major feast days, holidays, and, especially, the Jubilee celebrations of our Sisters, and served in this special ministry until 2019.

Sr. Dolores entered a ministry of prayer and presence at the Mohun Health Care Center, celebrating 70 years of ministry in 2020.

Sr. Dolores once wrote that she entered religious life because she felt a special call, but that she remained in religious life because of the prayer, the love that Sisters had for each other, and the community life that she experienced and loved so much.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Peter and Nellie Marie Sheehan Flavin, her brother, John, and her sister, Patricia Burke. Her Dominican Sister of Peace Petra Flavin followed her to Heaven on August 8, 2020. She is survived by nieces and nephews.

A private wake was held on Wednesday, August 12, and a private Mass of Christian Burial was held Thursday, August 13. Sr. Dolores was interred at St. Joseph Cemetery in Columbus, OH.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Dolores’ memory may be sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr., Columbus, OH 43219.

To donate in Sr. Dolores’ memory, please click here.

To view a printable PDF copy of Sr. Dolores’ memorial, please click here.

 

Posted in Obituaries

Dominican Sister of Peace Sister Annunciata Chen

Dominican Sister of Peace Annunciata Chen

 

Dominican Sister of Peace Sister Annunciata Chen, 100, died on May 12, 2020, at the Mohun Health Care Center in Columbus, OH.

One of three siblings, Sr. Annunciata was born in 1919 in Fukien, China to Catherine Ho and Peter Chen. When the Dominican Sisters from our Congregation arrived in Fukien, Sr. Annunciata was the first to apply for entrance as a professed religious in the Congregation. She entered in 1944 and made first profession in 1947, later serving as a native missionary in Kienow until the Communists came into power in 1949.

Sr. Annunciata earned a Bachelor of Education at St, Mary of the Springs, now Ohio Dominican University. Her early years of teaching in the United States were the then “missionary territories” of Abiquiu, NM, and Amarillo. She volunteered to travel to Chimbote, Peru in 1968, where she served for twenty years. She enjoyed ministering through home visits, religious formation, and preparing children to receive the sacraments.

Sr. Annunciata’s nephew was a priest, and she was blessed to fulfill her dream by working with the Chinese community in Taiwan at her nephew’s parish of St. Joseph and at Our Lady of China Parish.  She maintained a connection with the Chinese community as a member of a Columbus, OH, prayer group that met for reflection and sharing.

Sr. Annunciata served as a sacristan at both the Motherhouse and Mohun Health Care Center. When she was unable to complete that ministry, she would visit the other Sisters in the Mohun Health Care Center and spend time praying in Chapel praying for her family, friends, and Sisters.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Peter and Catherine Ho Chen, her sister, Catherine, and her brother, Peter. She is survived by her nephew, Fr. Luke Chen, nieces, grandnieces, and grandnephews.

A private mass and funeral service was held on May 20, 2020, at the Columbus Motherhouse Chapel. Sr. Annunciata was buried at St. Joseph Cemetery, Columbus, OH.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Annunciata’s memory may be submitted securely online or sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr, Columbus, 43219.

To donate in Sr. Annunciata’s memory, please click here.

To view a printable PDF copy of Sr. Annunciata’s memorial, please click here.

 

Posted in Obituaries

What Happens at a Virtual Discernment Retreat?

Blog by Sr. Mai Dung Nguyen

To help single women discerning God’s calling, last weekend, September 11-13, we hosted an online discernment retreat “Listening to God’s Voice with an Open Heart.”  Ten discerners participated. Our candidate Cathy Buchanan and many sisters were involved in the retreat as companions, supporters, and speakers.

Spread throughout the retreat were prayers, presentations, reflections, and sharing. We also showcased some videos about the Dominican Sisters of Peace. These videos ranged from a short video about the Motherhouse in Great Bend, KS with some Sisters offering messages of affirmation to the discerners; an overview highlights of the previous ‘Come and See’ event at the Motherhouse in St. Catharine, KY; virtual tours at the Motherhouses in Columbus, OH and Akron, OH.  We also watched a video on how our Sisters live out the Dominican pillars and charism.

Every night, we held an optional social, where some discerners joined our Houses of Welcome communities in Connecticut and Columbus for games, such as a scavenger hunt and Scattergories, which provided humorous exchanges and the opportunity to get to know one another better.

When it was time to pray, we lit candles to symbolize our unity, despite the geographic distances that separated us.  We experienced various forms of prayer, including preaching, guided meditation, Lectio Divina, and Dominican Praise with local communities in Wichita, KS and New Haven, CT. We provided a link for an online Mass, and participants could tune in to a Mass of their preference. The retreatants also had opportunities for personal prayer, reflecting, journaling, and integrating their retreat experience.

For the discernment session on Saturday morning, Sr. Pat Dual introduced some critical components of the discernment process and how it differs from decision making.  In the afternoon, we held a panel discussion on, “Living out our call as a Dominican Sister of Peace,” with Sr. Pat Connick, Sr. Ana Gonzalez and Sr. Ellen Coates zooming in and sharing their vocation journeys and life as Dominican Sisters of Peace. On Sunday, Sr. Bea’s presentation highlighted and integrated the weekend’s journey and ways that retreatants could continue moving forward in their discernment.

Sharing also occurred in many forms. In multiple breakout rooms, arranged by Associate Mary Ellen George OPA, the retreatants were able to share their reflections and ask challenging questions in one-on-one meetings with Sister companions and in small and large groups.

The discerners expressed their gratitude for this retreat. They experienced God’s presence and found some common ground among Sisters, their peers, and about their vocational calls. Some said they received clarification, reassurance, or comfort in their own discernment, which brought them joy and peace. Two retreatants offered these reflections:

“This virtual discernment retreat was an awesome experience and time well spent. I received great counsel regarding my discernment journey. The sisters who acted as mentors for us throughout the weekend cared deeply about helping us understand their lifestyles. This weekend was a great blessing to me.” Paula D.

“It was such a blessing to be part of the September virtual discernment retreat! In the midst of all the COVID chaos, it was a welcomed time to relax, rejuvenate, and really focus on trying to hear God’s call.  I especially loved the opportunity to meet 1-1 with my Sister companion to talk about our journeys and her experiences as a Dominican Sister of Peace!  While my vocation still isn’t crystal clear, it was a big comfort to hear that many of the Sisters and my fellow retreatants had similar stories and experiences of the discernment process.  Thank you, Dominican Sisters of Peace!”  Sarah

 

The discerners were not the only ones who experienced feelings of inspiration and joy. The sisters who joined us as companions and presenters also felt that they were renewed, had great hope for the future, and felt privileged to journey with these discerners.

When asked about this retreat, Sr. Rose Mary Stein, OP, said, “My experience at the online discernment retreat was most inspiring, rewarding, and very prayerful.  As a Sister Companion, I was assigned to meet with a discerner, and she was impressed to learn how I eventually came to my decision becoming a sister.  I know the Holy Spirit had put us together as we shared our stories and had a number of things in common. Many of the questions the discerners asked during the large group session could be answered by one of the Sisters because they had a story or experience that responded to the question…I was blessed to have been included in the retreat.”

God’s grace-filled days were upon each of us in many ways during this retreat. We believe that the seeds and spirit of this retreat will continue to grow and journey with each individual no matter which direction each person takes. Click here for photos from this retreat.

If you are interested in knowing more about our vocational discernment programs, contact us and we will be happy to share details about these programs.

Posted in God Calling?, News