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.


The Annunciation: A Moment of Unparalleled Courage

Pat Dual
Blog by Sr. Pat Dual, OP

This week, the Church’s celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation occurred in the middle of the more subdued season of Lent.   Yet, it seemed very appropriate to celebrate the event that set in motion God’s plan of salvation for humankind.  Without Mary’s “yes,” the Paschal Mystery, as we know it, would not exist. What a phenomenal decision for a young, unmarried Jewish girl to have to make—with no certainty about how her answer would affect the rest of her life.  Recently, I learned of a beautiful poem that focuses on the courage of Mary in that moment.

We do not often reflect on the courage of Mary in giving her “yes.”  The poem, Annunciation, by Denise Levertov, offers a beautiful image of Mary and this moment in salvation history.  Of this decisive moment in Mary’s life, Levertov writes, “God waited.  She was free to accept or to refuse, choice integral to humanness.”   The poet then asks a question that is relevant for each one of us today.  “Aren’t there annunciations of one sort or another in most lives?”  The answer is a resounding, “yes!”

Think about the significant times of discernment and choices in life.  These occasions might include choices about health, careers, marriage partners, or religious life discernment.  The moments of choice or “annunciations” in our lives come with no guarantees and the path forward is often not clear.  The only guarantee we have is the same one that Mary had—faith that God could be trusted.

How have you responded to the “annunciation moments” in your life?   For me, there have been times when I have said “yes.”  There have also been times when I have turned in fear, a time when as the poet said, “God waited.”  It takes courage to say “yes” to the “annunciations” or invitations from God in our lives.  Nevertheless, God is persistent, constantly inviting us to grow, to live and to love.

Mary is an example for us of both grace and courage.  The beautiful words of Denise Levertov’s poem, Annunciation, blessed my spirit.  I look forward to praying with it during times of personal discernment.  I invite you, also, to take time to sit and reflect with Levertov’s poem and consider the “annunciations of some sort or another” happening in your life.

May we all be blessed with the courage of Mary during times of discernment, uncertainty and when facing the unknown.

Perhaps, an “annunciation” in your life is feeling called to consider being a Sister.  Call us, our Vocation Ministers would be happy to speak with you.


Pat Dual, OP

Posted in God Calling?, News

Aetna Benefits Concerning COVID-19

With all that’s going on with COVID19, here is a brief summary of all of the Aetna benefit specific updates. Please see below and attached:

  • Testing: COVID19 testing will be covered by the plan 100%. CVS is working to offer COVID19 testing. Click here for the latest press release.
  • Treatment: Current plan benefits cover treatment of COVID19 the same as any other condition based upon medical necessity. We’re waiting to hear more on whether this will change to cover treatment at 100% but for now the typical plan benefit rules apply (copay/deductible/coinsurance).

    o No cost Teladoc visits: For 90 days Teladoc visits are covered at no cost (through June 4th). This includes ALL Teladoc visits including behavioral health visits.

    o Healing Better Kit available to members diagnosed with COVID19. This is at no cost to members. The kit arrives within 1-3 days of Aetna receiving notification of diagnosis. Click here for more information on the kit.

  • Prescription Coverage: Early refills available for maintenance medications. Additionally, CVS is waiving delivery charges for members that request to have their medications mailed to their home address from their local CVS store.
  • Other Resources:

    o Aetna Resources For Living (RFL) is offering support to individuals who have been impacted by Coronavirus. This is at no cost to plan sponsors or their members. Those in need of support can access EAP services whether or not they have EAP as part of their benefits. Individuals can contact us at 1-833-327-AETNA (1-833-327-2386).

    o 24/7 access to Aetna’s registered nurses through the Informed Healthline. This program is currently included with Aetna plans but adds a valuable resource to members with health related questions and concerns.

    o Members can also access Aetna’s website for details and FAQ’s about COVID19.

Posted in News

Be a Good Neighbor

Sr. Pat Thomas, OP
Blog by Sr. Pat Thomas, OP

COVID19 came to the Peace Center this week; not because of sickness or death, but because we had to close. Last week we kept the center open especially for our after school kids who now had tons of work to do and often needed our computers to do it, but also for the new folks who stopped in because they had just been laid off and now had to fill out applications for SNAP. Completing SNAP applications is no easy task and online is really tough. The work was done and the applications filled out but now we “shelter in place” and pray for all of this to end. Contingency plans now include setting up a schedule for phone calls to our senior adults, some walks around the neighborhood on weekdays when we usually were not able to do so, setting up a neighborhood ambassador who could tell us if someone was in need that we might not know about and could help. Many folks do not have cars so we can offer to go to the store for them.

There are lots of people offering advice and suggestions for how to stay sane during these days, but it is the human presence that suddenly seems so vital. As we walk through the neighborhood, we will stop and say a prayer or greet those sitting on their porches and just let them know we are here and will do what we can and are allowed to do for them.

Let us pray for each other and look for new ways to stay connected that somehow won’t stop just because life might return to normal. Nothing is going to be normal again for a long time so what can we do to bring peace and hope to someone who is anxious and feeling downcast, and how do we prevent ourselves from having those same feelings? So, let’s take a breath, pray a lot and connect with each other as best we can.

Posted in News, Weekly Word

Justice Updates – 3/25/20

  • Abolishing Colorado’s Death Penalty

    We could all use a bit of good news, and we are happy to share this with you. On Monday, Colorado Jared Polis signed into law a bill abolishing Colorado’s death penalty, and also commuted the sentences of the three men currently on the state’s death row.  This is in line with Catholic teaching and with our own corporate stance asking for a repeal of the death penalty.

  • Fracking Companies Bailout

    It’s time to take a stand against the Trump administration’s latest move to prop up polluters. Citing economic instability amid the coronavirus outbreak, the administration is considering a plan to give fracking companies a massive bailout.

    Fracking is damaging to the environment, releasing harmful greenhouse gases, spilling toxic chemicals, and disturbing wildlife with heavy equipment. If the Trump administration succeeds in bailing out these fracking companies, the environment we love and the climate we share will be at even more risk from this harmful form of fossil fuel extraction.

    Click here make your voice heard!

  • The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival

    All in-person “We Must Do MORE Tours” have been canceled.Three digital mass meetings will be held, one each month in March, April and May.

    The first of these digital mass meetings will be this Thursday, March 26, at 8.30pm ET/ 5:30 pm PT. Please join us for the Poverty Amidst Pandemic: Everybody’s Got A Right to Live Digital Mass Meeting, featuring testifiers from Arkansas, Washington, Kansas and Missouri.

    During the mass meeting, we ask all attendees to commit to shine a light on poverty by lighting a candle in remembrance of those who have died from COVID-19 and poverty. Tune in at

  • 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge

    Food Solutions New England network will launch a 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge on March 30.

    The Challenge is open to anyone who wants to learn more about the history of race and racism in our food system and about inspiring ways to dismantle racism and build an equitable food future that works for everyone.

    Those who sign up for the Challenge will receive an email prompt each morning with a short reading, video or podcast.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Bring Back the Common Good

Blog by Sister Judy Morris, OP

“Every Storm Runs Out of Rain.”
Maya Angelou


Our nation – and indeed, the world, has been set on its heels by the COVID-9 corona virus. But throughout this dark storm, we are blessed with the occasional glimpse of light and hope.

A television story features six-year-olds writing thank you notes to health care workers.  School bus drivers deliver lunches to children at home because schools have been closed… and for some children, this may be the only meal they eat all day.  Donations are pouring into food banks and to workers who have lost their jobs. People are tipping generously as they go through a drive-through for meals. For all of the negatives we are facing, we are being reacquainted with the concept of “common good.”

We are in a time of deep reflection. Who are we as a country? Deep political divisions are obvious. Racism is ever-present. We face an ever-expanding economic divide. We now share vulnerability. I believe we will soon come to the realization that we, too, are Milan, South Korea, China, and New York. Even though we must now stand six feet apart, we must come together with a desire to help each other, putting aside political differences.

We have become a country of tribes:  red vs. blue, liberal vs. conservative, urban vs. rural.  We are the western version of the Sunnis vs. the Shiites.

The center of Catholic social teaching and indeed, of every faith tradition, is the common good.  We find wisdom in these words from Vatican II’s Gaudim et Spes, “The Church in the Modern World.”

“It is imperative that no one indulge in a merely individualistic morality.  The best way to fulfill one’s obligation of justice and love is to contribute to the common good according to one’s means and the needs of others, and also to promote and help public and private organization devoted to bettering the condition of life.”

Whenever Congress is deliberating bills, and state houses are deliberating bills, I ask myself, “How does this affect the common good?”

We are witnessing a sociodrama of a tug of war in congress.  As government bodies seek to divide a large piece of our economic pie, they struggle with who will get the largest pieces.  I believe the greatest concern needs to be about “the least of these…” the working poor, restaurant workers, factory workers… not major bailouts of large corporations.

Many of us remember the banks in 2008, when it seemed to many that banks seemed to benefit over the good of individuals. We have a chance now to do better.

That is a summary of the dispute.  Those who roll up their sleeves and go to work every day cannot make it on a $600 bailout.  Everybody wins when the poor and middle-class win.

As we have done with 9/11, we can and will get through this together.


Posted in Peace & Justice Blog