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.


 

Be a Hummingbird!

Listen to or watch the news, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the damage being done to our planet. How can any one of us do what needs to be done to help reach the goals of Laudato Si’?

Consider the humble hummingbird, if you will. This 90-second video may help give you an answer.

The Story of the Hummingbird, told by Wangari Maathai

Posted in News

Celebrate the Season of Creation: A Prayer Service for September 18

In his message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation 2022, Pope Francis said that the sweet song of creation is today “accompanied by a cry of anguish…” and it is “our sister, mother earth, who cries out.”

For Sunday, September 18, Associate Judy Hardy of the Eco-Justice Committee looks at the sorrow of Earth and how each of us may lead a life peaceful to those around us and to Earth.

Please click here to download the WORD version or click here to view and download the PDF version of a special service that you can use in your own parish or private worship. 

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Introductory Comments – The Season of Creation is the annual Christian celebration to listen and respond together to the cry of Creation: the ecumenical family around the world unites to pray and protect our common home

1st reading – Jeremiah 8: 18-9:1
Reflection – Where can I find a wayfarers shelter?

Responsorial Psalm – 79:1-9
Response – Help us God, our Savior
Reflection – How can we avoid the guilt of former generations

2nd reading – 1 Timothy 2:1-7
Reflection – How may we lead peaceful and quiet lives with devotion and propriety?

Gospel – Luke 16: 1-13
Reflection – What in my life am I a slave to?

Music suggestions – optional

E – entrance | O – Offertory | C – Communion | D – Dismissal

E – We Gather Together To Ask The Lord’s Blessing:
O – Here I am Lord
C – I am the Bread of Life
D – How Great Thou Art

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

“With God, All Things are Possible”

Blog by Sr. Connie Schoen

A little more than 5 years ago I moved from Louisville, KY, to the Chicago-area to assume a new ministry.  I lived in Chicago for almost 10 years before going to Louisville and I was excited about engaging the life of the city once again.  Shortly after my return, I came face to face with the reality that everyone experiences in due time – nothing stays the same; change is constant. Memories from the past encouraged me to receive, accept and welcome this new opportunity to see with new eyes and awaken to a deeper understanding of life patiently waiting to unfold before me.

We all know that the gift of transformation most often comes when we least expect it.  Most often we do not know the what, when or where. It comes in a Spirit driven moment when we simply show up willing to receive.

I had the blessed fortune to be introduced to a group of women religious (coming from diverse and assorted congregations) that committed themselves to gather on the last Saturday of each month to remember and pray for persons who died from gun violence that month.  The monthly Chicago Homicide Vigil takes place at the location of one of the shootings. Family and neighbors are invited to be present.

I was not prepared for what I received from being present at my first vigil and the many following:  to look into the eyes of the mother of her young son who was killed; to silently stand in the presence of the heartbroken grandmother who grieves the violent death of a third grandchild; to cry with the young man saying goodbye to his brother.  In the midst of deep tragedy and suffering, I found and experienced a depth of compassion, mercy, respect, love, honor, kindness, goodness, communion, and community I had never touched before. The Kingdom of God is made manifest in the love that flows abundantly in troubled times.

I leave each vigil overwhelmed with gratitude and hope that one day the news reports will boldly speak and name the acts of goodness that permeate the fabric of our lives bringing healing and hope. May we never forget, “with God, all things are possible.”

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As Dominican Sisters of Peace: Sisters and Associates, we reflect upon and adopt “Direction Statements” that guide us as we live into right relationship with others, and all of creation.  One of our statements reads, “Love impels us to Prophetic Preaching of the Gospel message by: Partnering with others to confront injustice wherever it exists.”  Sr. Connie embraces this direction statement as she joins with others to pray in vigil for those who died from gun violence.  She and others confront injustice and stand in solidarity with those affected by the epidemic of gun violence.

If you’ve ever felt a call to make a difference in the world by standing with other like-minded women in striving for justice, we encourage you to explore religious life as a Dominican Sister of Peace.  You can contact one of our vocation ministers for a conversation, or attend our next Come and See Discernment Retreat, September 23 – 25, 2022 in Akron, Ohio or via Zoom.

Posted in God Calling?, News, Vocations Blog

ORDINARY TIME 23 | SEPTEMBER 4, 2022 | PHILEMON 9-10, 12-17 | LUKE 14:25-33

Reflection by Sr. Theresa Fox, OP

Behind today’s second reading are three people who were confronted with a difficult decision.  Because they had decided to become a follower of Jesus they had to face the reality of what his words really meant in their lives.  Jesus’ teachings forced them to face issues that they probably would not have chosen.

Paul wrote the letter to Philemon when he was in prison.  It is about a runaway slave Paul met and converted.  Onesimus wasn’t just any slave.  He was a slave to Philemon; Philemon was a friend of Paul’s and a Christian.  Paul is sending Onesimus back to his owner.  Paul must have thought and prayed long and hard before making that decision.  Read the Letter to Philemon and you can see the love Paul has for Onesimus.  Why would he have him go back to his slave owner?

Then there is Onesimus.  He had escaped from a life of slavery.  He was free from physical bondage.  Now Paul is challenging him.  Don’t be on the run.  You will always be looking over your shoulder.  To be true to Christ means you have to be true to yourself.  Did being a Christian mean that he had to give up his freedom and own up to his past?  He had no idea what he would encounter when he returned to his master.  By law Philemon could do whatever he wished with a runaway slave – even have him executed.

Then there is the struggle Philemon had.  Slavery was acceptable in his world.  It wasn’t until 1800 years later that Christians and society really began to see slavery as evil.  Paul encouraged Philemon to accept Onesimus not as a slave but as a brother.  According to the social order Philemon had lost a valuable possession and could use it any way he wished when it was returned.  Now Paul wants him to treat Onesimus not as a possession but as a brother.  It was unheard of.  Then what if his other slaves wanted to be baptized?  Shouldn’t they be freed too?  What does it mean to follow Jesus?

Each of us is called to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to help others to do the same.  That and only that is our purpose as Christians.  Yes, we have chosen to do that in this community, within the context of the Catholic Church, but it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that must be central to everything we do and say.

What about you?  How is Jesus calling you to live the Gospel?  What is the hardest thing to accept about the teachings of Jesus – not the hardest thing to accept in the church – but the most difficult Gospel teaching.  What is getting in the way of accepting that teaching?

Today’s Gospel tells us to sit down and consider the cost of being a follower of Jesus. A couple of examples of people calculating the cost of a venture are used.  Only after the cost is calculated should the project begin.  Even then there will be unforeseen problems.  Each time we encounter a new issue or a nagging problem we know we have to recommit ourselves to the project.  We have already committed ourselves to living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Where are we in this project?  Are there some issues that we ignore hoping they might go away?  Or we’ll deal with them next year?

Living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not for the faint hearted or the weak.  It is only for those who will face life head on and grapple with the Gospel.  And that’s not easy.  But that is what we have been called to do by our baptism.  That is what being a Christian really means.

Posted in News, Weekly Word

Celebrate the Season of Creation: A Prayer Service for September 11

September 1 begins the annual celebration of the Season of Creation, a time to renew our relationship with our Creator and all creation through celebration, conversion, and commitment together. During the Season of Creation, we join our sisters and brothers in the ecumenical family in prayer and action for our common home. As part of our observance of the Season of Creation, the Eco-Justice Committee is providing special services that you can use in your own parish or private worship. We are grateful to Sister Barbara Kane, OP, for writing this week’s service.

Season of Creation
Second Sunday – September 11, 2022

Introductory Comments
The scriptures of the second Sunday challenge the idolatry of wealth and consumption in today’s world while assuring us of God’s forgiveness and readiness to welcome our return, what Pope Francis has called our “Integral ecological conversion.” And they point us toward the mission that God is offering us despite our past destructive lifestyles.

A reading from Exodus (32:7-11, 13-14)

  • The golden calf is an apt symbol for the destructive sinfulness of these times that threatens the planet and all who call it home. What is it that we ‘worship’ that might disregard and sacrifice poor and marginalized peoples, nature, and the web of life?

Responsorial Psalm 51:3-4,12-13,17,19

R I will rise and go to my Father.

  • Can we trust that God will accept our broken and contrite hearts?

A reading from St. Paul’s first letter to Timothy (1:2-17)

  • Paul acknowledges his destructive actions before his conversions but thanks God for God’s mercy and that God chose him for mission to show how great God’s patience and mercy are for us. Can we acknowledge what we have done to hurt creation? What mission might God be calling us to?


A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (15:1-32)
 

  • The Pharisees criticize Jesus because he “welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Jesus does that because his mission is to embody God’s love and forgiveness. How do we embody God’s love and forgiveness for creation and all marginalized people?

 

Music Selections – optional

E – Entrance | O – Offertory | C – Communion | D – Dismissal

E – Sing to the Mountains (OCP)
O – For the Beauty of the Earth (Folliet S. Pierpoint)
C – Shepherd Me, O God (GIA)
D – Canticle of the Sun (GIA)

Click to download and print a PDF of this service.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog