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.


 

Lessons from 600+ Years of Service

“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?” Job 12:12

The Dominican Sisters of Peace can answer these questions from Job with a resounding “Yes.” Four of our Sisters reached the grand age of 100 this year, while two others celebrated 104 and 107 years. Each of these women of God has a special piece of wisdom that we can use in our own lives.

Left: Sr. Vincent de Paul Hutton, 107, Sr. Columba Casey, 100, and Sr. Paschala Noonan, 100.

“Honor God with all of your heart and all of your strength.”
Sister Vincent de Paul Hutton served as an educator and administrator for more than 50 years, shaping young hearts and minds in Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, and West Virginia. Today, at 107 years old, she serves in a ministry of prayer and presence at the Sansbury Care Center in St. Catharine, KY. While her hearing and eyesight may have waned, St. Vincent is still able to genuflect as she comes to the Chapel for Mass, honoring the God that she has served for more than 65 years

“Remember the past, but plan for the future.”
If you have a question about the Dominican Sisters in Kentucky, Sr. Paschala Noonan can probably give you the answer. She served as a teacher, a medical professional, and Director of Catholic Charities in Brooklyn, NY, and is also the author of Signadou, a history of Dominican Sisters in Kentucky, the first congregation of Dominican Sisters in the United States. Sr. Paschala was also instrumental in the planning of Sansbury Care Center, a nursing home for religious and lay persons located adjacent to the St. Catharine Motherhouse.

“Life is about those that we love.”
When Sr. Columba Casey joined the Dominican Sisters of Peace in Kentucky, she was far from her family in Nebraska. She says she used to cry when they came to visit – not because she wanted to leave, but because she wanted them to stay. Sr. Columba served as a teacher and principal in New York, Kentucky, Illinois, and Nebraska before she retired in 1989. After leaving education, she ministered to the sick and to grieving families at the Veteran’s Home and at hospitals and funeral homes in Grand Island, NE. Today she leads a life of prayer and service in St. Catharine, still with her longtime friend, Sister Paschala.

Sr. Edwina Devlin

“I never worry – I just trust in the Lord.”
Sr. Edwina Devlin was cared for by the Sisters of Charity when her mother died at a young age. As a result, Sr. Edwina learned to place her trust in God and in God’s people – and gave her life to them when she entered the Dominican Sisters of Peace in 1932. She served as a teacher in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New York, and as a missionary in Peru. She celebrated her 104th birthday at the Mohun Health Care Center in Columbus, OH.

“No prayer is more powerful than  a mother’s.”
Sr. Alvina Miller’s mother prayed for her soon-to-be-born child to be “someone special.” “I always wanted to be a Sister,” Sister Alvina says. “I attribute my vocation to her prayers.”
Sister Alvina spent many years teaching in Kansas, Colorado, and Oklahoma. She also served as a librarian and as a pastoral minister. Today, at 100 years old, Sr. Alvina lives in the Great Bend Motherhouse, where she serves as the Convent’s librarian.

Sisters Alvina Miller, 100, and Teresita Huse, 100, celebrating their birthdays.

“Life is an adventure!”
Sr. Teresita Huse
joined the Dominican Sisters of Peace when she was just 15, and her life has been one of satisfying work, community and world travel. She ministered as an educator in Kansas and Oklahoma, as a librarian, and in parish ministry. She caught the travel bug in 1969 when she visited New Zealand, Australia and Alaska. She has also visited the Holy Land, taught English in Japan, and traveled to Korea and India. Travel is more difficult at 100 years old, so Sr. Teresita stays busy working to raise support for the Sisters’ missions in Nigeria.

We are all blessed by the wisdom and love of these Sisters, and by your donation to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, which helps provide for The care of our retired Sisters across the country.

Posted in News

Let brotherly/sisterly love continue.

Let brotherly/sisterly love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.
Heb.  13: 1-8
Sr. Joye Gros, OP is currently on a 2-week mission serving refugees in El Paso, TX.

Today’s reading from Hebrews struck a chord.  It went straight to my heart.  I have certainly “entertained” (and been “entertained” by) angels.

At El Convento sisters and associates from multiple congregations and all across the country come to stay while ministering at the various sites receiving migrants. The Sisters of Loretto, who offer this convent as one of their ministries, certainly provide hospitality for volunteers.

The site coordinators and other volunteers are inspirations in their tireless generosity, compassion, and flexibility.

Each morning the site coordinator receives a text with the number of refugees who will be released that day and the number each site will receive. Yesterday 400 were released and our site welcomed 80.

The first task is to feed, welcome and orient them.  A warm bowl of soothing soup is given as they arrive hungry. The detention centers often offer them only a frozen burrito.

The bilingual intake workers take their information and contact their sponsoring family/friends to coordinate transportation to their destination.  Then each family member receives fresh clothes.  Most popular are new underwear, socks, and warm coats.  From there they receive a new toothbrush and clean towel for the long-awaited warm shower.

After a more substantial meal, all pitch in to do dishes, wipe tables and wash floors.  Their gratitude is palatable.  The mutuality of generosity and compassion is obvious.

Yes, I have “entertained” and been “entertained by” angels.

Gracias a Dios.

Joye Gros, OP

Posted in News

Northeast Ohio Racial Justice Committee Builds Bridges Between Races and Faiths

Dominican Sisters of Peace Racial Justice Committee Members attend the 39th Annual Bishop Cosgrove Justice Dinner and Silent Auction. Left to right: Sr. Barbara Catalano, OP; Pat Schnee, OPA; Sr. Valerie Shaul, OP; Celeste Williams, Sr. Cathy Arnold, OP, and Director of Associates Colette Parker, OPA.

Nearly three years ago, a group of Sisters, Associates and Akron Motherhouse staff joined to help the local community learn to recognize, acknowledge and appreciate God’s beauty in those around them.

Today, the Northeast Ohio Racial Justice Committee of the Dominican Sisters of Peace and Associates has been recognized as a leader in the fight against racism in their community.

In 2016, the team launched a series called “Building Racial Harmony” to combat racism – the current common study of the Dominican Sisters of Peace community. The series aims to change cultural attitudes by educating people about the issue of racism, including its systemic nature; how it is perpetuated via micro-aggressions, implicit bias, and white privilege; and how it impacts the everyday lives of people of color.

The committee has established the Akron Motherhouse as a safe place to dialogue about the sensitive issue of racism and as a center of prayer for the elimination of racism. Some of the series’ participants have said that the prayer services and conversations have been effective in enabling them to see the reality of racism and challenging them to uproot it from their lives and society.

“I have gained a greater level of understanding of people who were not in my circle for many years of my life. I now know about the trauma that is part of just being black in America. The storytelling has been so powerful,” said Sr. Cathy Arnold, OP.  “The series has encouraged me to continue gathering more information that will help me see ways to help dismantle systemic racism and to keep building relationships with people who weren’t in my circle before.”

Much like Sr. Cathy, Associate Pat Schnee grew up in an environment where the people in her circle looked like her. Although she was brought up to believe that racism is wrong and that everyone is beautifully and perfectly made by God, Pat said the “Building Racial Harmony” series has broadened her horizons.
“I realize that I have experienced a very small slice of life. The series has affected my brain by giving me data, information, and statistics. I might never have learned about things like white privilege or that racism could be internalized,” said Pat.

Clergy and worshippers take part in an ecumenical prayer service at the Akron Motherhouse.

“It never occurred to me that a (black) mother in a constant state of stress, precipitated by systematic racism, is a reality that impacts infant mortality,” Pat continued. “What has affected me in my gut is hearing from individuals whose lives have been different than mine.”

Pat, Sr. Cathy, and other members of the committee hope that the “Building Racial Harmony” series will equip participants to help inspire and build a community, a nation, and a world where all people are equally valued and appreciated.

Last year, the Catholic Commission of Summit County honored the committee for its work to combat racism with the Bishop Anthony M. Pilla Leadership Award. The award, named for the bishop emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, is given to individuals or groups working to promote social justice, peace, and human dignity. The Catholic Commission is a social action arm of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Cleveland.

The Dominican Sisters of Peace work across the country and around the world to build peace. Your prayers and your support make that work possible, and we thank God for your friendship every day. Click here to support our ministries around the world.

Posted in News

What Does Community Living Give You?

Blog by Sr. Mai Dung Nguyen

How do you find life-giving opportunities when living in a faith community of women? What picture do you have in your mind of a faith community of women? What are the pros and cons of community living?  For me, what I have experienced during my years of living with a community of faith has many more positives than negatives. Let me share with you three positives elements that I have experienced in community living.

The first element of community living is faith sharing, which I have greatly appreciated. As Dominicans, we enjoy formal and informal sharing, especially during prayer times. Faith sharing not only deepens my call and widens my vision but also helps me to understand my sisters and takes me outside the box to be in solidarity with others in need.

The second element of community living is a joyful spirit. We often come with a joyful spirit and smiles appear on our faces most of the times. Indeed, we have many spontaneous laughs and jokes, especially at the dinner table, and this joyful spirit is contagious. It breaks down all the tiredness of the day and refreshes our souls, minds, and bodies. What makes us special as Dominican Sisters of Peace is this joyful spirit, which you may not find in other places.

The third element of community living is mutual support. We respect each other and value our wisdom, gifts and talents, dreams, and cultural diversity. I have been encouraged to share my thoughts, ideas, and culture in building a community of mutual respect. When we are happy, we share our happiness together; when a member is struggling, we support that member. When we experience conflict, we sit down to talk, listen and commit to change. We also share our dreams, mission experiences, our ethnic food, and celebrate special cultural occasions. Living in an inter-generational and intercultural community is a mutual blessing and treasure. I always thank God for what I experience from community living, making my daily life more fulfilling.

A spontaneous moment with my new community of Sisters and Associates.
The back row from left: Sr. Lillian Gehlen, Sr. Kathy Goetz, Associate Tricia Wimberg.
The front row from left: Sr. Nancy Jane Kuntz, Associate Rosie Blackburn, Sr. Maidung Nguyen, and Sr. Judy Morris.

Last Saturday, when I moved from Louisville, Kentucky to live with three Sisters in Wichita, Kansas, two associates and a sister traveled with me along with all my personal items. On this journey, I experienced the three elements of community living that I described above, and I felt very much that we were one together. Soon after I arrived in Wichita, I felt at home with my new community because of their great hospitality and joyful spirit.

If you want to explore a community of faith like us, visit us at oppeace.org to learn about who we are and what our mission is about. You can find us also on Facebook and Instagram.  Or, you may want to join us for a “Come and See” retreat weekend in Akron, Ohio from March 15-17, or for a Mission Immersion week in Columbus, Ohio from June 1-5.  We also have a discerning (Emmaus) group on Zoom every second Friday of the month from 7:00 pm- 8:30 pm that we invite you to participate in.  Contact us to learn more about these many opportunities
within our community.

Posted in God Calling??, News

Promote the General Welfare

Blog by Sr. Barbara Kane, OP, Justice Promoter

“We, the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

These words in the preamble of the Constitution of the United States explain what the founding fathers thought the government of the U.S. should be about.  The words Promote the General Welfare stood out to me.  I was recently asked to sign on to a letter prepared by OurChildrensTrust.org asking me to support a law suit filed by several children to stop the damage to our air that would be caused by reducing automotive emissions standards.  Their argument?  That the health and future of these young people would be damaged because the government is not acting in a way to promote the general welfare and that the government is not protecting the resources for present and future generations.

The government, they claim, is responsible for stabilizing the climate for future generations. This idea is called Public Trust Doctrine and it requires government stewardship of the natural resources upon which society (and, by extension, our economy and government) depends for continued existence. (Douglas Quirke. University of Oregon School of Law Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center. February 2016)

There are many natural resources that are part of the public trust including beaches, waterways and harbors, wetlands and wildlife, tributary streams and groundwater, parklands, and atmosphere – air.  Yes, according to the constitution, the government has a responsibility to protect the air that we breathe.

We know that our environment is in crisis and that each of us has a responsibility to do what we can to eliminate and/or reduce our destructive impact on it. But the government also has a responsibility to help us and corporate America take actions to lessen or slow the damage such as reducing the amount of damaging chemicals released into the air from cars and trucks.  Our founding fathers were right in insisting that government promote the general welfare, we should do the same.

If you want to learn more about Our Children’s Trust, watch this video. Click this address and then select the video, A Climate of Trust.  It’s 15 minutes long.    https://www.ourchildrenstrust.org/short-films/

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog