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.


Speak out Against “Un-Christian” Immigration Policies

It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help… If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite.

Pope Francis


Learn About S.1473

Last week we asked Sisters and Associates to reach out to their representatives to protest the Secure the Border Act of 2023 (H.R. 2). Sadly, this bill has passed the House and is moving on to the next steps of the legislative process. Even more sad, a worse bill has been introduced in the Senate.

S.1473, is an enforcement-only bill that does not include the Dream Act or any protections for immigrants and instead eviscerates the asylum system.

Here’s a bit of what the bill contains:

  • DHS must detain and expel families and unaccompanied children: The bill requires DHS to detain and expel all migrants crossing the border between ports, or arriving to present themselves at ports without prior status or approval, including families and unaccompanied children (UCs). In 2000, Congress rightly decided to move UCs under 18 out of DHS’s enforcement and detention, substituting HHS’s care (by the Office of Refugee Resettlement). DHS is not equipped, or appropriate, for custody of these extremely vulnerable children arriving alone. Family detention is also proven to injure children; the bill would almost certainly lead to separations of children from their parents in the massive detention complexes that would need to be built at the border.
  • Eviscerates the asylum system: The bill creates a new detention and expulsion system to replace asylum. There are only two escape hatches to avoid expulsion: (i) a discretionary CBP exemption, described in the announcement as applying to “acute medical needs”; and (ii) a protection-screening process where the migrant must first express fear to CBP and then prove (without any access to assistance) that their life and freedom “would be threatened” or they “would be tortured.” These are much higher legal standards than required in credible fear interviews or asylum hearings. Migrants under this bill would never get legal advice or a day in court, as DHS officials’ rushed determinations would be final “without further hearing or review.”
  • Mass expulsions to Mexico worsen border management on both sides: The bill envisions expulsions primarily to Mexico, without any indication that Mexico is on board. Title 42 and Remain in Mexico show this approach to be disastrous. Northern Mexico is dangerous and externalizing migration challenges does nothing to solve them. The bill encourages mass crossings of desperate migrants.

Action Steps

  1. You can view a letter that NETWORK signed about the bill here:
  2. Beginning Thursday, May 18, the Congregation will publish a series of posts to educate people about S.1473 on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds. If you use these social media platforms, please share these posts with your friends and family. To see what the posts look like, click here.
  3. If you’re on Twitter, you can re-tweet:
  4. If you’re on Facebook, share the Organizational Sign-On Letter on Sinema-Tillis Bill to your feed by clicking here.
  5. Click here to sign a petition from the Sisters of Mercy.
  6. Click here for a list of the bill’s sponsors and co-sponsors. Please ask them to say “No” to S.1473.




Posted in News

The Children of God

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

We are all God’s children, and that is one of the most important names we could ever have.

What’s in a name? “Call me Ishmael.” “They call me Mr. Tibbs.” “What’s your name, is it Mary or Sue?” “A rose by any other name…” “His name will be John.” “My name is not easy.” Getting someone’s name right matters a great deal.

You can probably remember other quotes where a person’s name becomes their identity, who they are, why they behave the way they do, or how they can be known by someone else. The word name is a noun. A pronoun can take the place of a noun and, these days, pronouns are hotly contested items.

Someone’s face will appear on a Facebook profile, or on a ZOOM screen, or at the end of an article, and the name might be followed by pronouns like she/her, they/them. What? Are they confused? Is there something wrong with their name? Why the extra modifiers?

Every unborn child is a child of God, and when the baby leaves the womb, we all know we now have a girl or a boy. That is how God made us, male and female. It’s in the Bible! End of discussion!

But after some time, it is discovered that the boy likes other boys better than girls, and the girl likes other girls better than boys. The debate over whether it is a choice or just an acceptance of who she or he is continues but is quieter, and science and psychology have shed light on the topic. So we still have to talk about it and affirm we are all children of God. That’s just the way it is.

Until it isn’t! The girl now has a different perception of herself. The boy feels less like himself. There is a nagging, uncomfortable disturbance within and no one knows what to do about it, least of all the boy or girl. It’s not that he wants to be a girl; in his mind and heart, he is a girl. It’s not that she wants to be a boy; in her mind and heart, she is a boy. The human person is more complex than we can ever imagine or understand. That is why we feel free to ask, how can this be, it’s just not right. And we just don’t get it.

Has anything really changed? Are they no longer children of God? When did they become demons or the spawn of the devil or possessed by evil? Those are the descriptive words a lot of people use when talking about people now referred to as members of the Transgender community.  They are children of God but, admit it, those people make us uncomfortable so calling them names is perfectly understandable. Right? We can’t define them; they don’t fit, so we make up our own names for them. Yet they are all God’s children.

I am cisgender, and it is who I am and how I behave; but what if I were transgender? Supposedly, I am normal, but as a transgender person, I would not be. How can that be? It can be because the “normal” folks say so.

I look to my Church—–sorry that door is locked; where is the key?

I look to my politicians—sorry that door is stuck somewhere in between.

I look to my schools—–sorry that door is blocked by the parents of the “normal” kids.

I can only look to the Risen Christ who declares us all Brothers and Sisters, those whom God loves and lavishes with mercy and compassion, not pity.

The blood of Christ sets us ALL free to be people of God. Why do some of us get to decide who “deserves” that name?


Posted in News, Weekly Word

Dominican Senior ’Angelle Nash Receives $1.1 Million in Scholarships

St. Mary’s Dominican High School senior ’Angelle Nash

St. Mary’s Dominican High School senior ’Angelle Nash has been offered $1.1 million in scholarships from 12 universities: Boston University, Catholic University of America, University of Alabama, Seton Hall University, Brandeis University, St. John’s University, University of Connecticut, Louisiana State University, Loyola University Chicago, Howard University, Fordham University, and University of Southern California. Nash is the daughter of Ms. Angie Nash of New Orleans.

The Honor Roll student is a member of the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, French Club/Société Honoraire de Français, and Biotechnology Club. She is founder of the school’s Science National Honor Society, serving as Junior President since 2021. She earned the National African American Recognition Award from the College Board.

Member of Students for Human Dignity and Diversity in Action since 2018, she has held officer positions, including Ninth Grade Representative, Secretary, Vice President, and is currently President. As  a Student Diversity Trainer, she completed over 100 hours of service, led diversity seminars, and conducted educational activities. During a 2022 Research Internship with the University of Holy Cross Food Science Summer Program, she compiled data as a Food Chemistry team member and contributed to a published research paper. Since 2021, she has completed over 100 hours of service volunteering with patients and hospital staff as a Teen Ambassador Volunteer at Children’s Hospital. She also is a volunteer with the Peace Center Youth Mentoring Program and is Dominican’s basketball team manager.

Posted in News

If you see something, say something. 

Reflection by Anita Davidson, OPA

I often meet my friend Molly for a shared walk with our dogs.  Molly is an avid and gifted naturalist.  There isn’t a plant species that she can’t identify nor a bird she can’t name.  I only know a very few birds – the obvious ones – bluejay, cardinal, Canada goose, robin; and even fewer plants.  Walking with Molly in a metro park or even in my own neighborhood is always a lesson in horticulture.  We’ll be moving along at a good clip trying to get our heart rates up and suddenly she’ll stop dead and, with a delighted “OH LOOK!”, rush to what appears to me to be general undergrowth along the path and point out a tiny little spring beauty nearly hidden in the grass.  She pulls out her phone and takes a close-up photo, and then sees some other delightful little new growth springing up that she’ll point out to me.  In the fall we’ll come upon an open field and she’ll stop in total awe with a quiet “Ohhhhh…I just love how the purple ironweed and bright yellow goldenrod bloom around the same time and create this colorful meadow after everything else has gone to seed. Together they make the most beautiful bouquets!” Walking with Molly has opened my eyes in new ways to the wonders of the natural world and now I can’t NOT see them!

“…the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing… There was great joy in that city. (Acts)

“Come and see the works of God, [God’s] tremendous deeds…” (Psalm 66)

“everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life…” (John)

How often we look but don’t really see what’s right before us – literally and figuratively!  In the reading from Acts today, the people of Jerusalem, and Saul, had Jesus and then his disciples right in front of them doing and saying the same things they’d do later in Samaria but the people of Jerusalem couldn’t truly see them because their own fear of something new and unexpected blinded them to the deeper reality.  Those same disciples had spent years with Jesus – in his physical presence – and still they didn’t really understand, couldn’t really see the deeper meaning of his mission, or theirs.

What tremendous works of God are we missing in our own lives?  What are we not paying attention to? What is preventing us from seeing and believing and rejoicing in it all?

It seems to me that all of us need a “Molly” in our lives: someone whose senses have been sharpened to see the little spring beauties of life hidden by the more mundane stuff; someone who knows about and so notices how life’s goldenrod and asters bloom together and create one last colorful and vibrant tableau before the cold weather sends everything into drab dormancy. We need a “Molly” to stop us dead and share their delight, wonder and awe so that maybe we can see and feel it too! It’s the gift of community that raises our consciousness, each person pointing out to the other something that might have been overlooked, gone unnoticed that has the potential to reveal the glory of God in our midst. Our individual uniqueness, the particular ways that each of us sees the world, our own special expertise are the gifts we provide for the community, and we have the responsibility, the duty and the privilege of sharing it with others.  It may be exactly what the rest of us needs to notice. If you see something, say something.  We can’t afford to assume that everyone sees what we see or notices the same things that we do.  We need each other’s vision and voice and passion to enable all of us to fully join the rest of creation: Let all the earth cry out to God with joy!

Posted in Associate Blog, News

Dominicans Survive and Minister During Hurricanes on the Island of Puerto Rico

Blog by Sr. Narcisa Barreto, OP

Puerto Rico’s streets are lined with hurricane evacuation signs – the sign of a people on watch for danger. But the hurricanes have made us more dependent on God’s merciful love, knowing that God will keep us safe whatever life brings. Hopeful are we who live in the land of Puerto Rico, we who love land, nature, and people at every stage of life!

As a native Puerto Rican, I have lived through so many hurricanes and so many crisis moments of chaos and destruction. Sadly, I have seen that the poor always seem to pay a higher price in these tragedies. in 1 Johm, 3:17, 1 John 3:17, the apostle tells us, “Whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?” As followers of Christ, we are called to share our abundance and to offer God’s charity.

As a native Puerto Rican, I have also been blessed to also see the recuperation from many hurricanes and natural disasters – the reconstruction of homes and the reclamation of land. I have been witness to a marathon of love – men and women cooking for their neighbors, distributing food and clothing, and offering financial assistance.

We Puerto Ricans know how to respond to a hurricane. We board up the places of refuge, like homeless shelters nursing homes, and schools. In response to the loss of shelter, schools serve as a sanctuary for children, and universities open their doors to house the needy and those made homeless by the storm.

We are grateful to FEMA, who has helped us recover so many times. We are also grateful to the Dominican Sisters, who have always contributed time, treasure, and prayer.

Prosper the work of our hands, O Lord.  Prosper the work of our hands.
Psalm 90:17.


Posted in News, Weekly Word