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.


 

Peace and Justice Updates: 9.16.2020

Water With Blessings 

Please join Sister Judy Morris and Water With Blessings for Give For Good Louisville on Thursday, September 17.

Water With Blessings provides safe and easy to use water filters to mothers around the world, with just one condition – that they share clean water with three other families. Water With Blessings has helped to provide water to more than 400,000 households, including in Haiti, Honduras, and the Navaho Nation.

You can donate on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 by clicking here.

World Cleanup Day

EARTHDAY.ORG is teaming up with Let’s Do It World and Keep America Beautiful to support World and National Cleanup Day this Saturday, September 19th.

COVID-19 has postponed most large-scale volunteer events, but trash in our environment continues to pile up. You can help us act on trash pollution and do it safely. Either by yourself or with a small group of family, friends or coworkers, you can make a difference by cleaning up litter by your favorite park or trail. Visit our registration portal to show that you’ve participated in World Cleanup Day. We have all the information you could need to do a cleanup safely — download our safety checklist!

Check out our Earth Challenge 2020 app to record the composition and amount of trash that you collected. Every data submission, including yours, will help researchers track global litter trends as part of the biggest citizen science project in the world.

Stand Up to Stop Executions

The Catholic Mobilizing Network has re-launched a petition urging Attorney General William Barr to reverse course on federal executions — a practice which he played a lead role in restarting this summer after a 17-year hiatus. Since the resumption, the federal government has carried out more executions than at any other comparable time in the past 70 years.

Please sign here to tell Bill Barr to follow true Catholic teachings and stop the executions!

Tell Amazon to Stop Using Dirty Fuel

Amazon Web Services is the largest cloud computing company in the world and consumes an enormous amount of energy from dirty coal, oil, and gas. It’s adopted an unambitious greenwashing “Climate Pledge” to be net carbon zero by 2040, but that means it can buy carbon offsets and continue to burn dirty fossil fuels that pollute our air. In fact, its carbon footprint grew 15% last year! The first step to real change is exposing Amazon’s hypocrisy.

Tell Amazon that you see through its corporate spin. It’s time to end reliance on fossil fuels once and for all, and this is the decade that counts most. Click here to sign the petition.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

What Is at Stake?

Blog by Justice Promoter Sister Judy Morris, OP

As a critical election nears, it is time to focus on being a “common good” voter.  We do not hear the words “common good” often, but those words are imperative in any election.  Too often we are stuck in “tribes:” pro-science or anti-science, liberal or conservative, Trumpster or anyone-but-Trump, masked or unmasked.  But truly, the only words that matter are “common good.”

Over the next weeks, I will be looking at a few of the social justice issues that demand our attention, especially in light of our own congregational commitments.

 

 

Health Care:

  • Congregational Commitment: Promote justice through solidarity with those who are marginalized, especially women and children, and work with others to identify and transform oppressive systems.

With the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), 20 million citizens received health care coverage, including nearly 3 million children. Persons with pre-existing disabilities could receive coverage, and young adults, who often cannot afford health insurance, could remain on their parents’ policies.

A March 2020 Gallup poll shows that more than half of Americans approve of the Affordable Care Act. Support of the ACA has actually increased under the current administration. But the 2020 Federal Budget proposed $844 billion in cuts over a decade, for a budget decrease of 85%.  Outreach and policyholder assistance has been cut by 90%, so many people don’t even know that they are eligible for coverage.

The 2020 budget also includes $130 billion from changes to Medicare prescription-drug pricing, $292 billion from safety-net cuts — such as work requirements for Medicaid and food stamps — and $70 billion from tightening eligibility access to federal disability benefits.

Care for our children, our elderly, the weak and the marginalized are suffering death by a thousand cuts. We must act as the voice for those who will be left without healthcare.

Climate Change

  • Congregational Commitment: Foster God’s web of life personally, communally and ministerially by advocating and supporting just policies and decisions to reduce the impact of global climate change.

During the last three years, the current administration has attempted to roll back 100 environmental rules. These include everything from lowering fuel efficiency standards (both a climate and a pocketbook issue), to allowing coal power plants to emit greenhouse gases, to allowing hunters to kill animals while they are in hibernation, a practice that can be compared to shooting a human while she is asleep in her bed.

Five million acres have burned in the western United States and more than 30 people have died in wildfires that broke last year’s records, which broke the records of the year before. According to Michael Mann, the director of Penn State University’s Earth System Science Center, “It’s clear that ‘dangerous climate change’ has already arrived,” Mann said. “It’s a matter of how bad we’re willing to let it get.”

Meanwhile, hurricanes and other devasting natural disasters are becoming more common and more deadly. Jascha Lehmann, lead author of a study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, says that climate change causes the extremes to become more extreme – the hot and dry areas become even more hot and dry, causing both destruction by fire and death by famine, and wet areas get warmer and hold more moisture, making hurricanes stronger and more dangerous,.

The current administration withdrew the United States from the Paris Accord, a monumental agreement with 196 nations that moved us to address climate change with serious commitment.  As California, Oregon and Washington burn, this serves as a precursor to what will happen to the rest of the United States if we ignore our present dire reality.

We need to become the voice for our world, to save it – and us – from destruction.

As we continue to consider how to be voters for the “common good,” do your own research on the topics that we have raised today and those we will discuss in the coming weeks. How will you speak up to stand for the marginalized, and to honor and value our common home?

Our voices need to be heard.

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

Am I going to practice peace, or am I going to war?

Blog by Sr. Anne Lythgoe, OP

I bet you think you know the answer to that question, right?  Our whole approach to life is the practice of peace: being peace, building peace, preaching peace.

So why am I feeling a little bit like I am at war? At war with the stress of the pandemic, the resulting sense of chaos, or lack of direction, the uncertainty, anxiety, and tension of sheltering in place all the time.  As part of our Assembly Chapter Planning Committee, I’m deeply embedded in the processes we need to create in order to form a spirit-led direction for the next six years and plan an election process that will truly discern who might lead us into the future as Dominican Sisters of Peace. A very demanding task!

NOT ONLY THAT, the eruption of racial violence, Black Lives Matter protests and my own awakening to the long list of ways I enjoy the privilege of being a white person has been heavy on my heart. ON TOP OF THAT, we are getting close to election day and I am quite concerned that we will have to endure another four years of rising division, a President who cannot tell the difference between lies and truth, and who wraps himself in a pseudo “pro-life” posture. In my opinion.

It’s enough to drive you crazy. It feels like everything is falling apart.

Pema Chodron, a Buddhist monk, wrote a beautiful book: “When Things Fall Apart.” I’ve had it quite a while now and just went back to it to seek out her wisdom once again.

She offered me this wonderful, balanced perspective: “Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy… Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all.”

It’s the not knowing part that speaks to me, as a person who likes to know, to understand, to have a plan and a mission. My dad was a great problem-solver. He believed that if you kept working at understanding something that was broken, you could eventually figure out how to fix it. He could fix anything: electrical, plumbing, motors, washing machines, bicycles.  I come by my urge to problem-solve from him.  And he never went to war over a broken pipe or flat tire.

I’m trying to peacefully be comfortable with that not knowing part. It’s a new way of practicing peace for me.

Dear God, I need your help to embrace this peaceful way of not knowing. Yes, in your wisdom, things do fall apart and then they come back together again. Help me to have room in myself to not know when or how we will emerge from chaos, from pandemic, from social conflict and division. Help me to recognize when I am at war with all that is falling apart. Help me to be a person who practices peace in all things.

Amen.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Weekly Word

TRUE FRIENDS GIVE YOU ROOM TO GROW

Blog by Associate Colette Parker

I’m going to sit this right here:

“Sometimes, you have to stay silent, because no words can explain what’s going on in your heart and mind.”

Let that sink in:

“Sometimes, you have to stay silent, because no words can explain what’s going on in your heart and mind.”

Understand one thing — this is not the “silence is complicity” silence. This is the silence that is necessary if you want to keep that card that allows you to walk in both worlds.

Some of you – who are probably not reading this – have no idea what I am talking about. But those of you who do, please stay with me.

During the past several weeks, I have been tested by a number of people who apparently think (operative word) that they know more about what I do than I do. This can be very distressing, especially when I understand that they only see a small glimpse of my world.

Probably what troubles me the most is that I wonder if there is something about me that speaks to this idea that something within me is lacking?

So, today I pay homage to my two strong parents who taught me that the world may not accept me for who I am, but that I am enough!

 

“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.”
― Alice Walker

Posted in Associate Blog, News

Fruits of our Contemplation

Blog by Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP

As Dominicans, one of our mottos is, “Contemplata aliis tradere” – which, means “To contemplate and to share the fruits of our contemplation.”  Most often, these contemplative fruits are shared in the form of preaching or service.  However, sometimes we actually grow the fruit of our contemplation.  Yes, quite literally at times.  You see, our newest Candidate Cathy Buchanan has shared with us the actual fruit grown from her contemplation.  An Asian melon – affectionately named “Hoa” or “Flower” in Vietnamese was harvested in New Jersey and brought to our convent in New Haven, CT.  Cathy shared the fruit of her contemplation with us and it was delicious.

Let me explain –

In June, Cathy participated in our Mission for Peace program.  In the context of the opening prayer service and reflection, we were invited to reflect on the story of the Parable of the Sower.  Sr. Luisa invited us to see ourselves as the sower, the soil and the seed.  What type of soil were we?  Were we ready to receive the Word of God as a seed planted in our hearts?  Were we the sower?  If so, what were we sowing in our lives?  In the prayer service, we were invited to prepare the soil and plant some seeds.  Then, to nurture them and watch them grow.  All the while paying attention to what God was planting in our hearts and nurturing in our lives.

Cathy planted a small seed and nurtured it – just as she had received the call from God in her heart.  A call from God that took many years to grow as she nurtured it with prayer, service and study.  This seed of a vocation flourished and she took the formal step to enter our congregation as a Candidate during Evening Prayer on the Feast of St. Dominic, August 8.

Just as Cathy’s vocation grew, so did the little plant that she planted in the context of the prayer service during our Mission program.  In the course of caring for the plant, Cathy invited her good friend to plant it in her home garden.  At this point, her friend decided to name the plant “Hoa” or “Flower” because of her beautiful yellow flowers.  Over the months, Hoa grew and spread her vine up the trellis.  Yesterday, the melon was harvested and brought to our convent where we enjoyed it for dinner.  As we ate the melon, Cathy shared its story with us and we reflected on what fruit we were cultivating in our lives and spirits these days.

Sometimes our dinner conversation turns into a theological reflection.  During our dinner yesterday, we recognized the importance of being attentive to the still small voice of God – planting the Word, the seed of a call in our hearts.  Once planted, the call must be nurtured through prayer and the accompaniment of wise guides.  One of the ways of doing this is by attending Discernment retreats.  In fact, this weekend, we are having such a retreat.  Fourteen women will be zooming in from around the country to listen to God and to nurture the call planted within their hearts.  May we be faithful sowers and gardeners as we accompany them and help nurture that which God has planted.

If God has planted a call in your heart and you want to begin this amazing journey of discernment, contact us here – we will be happy to walk with you as you listen to God’s call.

Posted in God Calling?, News