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.


 

Dominican Sister of Peace Margaret Marie Hofstetter

Sr. Margaret Marie Hofstetter

Dominican Sister of Peace Margaret Marie (Helen Elizabeth) Hofstetter, 97 died at the Sansbury Care Center on January 27, 2019. She was born in 1921 in Nashville, TN, one of the six children of Margaret Sanders and Oscar Hofstetter. She entered religious life in 1944, and served God and God’s people faithfully for more than 70 years.

Sr Margaret Marie earned a Bachelor of Arts in History, Social Studies and English from Siena College, which she used in her early ministry of teaching and educational administration in Kentucky, Ohio, and Nebraska. She continued her studies at St. Mary College in Notre Dame, IN, where she earned a Master of Arts in Scripture/Theology, and DePaul University in Chicago, where she earned a Master of Arts in History.

Sr. Margaret Marie served her community as President of St. Catharine College in St. Catharine, KY, from 1969 to 1975, after which she studied at the Institute of Spiritual Leadership to earn a certificate in Spirituality.

Sr. Margaret Marie’s studies in religion and spirituality were important to her work as a Pastoral Minister in Tennessee, a participant in the House of Prayer at Bethlehem University in Israel, and as a member of the Governing Board of her founding congregation.

Her experience in Israel moved her to encourage other Sisters to minister outside of the United States, preferably in a developing country.

Sr. Margaret Marie loved to study and wanted to share her love of learning with others even after she retired. She spent nearly nine years working in adult education in the diocese of Jackson, MS, before she returned to the Saint Catharine Motherhouse where she volunteered at the Earth Center, and also assumed the Ministry of Prayer.

For her funeral Mass, Sr. Rose Marie Cummins chose the Gospel reading from Mark about the feeding of the 5,000, saying that Sister Margaret Marie took Christ’s message to feed the people to heart. She recounted how Sr. Margaret’s work with the marginalized, the hungry and thirsty were her way of feeding Christ’s people, and she did it with love.

Sr. Margaret Marie was preceded in death by her parents and three of her 6 siblings. She is survived by one sister, Sr. Adrian Hofstetter, one brother, Rev. Robert Hofstetter and several nieces and nephews.

A Vigil of Remembrance Service was held on January 30, 2019, at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Sansbury Care Center Chapel in St. Catharine, KY. The funeral liturgy was also held at the Sansbury Care Center Chapel on January 31, 2019, followed by burial at the St. Catharine Motherhouse Cemetery.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Margaret Marie Hofstetter’s memory may be submitted securely online or sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr, Columbus, OH 43219.

 

Posted in News, Obituaries

The Face of God

Sr. Joye Gros, OP

Sr. Joye Gros is currently serving the refugees in El Paso through the direction of Annunciation House.

 

It’s not that I didn’t know to look for the face of God.  It’s just that I was overcome by the blessings of so many, the gratitude of those unable to come, the promised prayers of support, and the mandate to notice the many faces of God.

And I saw them.  It wasn’t hard really:  the wide-eyed expectant children, the watchful eyes of attending parents, the bright-eyed pride of naming home country, the gratitude at my feeble attempts at Spanish (who knows what I REALLY said!), the joy and tears of hearing the voice of and talking to the sponsoring family, the delight in a warm shower, fresh towel and toiletries and clean clothes, the relief of hearing we are NOT the government.  We are the Church – the people of God – here to feed you, provide safe shelter and connect you to your family.

Yes, I saw the face of God. Gracias a Dios!

Posted in Just Reflecting, News

Compassionate People Make the World a Better Place

Blog by Associate Colette Parker

Amid last week’s polar vortex that froze most of the country, were heartwarming stories of people helping people.

There were police officers who made wellness checks at the homes of senior citizens and gave rides to people walking on the streets.

There was a pharmacist on a snowmobile who delivered needed prescriptions to snowed-in customers.

There were neighbors who helped neighbors, like the 82-year-old grandmother who not only ran the snow-blower in her driveway but cleared the snow for her neighbors.

There was a woman who paid for hotel rooms for 70 people living in tents in a makeshift camp near an expressway.

There were the people who placed gloves, hats, and warm clothes on a fence for people who needed them.

There were the people who provided meals and hotel accommodations for a family of nine whose apartment had neither heat nor hot water.

And I’m sure the inspirational list goes on and on.

I am a firm believer that we are here on this planet to help one another, so it warms my heart to know that there are compassionate people in the world who understand that life is hard and we need each other to overcome obstacles and meet challenges. I understand compassion to be more than kindness.

Like the Dalai Lama, I view compassion as sensitivity to the suffering of others with a commitment to do something about it. Each of us has the potential to be charitable or to be merciless. Much of what we decide to do is motivated by our own sense of “duty to others.”

As I considered this whole idea of compassion, I was drawn to the address given to a crowd of striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tenn., by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. the night before his assassination in 1968.

During that address (known as the “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech), King recast the well-known parable of the Good Samaritan. In evaluating why the two religious men did not stop to help the seriously injured man on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, but the Good Samaritan did, King proposed:  “… the first question that the priest asked, the first question that the Levite asked was, ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me’? But then the Good Samaritan came by, and he reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him’?”

I’m pretty sure that I know which question those “Good Samaritans” asked themselves, during the polar vortex. Which question do you ask yourself when you see someone in need?

Posted in Associate Blog, News

Valuing Catholic Education

Blog by Sr. Beata Tiboldi

This week is National Catholic Schools Week (CSW), celebrating Catholic education in parishes and communities; celebrating the students, families, faculty, staff, and volunteers, and recognizing the value of Catholic education. There is a daily theme for each. On our Facebook page, each day we shared something about our schools. Check it out here.

During CSW, today, Thursday, the theme is vocations (how fitting that I’m writing this blog today!) Therefore, I decided to dedicate this blog to Catholic education, since it was the experience at a Catholic school where God’s call was reignited in my heart and started to nudge me.”

Let’s travel back in time to summer of 2006. After finishing my Master’s Degree, I was ready to jump into the field of education. I interviewed for two jobs, then I went on for a vacation to San Francisco. One morning, when I woke up, I saw two voicemails—both messages were about offering me a job. One was in my (middle-class) neighborhood, and the other one was 35 miles away, but it was a Catholic school in an impoverished area. I was blaming God: “Really? Now I need to choose.” I chose to teach at the Catholic school.

Little did I know how that choice would change me. It unfolded day-by-day. The school’s theme was about living the beatitudes for all five years while I was teaching there. I challenged myself not only to expect students to live the beatitudes, but also myself. In the evenings, I prayed the examination of conscience with the beatitudes. However, praying with this prayer and living the Beatitudes more intentionally, I started to long for more: for a deeper relationship with God. At the same time, the recession hit our country and it especially hit the area where I was teaching. Many people lost their jobs and several became homeless as well. The combination of my being hungry for a deeper relationship with God and for being involved with social justice concerns reignited God’s call for vowed religious life that had been present for a long while. God ‘kept tapping on the door of my heart’ until one day while listening to a song by ABBA (Take a chance on me), I decided to give religious life a try. Being a Dominican, I learned how to use my voice for the voiceless. I’m proud to say, that using one’s voice is taught and encouraged in our schools.

When parents visit schools and try to narrow down which school to choose, they look at the school’s academic performance, its spiritual life, its mission and how it is lived out, and they look at the school’s sense of community. Sounds like the four pillars of Dominican life (prayer, study, community and ministry.)

Catholic Schools don’t just educate. They educate for life. Students study current events and learn to speak up for a more just world. The school community witnesses what following God and sharing in Jesus’ mission is about. That witness speaks louder than any teaching. It doesn’t just educate the mind but it leaves its mark on the heart. It is then no wonder that it was through Catholic education where God’s call for me was reignited.

If you attended a Catholic school, what are you most grateful for? If you wish you would have attended a Catholic school, what is it that you long for and how can those needs be met?

Whether you attended Catholic school or not, perhaps you are searching for something more in your life and are experiencing a call to vowed religious life.  One way you can check out this call is to participate in our free Come and See retreat that we are hosting at our Akron Motherhouse, March 15-17, 2019.  The retreat is really an excellent way to learn about religious life and to meet our sisters by joining us for prayer, meals and conversation.  For details about this retreat, please contact me at btiboldi@oppeace.org. Or, if you would like to talk with one of our Vocation Ministers to help you discern whether God may be calling you to be a religious sister, please click here for our contact information.

 

Posted in God Calling??, News

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sr. Theresa Fox, OP

In last week’s Gospel Jesus spoke to the people of Nazareth of his mission – “to proclaim liberty to captives…to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” The people of Nazareth were awe struck at what he said. They had known him as he grew up, being a typical boy with all the other children in the village. They were amazed and thought he would do wonderful things in their village. But then when Jesus started talking about people being healed in other places – and not just Jewish people – their story changed. They were outraged. They wanted him to make them and their village great. So in their anger they decided to get rid of him. The last sentence reads; “But Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away.”

This reading makes me think of the way we often are. We knew someone in the past. Maybe we lived with them 20 or 30 years ago. We figured we knew them and what they were capable of doing. Now years later, we meet them or hear of things they are doing today. Sometimes the feelings of the past surface and we become indignant and think that that person doesn’t have the ability to do those things. We say, “Who does she think she is, putting herself out like that?”

Or we become jealous. Why have I been overlooked? Why was she picked when I have some those same skills?

That’s where today’s second reading comes in. Paul tells us to strive for a more excellent way. He says that “love is not jealous, it is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests”.

Can we not rejoice with the accomplishments of others? Jesus was not looking for praise or recognition. He simply wanted God’s Word to be known to all. His mission was to “bring glad tidings to the poor…to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” His word was open to all who wished to follow. He didn’t give special treatment to others just because they knew him. He came to serve and not to be served and taught his followers to do the same.

Jesus didn’t let their anger and their envy get to him. Like Jesus let us pass over the self-centered feelings that arise and rejoice in the gifts and goodness of others.

Posted in News, Wednesday's Word