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 Part of 200 Years of Dominican History

As part of our 200th-anniversary celebration, the Congregation is planning a podcast – a series of audio stories that can be downloaded from the internet – that will chronicle the history of and tell the stories of our Congregation. We need your help – your stories and your memories – to make this special program as rich and as beautiful as our community.

The 200th-anniversary podcast is meant to introduce listeners to the women of the United States Dominican community as founded by our foremothers in Kentucky, and as lived through today by our Sisters from the eight congregations that make up the present-day DSOP. The content contributed by our Sisters will be written into narratives that can be presented in the podcast format. Some stories might be recorded using the voice of the Sister who contributed it… others, particularly stories about Sisters who have died, will be voiced.

While Dominican life is about COMMUNITY, it is also about INDIVIDUALS. Each of us has lived our own form of the Dominican charism, and each of us has stories about that experience that we can share. Just as important, many of us know and remember our beloved Sisters who have gone home to God and carry stories in our hearts that we can share with our Sisters now, and those who come after us.

We are looking for stories from Sisters, Associates, and staff that illustrate the pioneering spirit of our Sisters across the past two centuries … the stories that you heard as a discerner or postulate that attracted you to our congregation, the stories of Sisters past and present who have made our community what it is, and the historical events that provided the context for the community and spiritual growth of our congregation. Do you have a story about a Sister that you would like to share? This narrative podcast is a way to keep our stories alive and to share them with generations of our Sisters to come.

Right now, we are looking for story ideas. You can call (614) 416-1017, give us your name and your phone number, and tell us a little about your story…just a line or two.  We will call you back to talk about your story. After this initial discussion, we ask that you be open to a longer conversation where you can tell us the entire story, and even answer questions that might make the story better.

No Sister or Associate has to participate, but please remember, YOU are the carrier of our history … the stories of our Sisters and our Congregation reside in your mind and your heart. We hope that you will be generous enough to share them with us, and with future generations.

The podcast is designed to appeal to Sisters, Associates, Staff, discerners Staff, discerners, and anyone interested in the stories of the brave and inspiring Sisters who pioneered by bringing the Dominican Charism to the United States. We expect that we will also get listeners who are interested in United States history, Catholic history, religious history, and history of religious women.

The podcast will be available on


If you are not familiar with podcasts, here is some information about what podcasts are and how you can listen to them 

A podcast is the 21st-century version of the old radio programs that many of our older Sisters may have enjoyed growing up. It is simply a series of episodes of an audio program on a specific topic.

When writers and creators began releasing these new audio programs, the tech world dubbed them “podcasts” because they could be downloaded into an iPod and listened to anytime, anywhere. Even that name has become dated as ipods have been replaced by cell phones, but the name has stuck.

Our 200th Anniversary Podcast will be available to anyone who wants to listen to it at no cost. Most other podcasts are also available at no cost.

You can listen to a podcast using your smartphone, your computer, or your tablet, as long as it is connected to the internet and has audio capabilities.

Our 200th Anniversary Podcast will be available on OPPeace.

Podcasts are distributed through streaming services or podcasting services, which can be likened to the radio networks that distributed radio serials years ago. These services act as “libraries” for podcasts, where users can search podcasts by subject matter or creator.

We are so very excited to hear your stories, and to share them with our Sisters, our Associates, and the future Sisters of our and other congregations. Remember, each of us are the keepers of our shared history, and we hope that you will be generous enough to share with us and with future generations.

Posted in News

Which Way?

Sr. Mai-dung Nguyen, OP

One day, as I was taking a walk around a nearby university campus, I watched a two or three-year-old girl walking with her Mom. There are many walking paths around the campus. As the little girl and her Mom came closer to an intersection on the path they were walking, the girl said to her Mom:

“This way, Mom,” she said as she pointed to the right side of the path.
“No, this way,” Mom said to her, directing her to another path in front of them.
“No, this way,” said the girl as she began to walk in the direction she wanted to go.
“Come on, this way ….” the Mom asserted and kept walking.
“This way,” the girl insisted, sounding a little stubborn, wanting to go her way.
“No, come on this way, we need to go. Come on,” urged Mom, as she slowed down to wait for the girl and tried to influence her little daughter.

At the intersection, the girl stopped walking and looked over the path she wanted to take for a few short seconds. Then, she turned and ran towards her Mom. Both began to walk together and I heard them chatting along the way.

Seeing what just happened, I smiled and thought about that moment as a profound discernment in this young girl’s life.

Does this experience of uncertainty and not knowing which direction to take sound familiar to you?

It is not easy to know the path to follow sometimes, whether it is listening to God’s call to live in religious life, to change a ministry and residency, or to respond to the signs of our time. When we hear the invitation to “Come, and follow me,” we may resist this path and may instead want to keep going “our way.” However, God’s invitation continuously shows up inside us, showing us another direction that we may not want to follow and requires changes that we may resist.  However, the more we resist God’s calling, the more restless we may become.

In the Bible, we learn about the callings of Moses, Jeremiah, and Jonah. None of them accepted God’s call right away without being hesitant or questioning, expressing such concerns as “I am too young” or “I have a problem with speech.” Jonah even ran away. However, no matter how many times each individual resisted God’s call, all of them eventually did what God asked them to do and were faithful to that call until they died. And God blessed and journeyed with them all to the end.

The girl in the story above did not like what her Mom commanded her. No matter how much the girl wanted to go her way, she finally changed her mind. What made her change her mind? I think pausing for a moment allowed her to think about where she was. Seeing the little girl and her Mom talking and walking together reminds me of how God walks and journeys with us.  

Sometimes on our journey, we need to take a break and pause to reflect on what God’s invitation to us is about. Just as the Mom waited for her daughter to join her, God is waiting for us to respond to God’s invitation and journey with us. If we allow ourselves to pause and look at our faith journey, we may have the courage to see and hear the direction that God invites us to follow, just like the girl listened to the path her mom was calling for her to follow.

Have you ever paused to reflect on how God is calling you? If so, you may be interested to know that we have an effective discernment program to help you reflect deeply on your call. Visit us or contact us for more information. We invite you also to a time of discernment at our September Come & See Discernment Retreat. For more details on this hybrid retreat weekend, September 10-12, please contact Sr. June Fitzgerald at

Posted in News, Vocations Blog

Calls to End Violence in Columbus, OH

June 14, 2021


Columbus-OH area Sisters are marching for peace in the Linden area of the city with the organization Stop the Violence. Each Monday, Stop the Violence marches through the Linden neighbor to unite residents in their effort to end gun violence in the area. Each march concludes with a cookout and social hour; The Dominican Sisters of Peace help out by providing hot dogs and hamburgers as well as treats for the children and information on our Columbus area ministries.

For information, click here to watch a clip from Columbus NBC4.

Posted in News

Ohio State Bar Foundation awards more than $445K to Ohio nonprofits

June 10, 2021


The Ohio State Bar Foundation (OSBF) has awarded $447,247 to Ohio nonprofit organizations through its spring grants cycle. Each funded project supports the OSBF’s mission to promote the pursuit of justice and public understanding of the rule of law.

“The Ohio State Bar Foundation is proud to partner with Ohio nonprofits working to educate our citizens about the law and make improvements to our justice system,” said OSBF President Velda Hofacker. “Through our spring and fall grant cycles, our strategic grant promoting adult civics education, and our Racial Justice Initiative, we hope to grant over a million dollars this year to worthy nonprofits for projects aligned with our mission. We are so grateful to our Fellows and other donors who make our grants possible.”

The spring grant recipients are as follows:

• $9,500 to Disability Rights Ohio to establish Virtual Parent Town Hall events to address challenges families face within the education system, including access to appropriate services, education with peers who do not have a disability, access to behavioral supports and compensatory services to address the effects of the pandemic on educational outcomes. Additionally, blog posts and self-advocacy materials will be developed to reinforce and supplement the information provided to parents through the town hall meetings, resulting in multiple ways of ensuring that families gain a better understanding of the law and its protections.

• $14,700 to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, who serve impoverished Latino immigrant families in the Greater Columbus community by improving understanding of Ohio laws and by uncovering paths to citizenship for those who are not already citizens. Grant funding provided will help Dominican Sisters of Peace expand current programming by offering citizenship education, preparation, videos and online resources, DACA application support and translation of legal documents.

• $15,000 to LegalWorks to expand legal outreach and education services through walk-in office hours at several branches of the Cleveland Public Library. Partnerships with several urban media providers will also be utilized to broadcast informational advertisements on audience-targeted radio and TV stations to publicize these services to disadvantaged communities and those in need.

• $76,489 to the National Center for State Courts to pilot its Access & Fairness in the Virtual Delivery of Court Services in response to the use of greater technology in court proceedings because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual delivery of court services must ensure principles of due process, procedural fairness, transparency and equal access, and research is necessary to ensure this is happening. NCSC will partner with the Supreme Court of Ohio and trial court practitioners in four jurisdictions, participating as pilot sites. Collecting data and analyzing that data will help the courts to adjust and ensure fair access to justice of remote court proceedings given the impact of a diverse population in terms of age, socioeconomic status, gender, race and ethnicity.

• $116,000 to the Ohio Center for Law Related Education to provide students with access to high-quality civics content and opportunities to practice responsible citizenship through OCLRE programming and the study of the U.S. Constitution, our judicial system and the community impact of social issues. Educators also learn valuable teaching strategies and create lesson plans and student activities, and share substantive knowledge through OCLRE professional development opportunities. Grant funding will support further development and expansion of student programs, teacher professional development and outreach efforts.

• $34,300 to Ohio Domestic Violence Network to survey 500 survivors of domestic violence to develop a statewide report on the experiences of marginalized survivors including people of color, LGBTQ and immigrant survivors. The purpose of collecting data through this survey is to gain a deeper understanding of racism as it manifests in legal systems which survivors of domestic violence may utilize to find safety and to protect their children. ODVN will also conduct 10 brief legal advice clinics for the general population of domestic violence survivors, which will enable survivors to meet individually with clinic attorneys to discuss legal issues.

• $100,000 to Ohio Legal Help to develop new legal content for its website, including topics on disability, civil rights, employment discrimination, equal credit opportunity, fair housing, immigration and youth and foster law. In light of increasing legal issues due to COVID-19 and the growing interest in civil rights, Ohio Legal Help offers vetted legal information and a trusted portal to connect Ohioans with lawyer referral services, legal aid and social services.  Additionally, Ohio Legal Help will implement a Spanish language version of the site, which will also include development of tools to allow for translation of the site into additional languages in the future.

• $49,258 to The Ohio State University for its Aligning Algorithmic Risk Assessments with Criminal Justice Values project to study Ohio courts’ use of algorithmic risk assessments (ARA). ARAs are data analytics tools that predict the risk that an individual will engage in future misconduct. Increasingly, Ohio courts employ ARAs to inform bail and sentencing decisions. ARAs can reduce human error and increase consistency in judicial criminal justice decision-making. Through research, discussion with stakeholders and thoughtful consideration, OSU hopes to develop a plan for how Ohio can best implement ARAs consistent with its values.

• $20,000 to Pro Seniors’ Safe Ohio Seniors project to address the epidemic of financial abuse and exploitation of older Ohioans. Their approach is to immediately stop the financial loss and put protections in place to prevent any further exploitation by using legal advice and representation, online and in-person public and professional education and innovative collaboration. Outreach and education efforts are anticipated to reach 400 people, including seniors, family members, the general public, advocates and professionals.

• $12,000 to Women Helping Women to create a new DVERT Advocacy resource for survivors of domestic violence/intimate partner violence who are met on-scene by the Domestic Violence Enhancement Response Team. DVERT serves the dual purpose of disrupting violence and supporting the survivor by providing a trained advocate to accompany them through the entire legal process, including assistance with resources or referrals. Advocates will receive 40-hours of expert training through WHW at onboarding, including specific focuses on populations who have been marginalized, face-to-face advocacy and how to train others in supporting survivors.

If you’d like to learn more about any of the grantees, be connected with one of the organizations directly, or know more about the OSBF’s grantmaking process, contact OSBF’s Grants Manager Tiffany Patterson at or (614) 487-4483.

About the Ohio State Bar Foundation: The Ohio State Bar Foundation is a 501(c)(3) grantmaking organization and is the largest bar foundation in the U.S. The OSBF works to advance the law and build a better justice system by awarding hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants annually to nonprofit organizations across Ohio.

Posted in News

Dominican Sisters Jubilee Celebration observed


Great Bend Tribune, June 10, 2021



The Dominican Sisters of Peace in Great Bend recently recognized seven jubilarians. Front row, from left: Sisters Teresita Huse, Frances Biernacki and Marie Antoinette Klein; back row: Sisters Loretta Podlena, Rose Mary Stein, Francine Schwarzenberger and Joan Ice.

The jubilee celebration on May 23 at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse in Great Bend included seven jubilarians who were celebrating 60-85 years of profession. The joyful celebration began with the celebration of Mass at which the Sisters renewed their vows.

Father Bob Schremmer, who presided at the Liturgy for the feast of Pentecost, in his homily spoke of the miracle of ear and tongue whereby the disciples preached and the listeners heard each in their own language. He compared that to the seven jubilarians who have listened and preached, each in her own marvelous way. He thanked the jubilarians for the holy preaching of their lives. A festive banquet followed in the dining room with leisurely time to visit and once again congratulate all the jubilarians for their faithful service for so many years.


Sister Teresita Huse
With a life-long love of learning in the Dominican tradition, Sister Teresita has inspired and educated persons of every age, including an adult English class in Kyoto, Japan, during her sabbatical year. She has held various leadership positions in her religious community and served as their first development director. She has always had a great love for the Nigerian missions and has given countless hours in projects which benefit them. Sister Teresita is currently retired at the motherhouse in Great Bend.


Sister Frances Biernacki
Until 1965 Sister Frances devoted her ministry to children in Catholic elementary schools in Kansas and Colorado. But her heart was that of a missionary and beginning in 1973 she served several tours of duty in Nigeria, Niger, and Kenya, Africa. There she served for 21 years in retreat ministry, formation of young Nigerian Dominican religious, and lay leadership formation. Between missionary tours she served as director of Catholic Social Service for the Dodge City diocese. Currently Sister Frances is retired at the motherhouse in Great Bend.

Sister Marie Antoinette Klein
Sister Marie Antoinette is a lifetime musician. She has served as a hospital microfilmer, as well as in several domestic ministries in the convent’s kitchen and guest house, but her specialty is music, and she gave many music lessons to young students. Until recently Toni, as she is affectionately called, played the organ for Mass and community prayer. Now she is retired at the motherhouse.


Sister Loretta Podlena
Sister Loretta has given all her ministerial life to the education of elementary students in Catholic schools in Kansas and Oklahoma. Even after her retirement from the classroom she continued to influence the lives of young children as a librarian. During her breaks from school she especially enjoyed helping in summer programs for children in Kansas, Colorado, Wisconsin, Mississippi and Kentucky. At the present she keeps busy with community service at the motherhouse in Great Bend.


Sister Joan Ice
Sister Joan ministered as a medical technologist from 1965 to 1998. She received a Specialty in Blood Banking while in Garden City. She led singing and belonged in choir groups in the parishes where she lived. She later ministered at the retreat center of the St. Joseph Sisters in Concordia. There she gave therapeutic touch treatments and worked in gardening and picking fruit for their motherhouse and the retreat center. While there she learned to quilt and has made many quilts for the Great Bend bazaar. She spent a few years helping out at Heartland Farm before retiring to the motherhouse where she continues to garden, quilt, and lead singing.

Sister Francine Schwarzenberger
“Years of unimaginable blessings,” Sister Francine says of her call to Dominican life. Her first years in ministry were in elementary education in Kansas. Parish and diocesan ministry, vocation and leadership positions within her Dominican congregation, and presently her work at the Heartland Center for Spirituality in Great Bend have provided her with opportunities for building many meaningful and lasting relationships.  Sister Francine’s passion for social justice and foreign missions has also influenced her ministry with the homeless in New Orleans and Denver, as well as Habitat for Humanity, having started the Habitat affiliate in Barton County. “Being a Dominican Sister of Peace challenges me each day to look at life from a global perspective. I am grateful to God for gifts beyond measure.”

Sister Rose Mary Stein
Sister Rose Mary began her religious life as an elementary and secondary school teacher. Following her classroom teaching and coordinating CCD religion (known today as PSR), she offered her services as a pastoral minister in the Dodge City and Salina dioceses. As life changed and people lived longer, she saw the need to establish small faith communities to help people grow in their faith by sharing with one another. When her age dictated fewer hours of work, she felt the call from God to spread the Gospel through Saturday morning retreat experiences especially in the parishes of rural western Kansas. Her real passion is to empower lay people to believe in their gifts and use those gifts to empower others. She says, “We are all disciples of Christ and our gifts are needed for that someone who is waiting for a caring, loving person to reach out to him or her.”

Posted in News