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.


 

Your Pinch of Salt can Help Season the World

Blog by Associate Colette Parker

Last week, as I listened to a eulogist pay tribute to a longtime religious woman during a Memorial Mass, I was moved to explore my own value and effectiveness as a Christian.

Arleen Kisiel, O.P. (a Dominican Sister of Peace), described the late Sr. Rosemarie Robinson as “the salt of the earth” — what a legacy!

Salt of the earth is something that we, as Christians, aspire to be (based on the phrase derived from the Bible, where Jesus tells his followers, during The Sermon on the Mount, that “Ye are the salt of the earth”).

In ancient times, salt was not only used as a seasoning for food, but as a preservative, a disinfectant, a component of ceremonial offerings, and as a commodity for exchange (or payment). Salt was valuable (and still is today).

While salt can have negative connotations, salt of the earth is coined in reference to the value of salt. Valued workers are said to be “worth their salt” and the word salary has the root sal, or salt.

To be salt of the earth is to be of high value and importance. As salt of the earth, we are called (or challenged, if you prefer) to be a positive, purifying influence in the world. That begs us to ask ourselves: Are we influencing the world or is the world influencing us?

Then, there is the question that follows the declaration that “Ye are the salt of the earth” in the biblical scripture: “but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot…”.

Salt can become tasteless when contaminated by other minerals. As salt, our challenge is to not become contaminated – to not allow our basic, fundamental goodness to be corrupted; to not sit in silence when we should be speaking out; to not idly stand by when we should be taking action or advocating; to not be disqualified from service because we have lost our zest.

If we lose our saltiness, we lose our value and usefulness. We lose our effectiveness as a positive influence in the world.

Salt is a necessity of life and I think most of us would agree that food tastes better with a little salt. It doesn’t take much. In fact, recipes often call for a pinch of salt.

A pinch of salt can make a big difference in taste, just like a pinch of our salt can do much to reduce bitterness, chaos, and darkness and bring peace to the world.

The way we live, the things we say, the attitudes we entertain, the lifestyle we adopt produce positive or negative results. Our goal is to be a positive influence – valuable salt – in our own little corner of the world.

“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.” (Matthew 5:13, The Message)

Posted in Associate Blog, News

As We Await in Joyful Hope…

Pat Dual
Blog by Sr. Pat Dual, OP

The season of Advent begins a new year for the Church.  During Advent, the world accelerates into the busyness and commercialism that attempts to define Christmas. In contrast, for the next few weeks, Christians are called to wait in hopeful anticipation for the coming of Emmanuel—“God with us.”  During Advent, the themes of hope, peace and rejoicing ring throughout the Scripture readings for this special season.

Each year, the coming of a new season of Advent helps give me a better perspective on the current times, which are usually in need of a renewed sense of hope, peace and joy. Advent offers us the chance to once more focus on the promises of God with the coming of Emmanuel.

Last week, on the First Sunday of Advent, I experienced a wonderful sign of hope and joy as Sr. Elizabeth Jackson, OP, professed perpetual vows in the Dominican Sisters of Peace.  Monsignor Frank P. Lane celebrated the Mass, reminding the Sisters and all who were present that consecrated religious life, in all its forms, is, indeed, a joyful sign of hope for the world. Through their service to God and the people of God, they can help witness to the world the transformation that is possible because of the birth of Jesus Christ.

The Dominican Sisters of Peace rejoice and celebrate this Advent sign of hope in Sister Elizabeth Jackson’s profession of perpetual vows and service to God for her whole life. I invite you to enjoy a few of the pictures from the Mass and the Rite of Profession.

As we prepare to enter this second week of Advent, I also invite you to consider the question: in what do you rejoice and find hope in this season of hopeful anticipation?

Posted in God Calling??

Thoughts on Penance at Advent

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him, there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

John 1:5-7

 

Here is the message we heard from him and pass on to you:  that God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.

If we claim to be sharing in his life while we walk in the dark, our words and our lives are a lie; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, then we share together a common life, and we are being cleansed from every sin by the blood of Jesus, his Son. The word of the Lord.

John tells us that God is light and in God there is no darkness.  Jesus is the light that drives out the darkness of evil and the darkness of sin.

But Jesus doesn’t just drive out darkness.  In God’s own mysterious and powerful way, God actually uses the darkness at times.

I remember being invited to dinner to a friend’s home in Hideaway Hills, south of Lancaster.  There were no outside lights.  We arrived in the daylight, but when we were leaving it was dark.  The only light was the porch light and the light coming from the windows of  the house.  I have never seen the stars the way I saw them that night.  They were the brightest and closest I’ve ever seen them… because of the darkness.

Think about seeds that will not grow into plants unless they are buried in the dark soil.  Think about us who were nourished in the darkness of our mother’s womb.

Tonight we come to face the darkness in our lives, our weakness and our sins.

How can God use the darkness of sin to bring about light? to bring about life?

When we sin and acknowledge our sin and trust in God’s mercy, can this bring us to be more humble and grateful, more open to receive God’s mercy?  Can God use our weakness to help us accept others when they are weak?  Then the grace of God, the light of Christ is at work in us…conquering the darkness within us.

There is a story about a man who was visiting his friend.  They both appreciated works of art.  The one man had a gorgeous vase in his living room which the visitor noticed and admired.  His friend went over and picked up the vase and handed it to his guest to examine it more closely.  As he turned it around he dropped the vase and it broke into many pieces.  Of course, he apologized profusely and then he said to his host, ”Give me the broken pieces.  Let me take them home and I will repair the vase.”  The host had little hope that it could be repaired, but he reluctantly gave the broken pieces to his friend.

When his friend returned a week later and showed him the vase, the owner was astounded.  It was not only repaired, but it was more beautiful than before it had been broken.

The man had used a gold substance to put the pieces together.  Where the pieces had been broken there now appeared what seemed like golden threads scattered throughout the vase.

Nothing we can do or fail to do can be so dark that God cannot bring good out of it…even our sins.

Julian of Norwich says, “First there is sin, then the recovery from sin.  All is grace.”

When we admit our sin and weakness and give our broken pieces to Jesus, he not only conquers the darkness but uses it to bring about good.  Jesus is our light, and he is more powerful than any darkness.

By Sister Louis Mary Passeri, OP

Posted in News

Wednesday’s Word

Blog by Sr. Pat Connick, OP

This past Sunday began the new Church year!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

In Advent, we do the dance between waiting and activity, between what has been & what will be, between tradition and innovation.  How to know which will take the lead and for how long?

Wisdom and openness—we pause, we ponder, we pray, we proceed.

I would suggest during this time of Advent, we pause this first week: just slow down a bit. I know this will feel like going upstream in our Christmas-present-buying-crazed culture, but maybe it’s time simply to step out of the stream, at least a little bit each day!

Next week when we’ve slowed ourselves down a bit, perhaps we can take in the view of ourselves and of our world around us.  You know, just like when you walk somewhere instead of driving.  I know I notice much more when I stroll then when I drive….

In the third week, then, we will have paused and pondered enough to know what is in our hearts.  Then we can offer it in prayer to God…all of it, the joys and sorrows, the triumphs and the defeats, the love and the loss, the unexpected surprises and the great disappointments.

And then, eventually we’ll know how to proceed, but we will not be alone.  We will have caught up not only with God but with ourselves!

 

HAPPY ADVENT!

 

O come O wisdom, from on high,               PAUSE

Who orders all things mightily,                   PONDER

To us the path of knowledge show,          PRAY

and teach us in her ways to go.                  PROCEED

Posted in News, Wednesday's Word

Just Reflecting

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”    Hebrews 13:2 (NMW Toolkit p.9)

 

Conni Dubick, OPA

Dear Dominican Sisters of Peace and Associates

When I read this Hebrew verse, I smile and think about the image of angels that surround us during this Advent and Christmas season.  It’s a tradition to decorate with lovely angels present at the crib.  But this year in National Migration Week 2019 (January 6-12), our Christmas angels could represent other angels who are perhaps strangers to us.  These new angels might be the immigrant strangers who are barefoot, hungry, and in danger, as they approach our or other international borders.

The DSOP Immigration Reform Committee has decided to describe these other ‘angels’, who are strangers, that DSOP Sisters and Associates meet each day in ministries, neighborhoods, parishes, on the streets, and at the wall by creating a representation of images and words for our “band of angels” who God has sent as strangers in our lives.

Please reflect on your encounters with ‘angel refugees/immigrants/migrants’ and send us a photo, personal art, or your own words.  Use this season of Advent as the time to create and submit your “angel image” by December 20.  Send it to Conni Dubick (cdubick@kent.edu) or contact Conni with any questions.

The IR Committee will launch these “angel images” in time for the January 6-12 National Migration Week to illustrate our DSOP efforts ‘to show hospitality to strangers who are angels and we were unawares.’

The Immigration Reform Committee members are Sisters Alicia Alvarado, Esther Calderon, Gemma Doll, Barbara Kane, Regina McCarthy, Roberta Miller, Rachel Sena, Carol Ann Spencer, Thoma Swanson, Janice Thome, Roserita Weber, Rene Weeks, and Associates Conni Dubick, Judi Engel, Dora Harper, Martha Maloney, Jim Tinnin and Tom Winters.

May you have a blessed Advent.

Posted in Just Reflecting, News