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.


 

The Struggle Continues

Blog by Sister Judy Morris, OP

As we observe Women’s History Month, we celebrate resiliency, determination, courage, and success, always mixed with struggle. As women met in Seneca Falls, NY, in 1848 to plan the “what next” that was needed to achieve the right to vote, they knew the struggle would require a long-term commitment and a willingness to withstand verbal and physical violence.  They would be pelted with tomatoes by men and women, imprisoned and subjected to verbal abuse every step of the way.

The year 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote. We celebrate the model of courage that this achievement represents, and the continued progress towards equality, including the rights to serve on juries, own property, receive credit in their names, and work in law firms.

Today, one of the greatest and most important challenges that women face is achieving the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act. The Violence Against Women Act was originally approved and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994. It expired in February 2019, and the 2019 Violence Against Women Act was passed by the House of Representatives in April 2019.  The bill has been stalled in the Senate since then, due to opposition by the NRA.

In 2019 bill includes a provision to restrict partners – spouses and boyfriends – who have been convicted of stalking or abuse from accessing firearms. The bill also expands protections for Native American women, immigrant women and transgender women.  This bill can save lives!

Representative Katie Porter of California recalled her experience of dealing with domestic violence.  She testified that the first time she called police after being beaten, the officer who arrested her told her that if she called again, her children would be taken away from her. In December 2019, a Texas police officer was shot and killed by a man who would have been denied a firearm under the Violence Against Women Act. More than 5,000 Alaska Native and Native American women have been kidnapped and/or murdered – all would have been protected by the Violence Against Women Act.

Before we pop the cork on a bottle of champagne to celebrate the centennial of our right to vote, we are challenged to stand with women suffering from violent abuse from a partner.  Like our foremothers, we are in the struggle for the long haul for the rights and protections of our sisters.

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

What’s the Plan?

Blog by Associate Carol Lemelin, OPA

In Jessamyn West’s Friendly Persuasion, Quaker farmer Jess Birdwell wonders — as he takes flowers to a funeral for an orphaned boy who had been beaten to death by his foster father — if this simple gesture is the whole reason he was born?  And, in doing so, has he fulfilled God’s plan for him?

That passage has stuck with me for years.  After all, how do we really know what God’s plan for each of us is? What makes us think there is one?

Oh, we can string events together and build a broad outline, but no one can guess what the truth is.

Wise parent that He is, God has given us all the tools and guidelines it takes to follow and then sets us free.   But it seems too scary out there on that limb all alone!

One of Jesus’ goals was to convince people that God is ever present and no one is actually alone. With Jesus as our companion, things become clearer – not less scary maybe – but clearer.

All the great adjectives, phrases and descriptions of good, honest, loving people apply to Jesus.  He was compassionate and tolerant, but he was not a fool as the moneychangers in the Temple discovered.

He drew people to him because he smiled and looked right at them, acknowledging their existence, which didn’t happen often to the poor. Still doesn’t, by the way. He went wherever he wanted and fit in wherever that was — because he was absolutely sure the love of the Father was with him.

We have both the love of the Father and the companionship of the Son.  We can’t worry about what will define our purpose; we must live our lives in Christ, making every encounter count for something. We have to learn to forgive ourselves when we mess up and trust in the loving grace of God to strengthen us to persevere.

Posted in Associate Blog, News

Please Call Ahead Before Visiting Our Facilities

Many of our Motherhouses and Care Facilities have restricted visitation due to the current outbreak of COVID-19. We appreciate your understanding as we protect our sisters.

Akron Motherhouse – Phone: (330) 836-4908

Columbus Motherhouse – Phone: (614) 416-1092

Great Bend Motherhouse – Phone: (620) 792-1232

Oxford Motherhouse – Phone: (248) 628-2872, x 222

St. Catharine, KY, Motherhouse – Phone: (859) 336-9303

Rosary Manor – Phone: (617) 924-1717

Lourdes Senior Community – Phone: (248) 674-2241

Mohun Health Care Center – Phone: (614) 416-6132

Regina Health Center – Phone: (330) 659-4161

Sansbury Care Center – Phone: (859) 336-3974

Posted in News

Message in a bottle…. I mean around the chocolate

Blog by Sr. Beata Tiboldi

Have you ever found a message in a bottle that was floating in a river or ocean? Naturally, people are curious, and a message in the bottle allows us to peek into other’s thoughts that they wish to communicate. Just a few days ago, I was munching on chocolates on my way to a meeting in Cleveland. Each chocolate was wrapped in a message. After a few pieces, I caught myself realizing that while I loved the creaminess and smoothness of the chocolate, I was eager to open the next one because I was curious about the message that it contained.

The first message I read was: “Compliment someone…” (LindseyL., Indiana) Rather than complimenting one or two people, I choose dedicate this blog to all Sisters around the world on the occasion of Catholic Sisters Week.

“Smile, someone is thinking of you.” (Sherry A., Iowa)

Yes, if you are a Sister, know that we are thinking of you and praying for you, especially during this week.

“Be fearlessly authentic.” (Sotiria S, New Jersey)

Every six years, Sisters and Associates come together to prayerfully study and evaluate the needs of our times. Then, together, we create ways we would (fearlessly) respond to those needs, even if it requires us to take risks (i.e. founding the Peace Center in New Orleans just a few years ago.)

“Throw kindness around like confetti!” (Molly B., Kansas)

Above the door at the motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of Peace in Columbus, it is written: “Peace to all who enter.” This message of peace is extended to all of our motherhouses, convents and communities. No matter which part of the congregation I visit, Sisters always radiate God’s peace, kindness and care.

“Dare to cross the line.” (Dove)

Sisters are mission-driven. It is about making God’s love known as we build the kingdom of God. At times, we dare to cross the line – in persevering to push for more just laws, making this world a more peaceful place, or going out to help the sick and those in need. Sisters, thank you for your witness of faith.

“Always time for love.” (Shannon B., Washington)

One of our Sisters in New Orleans always had boxes of twinkies in the trunk of her car – for the times when she encountered homeless people. Or, another example, our Candidate, Annie, who ministers full time as a professor of English, also found time to volunteer at the YWCA on a regular basis. I have learned from our Sisters’ example of faith that there is “always time for love.”

“Be with people who make you laugh.” (Lucy K., California)

I consider myself as playful and someone who has a sense of humor. When I looked at congregations to enter, I knew the congregation I chose would have to have a sense of humor as well. I certainly found that in my Sisters; our community life reflects this with many moments of joy, laughter, and companionship.

The message I chose to send you off with is: “It’s your call.” (Jenna L, New York)

Is it? It’s your call whether you just munch on chocolates, or whether you are open to the message that these Dove chocolates offer to be communicated. Similar to God’s call, we can only feel or hear God’s nudging, if we are open to it. A vocation to religious life comes from God, but certainly, it’s our choice whether we respond to it.

Sisters, thank you for your Yes! to God’s call and your witness of faith, and I’m raising my glass to toast you and our collective future full of hope.

 

Posted in God Calling?, News

Homily by Sr. Janet Schlichting

The souls of the just are in the hands of God. Grace and mercy are with God’s faithful ones.

A long time ago Betty offered her hands to God

And God, who cradled her already in divine love–God took those hands and blessed them and made them a blessing for every one she would touch through the years, in family, in the Dominican community, in an ever-changing Clarissa hall community for which she was a cornerstone and a warm hearth, in teaching scores of little second grade girls at the Elms elementary school, in reaching over the miles to get school supplies for needy children in central America,

Betty’s hands became God’s hands–neither of them ever let go.  Into your hands, O God, we commend her spirit.

If we have died with Christ we believe we are also to live with him.

Betty died with Christ at Baptism, drowned in a flood of grace and born again into the Christ life.

But to live with Christ, in Christ, means offering one’s self, one’s gifts, one’s love with a willingness to die to oneself—that self that really doesn’t want to face this or do that, or talk to that person, or give up something or someone held very dear…daily carryings of the cross of a kind all of us know. The daily yesses to the needs of the other and the necessary no’s to our own wants and preferences.

And Betty shares the grace and the glory of that resurrection, as she shared the cross, because each self-giving made her heart grow, opened up more space for God to dwell and to love through her. (as T.S. Eliot puts it: a condition of complete simplicity costing not less than everything.”)

She welcomed God –every day—because she knew as we do that in God we live and move and have our being, and that with God come all kinds of neighbors. And every day in our little dyings Christ Jesus expands our hearts into sacred spaces, offering warmth and acceptance and a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on for all who come to us with their needs and call upon our time and energy. Day after day, year after year, with patience and forbearance and trust and faithfulness and true deep quiet joy.

O God of life and love unending, welcome her into yourself, You our one and forever  home, where there awaits us all a warm embrace and a table of plenty.

When the son of man comes in glory, all the nations will stand before him….and will say to those on his right, “Come, you blessed of my Father.….for as often as you did this for one of the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it for me.”

The Gospel is a familiar one, and time and again a passage that as the song says: “causes me to tremble…”,

It’s all there: explicit and specific. Here is the way to the kingdom, here is the road to eternal life, here quite simply is what Christian believers do.

So “Whatsoever Betty did” she did it by/in God’s grace, returning God’s love and faithfulness. And today we send on her final journey, our Dominican Sister of Peace, preacher of the Gospel. With God’s hand in hers and God’s heart in hers and joined forever in that abundant life eternally poured out for the life of the world.  And here at this Eucharist, we share a foretaste of the feast of the reign of God, with hope and confidence that Betty – along with that great cloud of witnesses, among them not a few Baltrinics and Dominicans who have gone before us—continues to praise and bless and preach and live on in Christ’s resurrection.

And the one seated on the throne is saying, “Come, Betty, faithful servant, inherit the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.”

And I think I hear God saying one thing more to Betty: Now, Betty—there is no set-up or clean-up.  Just the Party!

Posted in News, Weekly Word