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.


 

HERE’S SOME AMERICAN HISTORY FOR YOU

Blog by Associate Colette Parker

I’m pretty sure most people know the name Jesse Owens, who dominated the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, winning four gold medals.

But what about track legend William “Harrison” Dillard, four-time Olympic Gold Medal Champion?

Harrison Dillard — the only male runner in history to win Olympic gold in both a dash and the high hurdles and a member of the U.S. Army 92nd Infantry, the famed all-black “Buffalo Soldiers” who fought with distinction during World War II — will be laid to rest this week in his native Cleveland, Ohio.

I admit that Harrison Dillard had fallen off my radar, but came back into full view in April 2015, when I was visiting the Baldwin Wallace University campus – on the same day that he was present for the unveiling of his life-size bronze statue. Dillard, 96, was an alumnus of Baldwin Wallace.

That day, I was reminded of how people like Harrison Dillard don’t have household names — how they are not included in the history of our nation that is taught in schools and how it is seemingly not important to know their names.

That stark reality struck me again last week (on the heels of Harrison Dillard’s death), as I watched a television news story about the life of Azellia White. The news station – along with several other media organizations – was reporting Azellia White’s death. One of the news reports started like this:

“Azellia White, one of the nation’s first African American female pilots, earned her pilot’s license just after World War II and found freedom flying in the skies above the Jim Crow South.”

Like Jesse Owens, I am pretty sure the name Bessie Coleman, who soared across the sky as the first African American and the first Native American woman pilot, rings a bell (at least I hope so). And let us not forget that because of racism, she had to earn her license from France’s Fédération Aéronautique Internationale before touring America and Europe. But what about Azellia White?

Well, here’s a tidbit: Azellia White, her Tuskegee Airman husband, Hulon White, and two other Tuskegee Airmen (Ben Stevenson and Elton “Ray” Thomas) created a flight school, delivery service, and airport in the Houston area with a mission to serve the black community during segregation,after World War II.

And here’s a real eye-opener: White died on September 14, and was buried a week later in her native state of Texas. She was 106.

Here’s my question: Why did it take more than two months for national news outlets to figure out who she was?

While I am distraught over the fact that it took so long to acknowledge Azellia White’s legacy, I find comfort in the fact that she was (finally) recognized; and I am heartened by the timeliness of the reports about Harrison Dillard’s death.

For me, this illustrates that while we have made some progress when it comes to inclusion, we still have a long way to go. It reinforces, for me, that structural racism still persists, that people of color are still viewed as “other”, and that there is an unwillingness to view “black history” as American history.

Harrison Dillard’s longtime friend, Ted Theodore, described his death as “a loss for humanity” and said “he was an example for all of us, how to live our lives, with never an unkind word for anyone. He was a champion, a true champion.”

Isn’t it time for us to honor and celebrate all of our champions who have contributed significantly to history in America?

Posted in Associate Blog, News

Dominican Sisters of Peace Receive Grant for Discernment, Vocation Programs

Annie Killian, left, and Sr. June Fitzgerald, Vocations Director for the Dominican Sisters of Peace, knock at the door of the Congregation’s Motherhouse Chapel as Killian is welcomed as a Candidate.

The Dominican Sisters of Peace is grateful and blessed to announce that they have received a $1,400 grant from the Catholic Foundation to support vocation and discernment programs at their recently-opened House of Welcome on the east side of the city.

The House of Welcome, sometimes called a House of Discernment, is a community specifically intended to welcome women who are considering entering the Dominican Sisters of Peace. Women in discernment might visit for a few days to experience community life, and Candidates who have entered the Congregation may live there while in the first step of her formation.

This grant from the Catholic Foundation will help to support programs at the House of Welcome, including local discernment group meetings, hosting on-line meetings to connect local discerners with Sisters and discerners around the country, and discernment and mission retreats.

“This generous gift from the Catholic Foundation will help us continue to reach out to women in the mid-west who are prayerfully considering a call from God,” says Sr. June Fitzgerald, Vocations Director for the Dominican Sisters of Peace. “This outreach has been essential to growing our community, as we have 12 women in discernment and five women in active formation to become Dominican Sisters of Peace.”

Sister Mai Dung Nguyen, Robin Richard and Margie Davis meet with three discerners at a vocations treat at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Columbus House of Welcome in Columbus, OH.

Five Dominican Sisters of Peace and one woman who has entered the Congregation as a Candidate live in the House of Welcome.

About The Catholic Foundation
The Catholic Foundation’s mission is to inspire giving and assist donors to provide for the long-term needs of the 23-county Diocese of Columbus. The Catholic Foundation fulfills its mission by seeking donors to establish endowment funds designed to support current and future needs and by distributing earnings according to diocesan priorities and donor intent.  It is one of the oldest and largest Catholic foundations in the country, distributing nearly $150 million throughout the diocese since 1985. For additional information about The Catholic Foundation, please visit www.catholic-foundation.org.
Posted in News

Dominican Sisters of Peace Founded Ministries Director Mark Butler Honored

Mark Butler, Director of Founded Ministries for the Dominican Sisters of Peace, was honored with the “Champion of Children Award” by the Ohio Family and Children First Coordinators Association.

Dominican Sisters of Peace Director of Founded Ministries Mark Butler was honored by The Ohio Family and Children First Coordinators Association (OFCFCA) at a banquet on October 21. Mark was awarded the “Champion of Children Award” by the OFCFCA for his work to encourage the state of Ohio to establish the Multi-System Youth Fund within the State budget.

The Ohio Departments of Medicaid (ODM) and Job and Family Services (ODJFS) will issue $31 million in new funding in state fiscal year (SFY) 2020 to directly support children, youth and families served by multiple systems.

Multi-system youth are children and teenagers with complex needs that cannot be met by a single state department. These children have two or more significant challenges, including physical or mental illness, drug or alcohol addiction, developmental disabilities or severe trauma. According to Public Children’s Services Association of Ohio (PCSA), of the multi-system youth that are in custody, nearly 30% are voluntarily relinquished by families who have no other option to obtain the care that is needed.

Mark’s son Andrew is considered a multi-system youth. He and his wife Susan were forced to surrender Andrew to the state. Since that terrible experience, Mark and Susan have shared their story as they lobbied for more state support for families of children with disabilities, mental illness and complex behavioral needs.

Mark acts as a liaison between the Dominican Sisters of Peace and their founded education, ecology, social service and spiritual ministries. He is a member of Holy Spirit Parish in Whitehall, OH.

“We are so very proud of Mark and the work that he has done for the youth in Ohio,” said Sr. Pat Twohill, Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. “Mark truly lives our Congregation’s commitment to stand with the marginalized in his work with his very special and personal cause.”

About the Dominican Sisters of Peace:
Dominican Sisters of Peace, members of the pontifical Order of Preachers, are vowed Catholic women who strive to live a life of peace-making. The Dominican Sisters of Peace are present in 22 states and two countries. The sisters serve God’s people in many ways, including education, health care, spirituality, pastoral care, prison ministry, the arts, and care of creation. There are 438 sisters and over 700 lay associates affiliated with the congregation.
About the OFCFCA
County-based Family & Children First Councils were established in the mid-nineties in response to Section 121.37 of the Ohio Revised Code. The Ohio Family and Children First Coordinators Association provides professional development opportunities that will improve members’ capacity to serve their councils and their communities and to provide advice and advocacy to local and state decision-makers in making and carrying out decisions regarding the well-being of children and families.

 

Posted in News

Radiating God’s love by being the children of God

Blog by Sr. Beata Tiboldi

I became a U.S. citizen at the end of October, and the memories are still so vivid. There is no good way I can describe the joy and the emotions we all felt, because it would limit the experience. It left me very inspired, grateful and with deep joy.

Just a day after the ceremony, a line caught my eyes during morning prayer: “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God…” (1 John 3:1) By God’s grace, we received God’s parental love for us, a parental love that always loves and has our backs. What does that mean for us? Can we claim being children of God or being “citizens” of God’s kingdom with (at least) the same enthusiasm, excitement, and overflowing joy as when immigrants become U.S. citizens?

The oath ceremony was all about what we were about to become and how we would use this new gift of citizenship. A feeling that is very similar to when we hear a Gospel passage – we might have a bumpy journey some days, but when we hear God’s Word, let us pay attention to how we receive it, how we claim it, and then how we share the love that God has for everyone.

I entered the congregation of Dominican Sisters of Peace in 2011. The call to religious life came from God, and I chose to respond God’s call by entering this congregation – the Sisters were always so welcoming and their witness of faith was very visible; like the Sisters, I had a deep passion for the mission, I loved the way we prayed, and I felt a great sense of community. However, the more I learned about our mission, the more we worked for a more peaceful world, the more I felt limited by not having a voting voice. I built and preached peace in various ways, but it has been difficult to listen to the news – whether it is a mass shooting, human trafficking, death penalty, or the situation at the USA border, the list goes on. I wanted to respond compassionately, speaking on behalf of those in need, but I didn’t have a voting voice to use.

Twelve days after becoming a citizen, I went to a B.R.E.A.D. Annual Assembly meeting with some of our Sisters. At the entrance, some of the organizers were collecting signatures for advocating for background checks to create safer gun laws. I was so happy that, finally, I could give my signature. Being a new citizen empowers me to speak on behalf of the less fortunate – like the children effected by school shootings. I invite you to ponder what it means to you that God’s love has been bestowed on us, and how we can radiate this love in a heartfelt way.

If you would like to learn more about Dominican Sisters of Peace, go to http://oppeace.org. If you would like to learn more about becoming one of us, contact us at vocations@oppeace.org. May God continue to bless you and peace to you!

Posted in God Calling??, News

An Invitation to Brave Space

Blog by Sr. Anne Lythgoe, OP

On the way home from retreat, a long drive across the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I found a podcast to listen to: On Being with Krista Tippett. I thought it might break up the 7-hour drive. I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

Krista interviewed two millennial women, Lennon Flowers and Rev. Jennifer Bailey, two of the founders of the Faith Matters Network, a newly-formed movement that focuses on sustaining the energy and passion of community leaders in social justice networks. According to their website, they “embody a particular wisdom of millennials around grief, loss, and faith.” Together they created The People’s Supper, which uses shared meals to build trust and connection among people of different identities and perspectives. Since 2017, they have hosted more than 1,500 meals. In the words they use, the practices they cultivate, and the way they think, Flowers and Bailey issue an invitation not to safe space, but to “brave space.”

“The People’s Supper is an initiative to repair the breach in our interpersonal relationships across political, ideological, and identity differences, leading to more civil discourse.”

Lennon and Jennifer talked about their experience of organizing these community meals that bring very diverse people to the table to listen to each other’s stories. It does not begin with “Why did you vote the way you did?”  It requires “brave space” where people are willing to share a meal that forms a bridge across the political, economic and social divides we know today.

How can you argue with someone’s politics when passing a basket of bread?

This idea of brave space transforms my idea of safe space. It is a movement from being secure to vulnerable, from armored to open, from guarded to curious.  I wonder if brave space might be a way to build peace, by being peace in conversations we have (or don’t have) with people different from ourselves. Brave space calls us to look at one another with softer eyes.

This poem, taken from their website, inspired me and I hope it inspires you.

Invitation to Brave Space

By Micky ScottBey Jones

Together we will create brave space
Because there is no such thing as a “safe space”
We exist in the real world
We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds.
In this space
We seek to turn down the volume of the outside world,
We amplify voices that fight to be heard elsewhere,
We call each other to more truth and love
We have the right to start somewhere and continue to grow.
We have the responsibility to examine what we think we know.
We will not be perfect.
This space will not be perfect.
It will not always be what we wish it to be
But
It will be our brave space together,
and
We will work on it side by side.

Maybe this could start something.

Posted in News, Wednesday's Word