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.


Chamber of Commerce honors local leaders, From the Springfield, KY Sun

Madison Briscoe Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at 9:51 am

The 2022 Springfield Washington County Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner was Monday, April 25. The awards dinner recognized individuals and businesses who have contributed to the community. The awards for the night included Small Business Leader winner Anne Thomas Browell, owner of hair Boutique; Healthcare Leaders, awarded to the Sansbury Care Center nursing staff; Manufacturing Industry Leader, awarded to John Yates, owner of Innovative Tooling Solutions; Agricultural Leader winner Keith and Jillian Nash, owners of Nash Farms; Educator of the Year, Cassie Robinson; Above and Beyond Award winner, Taylora Schlosser with the Rae of Sunshine Foundation; and Citizen of the year, Alma Burton Edelen. All seven award winners, though very different from one another, strive to give back to the Springfield and Washington County community.

Browell, Small Business Leader of the year, took over The Hair Boutique from Tracy Wright who started and named the business. “This community has been incredibly supportive,” Browell said. “I never dreamed we would have a salon with five full-time cosmetologists that stays as busy as we do.”Citizen of the Year was presented by JT Burton, son of Alma Burton Edelen. “This award means so much to Mom and our family because it not only recognizes her 50 plus years of working in education with young kids, but serving this community,” Burton said. Edelen has worked in head-start since 1965 as well as served for several organizations including Progressive Homemakers, Democratic Women’s Committee, Business and Professional Women, and more.

Yates, owner of Innovative Tooling Solutions, started his welding business in his garage in 1999. Time has allowed Yates to grow and develop his business and his company now serves customers all over Kentucky, Tennessee, and southern Indiana. Yates said he now has 14 employees working with him. “I’m a leader by example,” he said, “all my employees have been with me since the beginning—I haven’t lost an employee in 23 years now”

Robinson, a teacher at St. Dominic School, began her teaching career in 1985. “If you know Cassie personally, then you know she does not have children of her own, however, the number of children that she has taught, tutored, mentored is too numerous to count,” said Rachel Fenwick, who presented Robinson with her award. Robinson stressed that her passion for working with students is what pushes her forward. “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life—your passion will drive you every day.”

Megan Finnie, administrator at Sansbury Care Center, presented the Healthcare Leaders of the Year award to the nursing staff at Sansbury. Finnie said Sansbury Care Center employs 105 individuals along with 25 contract employees.
“The caring employees of Sansbury have demonstrated patience, kindness, selflessness, mastery of their required skills, and commitment to excellence—especially during the challenging last two years,” Finnie said.

Nash Farms, Agricultural Leader of the Year, is a local family produce farm. The Nash family participates in farmers’ markets in Central Kentucky. Keith and Jillian both come from farm families and have worked in farms from a young age.
The Nash’s moved to Springfield and got a cattle farm, over time they decided to get into produce to provide quality farm fresh food to their customers.“We could not have done this without the continued support of the community,” Jillian said. “It’s helped me feel a part of the community again.”

Schlosser, the Above and Beyond Award winner, created the Rae of Sunshine Foundation to honor her daughter Taylor Rae Nolan who tragically passed away in 2019. The Rae of Sunshine Foundation works to bring awareness, eliminate the stigmas of mental health and create opportunities to spread positivity. Schlosser travels to high schools and colleges around the state to talk to students about suicide prevention with her presentation “A second chance to smile.”
The Rae of Sunshine Foundation awards scholarships to future mental health professionals. “In three years, we will have given $30,000— $2,000 each —to future mental health professionals.”

Photo by Madison Briscoe Chamber of Commerce award winners left to right; Keith and Jillian Nash with Nash Farms; John Yates with Innovative Tooling Solutions; Alma Burton Edelen; Anne Thomas Browell, of The Hair Boutique; Taylora Schlosser with the Rae of Sunshine Foundation; In front is Cassie Robinson. Not pictured is the Sansbury Care Center Nursing staff.












Posted in News

Associates’ Blog

Blog by Karen Martens, OPA

The Bethany Mutualities, one of the oldest OPPeace Dominican groups, currently has 16 members. One of the members, Betty Schlotterer, recently shared the group’s history. In the early 1980s, Sr. Noreen Malone asked Betty and her husband George to serve on a committee charged with determining where God was leading the Dominicans and associated lay people in Columbus. The committee’s work led to a one year pilot program and the Bethany Mutualities was born with participants known as Affiliates.

In 2002, Betty wrote an article about the group’s history and Dominican Spirituality. In preparation for a Bethany Mutualities gathering, Betty read A Fresh Look at Dominican Spirituality by Donald Goergen, OP. While in prayerful reflection on the 4 pillars of Dominican life: prayer, study, ministry/preaching/service and community, she she found herself drawing an image of a tree. This gave her an insight about how these 4 elements are dynamic and grow together to form strong roots. These roots, she realized, are essential and enable branches of change, growth and possibility to open wide so as to stretch and feel God’s joy.

Through many years, Bethany Mutualities has also changed, grown and opened its arms wide to embrace new members. Currently, about half of the members are founding members. During the pandemic, the group met monthly on a Sunday afternoon using zoom. The format continues to be one of reflection and sharing. We take turns in leading the group in contemplative prayer by having a reading or reflection, often begun with a musical selection.

The most recent gathering was lead by Associate Marybeth Auletto who opened the session with a Sikh song called Peace. Together, we read reflections from Jewish, Muslim and Christian traditions taken from Love Poems from God: 12 Sacred Voices from the East and West by Daniel Ladinsky. These diverse resources resulted in our usual deep and meaningful sharing which has kept this group vibrant, growing from its strong roots for so long.

The many years together have brought growth through change, yet stability. While we miss being able to meet in person, we remain thankful we have been able to be together using the Zoom technology through these challenging times.

Posted in Associate Blog, News

Finding Revealing Messages

Blog by Associate Mary Ellen George, OPA

As I was browsing through my email messages, two subject lines immediately caught my attention:  “Because TWO are better than ONE!” and “It’s time to cross this road.” Then there was a third one, “Looking for Something?”  Hmmm.  Messages can appear at the unseemliest time and place. Yet, if we are open to seeing them, these messages can illuminate our path and serve as a call along our path to God.

What strikes me about the first message, “Because TWO are better than ONE” is how we are invited into relationship with others and with our God. Certainly, we are familiar with the Scripture passage from Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” What a powerful reminder that God is always present to us in each other!  We are not alone; we are called to be with each other, to be helpmates—this is part of our makeup, being called into union with one another.

The second message, “It’s time to cross this road,” conjures up images of initial resistance, then surrendering and moving forward, taking that first step, a step of trust and faith in the unknown.  Just as Jesus knew it was time to take up his cross to Calvary, he knew that this step was necessary to fulfill his mission in life of sacrificing his life for the good of all humankind. Even in this moment of suffering, Jesus is befriended by Simon of Cyrene who helps Jesus carry his cross.  Who are the people who help you carry your cross?  Who are the people whose cross you help carry? We do not have to cross the road of difficulty or possibility alone. We are invited to be in community and to walk in solidarity with one another.

The third message, “Looking for Something?” speaks to me of a lifelong quest to find one’s essence, to find one’s calling, and to follow where that essence and calling invites us.  When we’re looking for something, like lost keys, when we pause long enough to examine where we’ve been, and where God is calling us, we can often find what is missing.  So too with our spiritual quest to know ourselves and our Creator, when we pause in prayer or take time to be with our God, in whatever ways God speaks to us, we often find that what we are missing is a connection with ourselves, with each other, and with our God. What we are looking for is within us and around us. We just have to open our eyes and our hearts to see and be aware of God’s presence. But, we get lost in our own darkness, and that’s when we need to be reminded of yet another familiar Scripture passage from Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” It is in the searching, in the seeking, in the opening of doors that we will find what we are looking for.

Looking at these three messages together: “Because TWO are better than ONE!,”  “It’s time to cross this road,” and “Looking for Something?,” are all part of the same message of seeking and finding God in our midst.  These messages are also about recognizing how we are connected to each other and are called to be there for each other, mending broken hearts, working in solidarity with others, bringing about peace and justice, being the Light in someone’s darkness, bringing hope to the downtrodden. We know these messages. We need reminders though that we may need help from others, and we need God’s help to walk across the road as we seek to live out and bring the Gospel message of love and peace to others.

If you are ready to cross the road and to find out whether God is calling to religious life, we invite you to contact us.  Together, we will journey with you as you seek to find your heart’s desire and God’s desire for you.  Better yet, take the leap and meet us in person at our Mission For Peace program, June 22 – 27 in Kansas.  Along with other women in discernment, spend a few days in prayer, community, and service while exploring the possibility of vowed religious life.

Posted in God Calling?, News, Vocations Blog

Dominican Receives Catholic Identity Award at NCEA

St. Mary’s Dominican High School Principal and Vice President, Instructional Area Carolyn Favre holds the Sadlier Catholic Identity Award that was presented at the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) conference. From left are: Dr. RaeNell Houston, Superintendent of Catholic Schools and Executive Director of the Department of Catholic Education and Faith Formation in the New Orleans Archdiocese; Ray Fagan, President and Chief Executive Officer of William H. Stadlier, Inc.; Shannon Hauler, St. Mary’s Dominican High School Assistant Principal, Academics; Dr. Cynthia A. Thomas, St. Mary’s Dominican High School President; and New Orleans Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond.


St. Mary’s Dominican High School received the prestigious Sadlier Catholic Identity Award at the 2022 National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) conference held in New Orleans April 19-21, with Willian H. Sadlier, Inc. and the Archdiocese of New Orleans recognizing Dominican for shaping Catholic identity in the school’s life, faith, and mission through the various ministries of Catholic education.

First presented in 1998, the award honors a school or parish that demonstrates effectively and clearly our identity as a Catholic people. Recipients are identified by the host diocese of the NCEA convention. For nearly 200 years, William H. Sadlier, Inc. has been forming K–12 students in the Catholic faith and preparing them for academic success by offering a variety of educational materials in print and digital formats.

Posted in News

In the Steps of St. Dominic: The Founding of Dominican Women in the United States

Articles by Marilyn Rhodes, OPA

This article is the first of in a series of twelve, one per month, celebrating the Bicentennial of Dominican Women in the United States.

St. Dominic was a traveling friar who shared his deep contemplation of the Gospel with others through his preaching. His Order of Preachers (OP) was formally designated by Pope Honorius III in 1218. Dominic wanted the friars, and soon the sisters of the order, to preach the truth of the Catholic faith. By his example, men and women Dominicans live in community and preach through their active involvement with others.

Angela Sansbury, the first elected Dominican Prioress in the United States

In the early years of our nation, many Catholic families migrated to Kentucky from Maryland in the late 1700s, and most settled in areas where they could continue to practice their faith. Central Kentucky became known as the new Holy Land as Catholic monasteries, convents, and schools sprang up around the area. By 1798, the little log church of St. Ann in Washington County was established. The parish quickly grew too large for this building, and on Christmas Day 1809, Dominican Fathers Fenwick, Wilson, and Tuite, blessed and opened a much larger brick church, St. Rose of Lima, just two miles away.

St. Rose of Lima provided spiritual care for twenty-three hundred souls and became the cradle for Dominican Friars in the United States. These friars founded the first seminary in the United States, a school for boys, the first Catholic college west of the Alleghenies, then turned to women to join the mission of the Dominicans.

In February 1822, Father Wilson invited young women to form a community of Dominican Sisters; nine women became candidates. On Easter Sunday, 1822, seven of these women, including Mariah Sansbury, who took the religious name Angela, were formally received into the Order of Preachers. Angela Sansbury was the first woman in the United States to receive the habit, and she, like those others who entered religious life that day, was part of a group unique in the Dominican order. These Nuns were not cloistered behind convent walls like their Sisters in Europe but called to lead active lives in their community and share the mission of the Dominican Friars – to respond to the needs of the world and the time.

In August, six more women joined the order. Their first mission would be to follow the prayer schedule of the friars and instruct girls. These pioneer women began their lives as Dominican Sisters in a log cabin named Bethany on the grounds of the Saint Rose Farm belonging to the Friars. This new community took the name of the Convent of St. Mary Magdalen, and Father Wilson appointed Judith McMan, a married woman from Cork, Ireland, as superior over the first candidates.

It was soon after that the Sisters moved to the Sienna Vale, near Cartwright Creek. Angela Sansbury and her blood sister Elizabeth, who entered religious life with the name  Benven, were the beneficiaries of their mother’s estate, which of course was passed on to the Community. These assets included land, a large log cabin, a still house, and farm animals, which the Sisters raised to help support the fledgling Congregation.

On January 6, 1823, Sister Angela Sansbury became the first woman in the United States to receive the habit as a Sister of the Dominican Order. Six months later, she was installed as the constitutionally elected Prioress of the Dominican Sisters in the United States.



Posted in News, Seasonal Observances