When the Dominican Sisters first came to Chimbote from Columbus, Ohio, in 1966, they were involved in developing catechesis programs and teaching religion in the public schools. Today, the Dominican Sisters of Peace continue these and other ministries among the people of Chimbote.
Sr. Mary Ann Connolly’s principal ministry in Chimbote is with the Pastoral Biblical Team, which gives courses to prepare adult Biblical promoters for the parishes of the diocese. She also assists with the local “St. Dominic Radio” programs, works as a translator and interpreter when the need arises, and serves in leadership roles with CONFER (conference of religious) and Casa de la Mujer (which attends to women’s issues).
Sr. Germaine Conroy serves on the Diocesan Commission of Social Justice (principally in a prison ministry, but recently completed more than a year of service as the interim director) and counsels a group of married couples in a program called Equipos de Nuestra Señora (“Teams of Our Lady”).
Sr. Manuela Crisólogo Gonzales teaches religion and mentors students at a local high school, and she is involved with the youth of the San Jose Obrero (St. Joseph the Worker) Parish. Like Sr. Germaine, she also assists in the Equipos de Nuestra Señora program and she assists Sr. Mary Ann with the Pastoral Biblical Team of the diocese. Early in 2010, she will travel to Costa Rica to begin working on a Master’s degree in scripture.
With a Masters in physical therapy, Sr. Susan Leslie is the founding director of Centro Benvin Sansbury, OP, which is a center for holistic health in Chimbote. In this capacity, she tends to the administrative details of the center, organizes trainings and periodic outreach programs, and mentors a staff of seven therapists. She also leads retreats and centering prayer sessions with various groups, and she does some spiritual direction work (called “spirital accompaniment” in Peru).
In addition to their formal roles, the Sisters seek out other ministries to serve the people of God. They are involved in the formation process for young women interested in exploring religious life, complete administrative and organizational tasks with various collaborative groups, and are active in their local parish.