One of the most popular questions that Vocation Ministers are asked is, "What is the daily life of a Sister like?" Serious discerners are also interested in knowing what it's like living in a particular community of Sisters? How do you pray? What are the community and vocation stories that Sisters share among themselves and with others? To help women in serious discernment with the Dominican Sisters of Peace gain more insight into these questions, we offer them a "mini-immersion experience" among some of our Sisters in mission. Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity of traveling with two discerners, LaKesha and Helen, to visit some of our Sisters and mission sites in New Haven, CT, and Watertown, MA. It was a whirlwind visit, but an enriching experience for both the discerning women and the Sisters.
Sr. Blaise Flynn, OP, is threading our car through the narrow streets of Mission Hill like an embroidery needle through canvas, and inside the car her story weaves just as smoothly. Sr. Pat Dual, OP, is next to her up front, and in the back, three discerners side by side are hanging on her every word: LaKesha, Helen, and I, Maria.
In February 2013, Ministry of Welcome hosted the "Peace Leadership Think Tank" (see March 21 blog). One participant at that event was Associate Professor of Sociology and Peace and Justice Studies at Ohio Dominican University Dr. Julie Hart. Julie also is part of Christian Peacemaker Teams. You may be familiar with CPT's work. They seek to build partnerships that transform situations marred by violence and oppression. Christian Peacemaker Teams value and honor the presence of faith and spirituality, seek to strengthen grassroots initiatives, desire to transform structures of domination and oppression and do this by attempting to embody in their actions creative non-violence and liberating love.
You may have heard the expression, "It takes a village to raise a child." The thought acknowledges that a child's development is not only influenced by parents. The extended family and other relationships also impact their growth. In the language of vocation ministry, the same sentiment is expressed when we maintain that every Sister of the congregation is responsible for vocations, not just the "designated" vocation personnel. Just as a child's development is enhanced by all the positive influences in their lives, a congregation remains energized and viable when the concept of vocation awareness is shared among its members.
Fernando Amigo Llama likes to meet new friends! (So do the Alpaca at Heartland Farm, Kansas!)
Have you decided how to begin your summer? I would like to invite you to consider participating as a volunteer in our annual Service Week, May 13-19, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio at Shepherd’s Corner or at Heartland Farm in Pawnee Rock, Kansas. Sisters Pat Dual, Pat Twohill, and I will be in Columbus and are excited to welcome single women volunteers, ages 18 to 45, for a week of service with time for prayer, reflection and fun. Sister Terry Wasinger and the other Sisters at Heartland Farm will be happy to welcome you in Kansas. Depending on the number of participants, we may also spend some time assisting at the Dominican Learning Center, Habitat for Humanity, and/or some other social service opportunities in the Columbus area.
Inviting Women into the Work of Peacemaking with Us
"Pizza to Go!" is a staple of the college crowd. If you studied in New Haven, it's "Apizza!" Chicago has its special deep dish variety, and all around the country there are unique pizza offerings popularized by the locals in that area. You can grab a "slice to go" on the busy streets of NYC during your lunch hour, and just about anywhere you can have a whole "pie" delivered to your doorstep.
"The foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God's weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength (1Corinthians1:25)."
Without a microscope, a cell sample is just a thin cloudy film on a glass slide or nothing to see, but a clear container filled partly with pink liquid, not valuable at all. Thanks to the wisdom of God, human beings had the creativity to design the microscope, which in turn has made it possible for researchers to find medical treatments and to understand lives.