Candidates and Discerning Dominican Associates across the the United States have been faithfully attending Prayer/Study/Discernment Sessions with their companions, led by area Mentor Teams, since last fall and will soon be participating in a required Associates Discernment Retreat. This special gathering gives them the opportunity to pray and reflect together with other Candidates, Associates, and Sisters in their geographic region before submitting their formal request to become an Associate of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. The first retreat is in June and Commitment ceremonies around the country will be in August and September. Let us all pray for those discerning their call to Dominican Associate life!
"Immigration is a complex issue that is reshaping the cultural, economic and political landscape of the planet. Anyone who speaks of simple solutions either does not understand it or is not listening. Economic stability, cultural integrity, national security, human rights, and fiscal constraints are several of the many issues. Finding common ground amidst the fractious debate is not easy...And, the questions that deal with loneliness and belonging, good and evil, peace and division, healing and suffering, justice and injustice, love and apathy, freedom and slavery are the issues that can be worked out only in the inner depths of the human heart, where we forge the metal of what we most value." ~ Daniel G. Groody, cited by JustFaith Ministries in Crossing Borders: Migration Theology and the Human Journey, 2012, pp. 5, 27.
Many new and exciting endeavors are underway for the Dominican Volunteers USA (DVUSA)! At our recent corporate board meeting, we were greeted with the good news from DVUSA Executive Director Michael Chapuran that there are 38 new applicants for next year's DVUSA program and six current volunteers who are planning to renew for a second year. Each of these young, enthusiastic people are answering the call of Christ to deepen their spiritual life through prayer, study, community, and service in this wonderful program supported by a network of 17 congregations and provinces of US Dominican Sisters and Friars. Check out this video to learn more.
"Preach the Gospel as if you have a million voices. It is silence that kills the world." ~ Catherine of Siena
"O God, whose Word sends us forth always, unite us in Praising, Blessing, and Preaching your Gospel as if we had a million voices. Guided by the unquenchable Spirit of Jesus Risen, may we, members of the family of Dominic, proclaim your Love and your Truth, and witness to your gift of Peace as you renew the face of the earth. All glory, honor and thanksgiving to you, most Blessed Trinity, forever and ever. Amen" ~ Art (pictured left) and Prayer by Sr. Jan Schlichting, OP
"Spacious" seems to be a word that is either being used more widely or has finally made its way into my consciousness. Today seems like a day that I could describe as "spacious." I had nowhere to go, nothing I had to do, the weather was perfect. There was interior space too; time to reflect on and integrate the Midwest Mission Group meeting from yesterday and the pre-Assembly reading I was doing in preparation for a gathering next weekend and an article that the Associates Council is reading in preparation for our monthly conference call this week.
The latter article, Call and Relationship: A Reflection on Association, states that associated and religious should be asking together, "Where do we see our charism alive and active and calling people to our Mission?" What will best enable movement into the future? What are the best ways to share our charism?
"Today at an empty tomb full of light begins the gathering of the community. The crowds have swollen now - you and I are in the crowd with our families, our ancestors, our friends, our children. But the experience is still the same. Yes, I have been touched. Yes, I know that I'm called to do something. I simply do not know what. Or how." ~ Excerpt from Joan Chittister, Journey Into Light: Lent 2012
"Newness often makes us fearful, including the newness which God brings us, the newness which God asks of us. We are like the Apostles in the Gospel: often we would prefer to hold on to our own security, to stand in front of a tomb, to think about someone who has died, someone who ultimately lives on only as a memory, like the great historical figures from the past. We are afraid of God's surprises; we are afraid of God's surprises! He always surprises us!
Visiting the city of Rome immediately following the election of "Papa Francesco" provided members of the Future Church Pilgrimage with several days to enjoy the excitement of the city. We attended the first Sunday Angelus of the Pope with the bursting anticipation of international visitors who waited for each word, action, and detail about this new Bishop of Rome. It was exhilarating to join the celebration for our Church and I still can't believe that I was there!
All Dominicans - Associates, Laity, Sisters, Nuns, Friars - are called "To contemplate, and to share with others the fruits of our contemplation." As we live this out through common study, prayer, community, and ministry, our whole life - both alone and together - becomes a "holy preaching." Whether in the blooming of youth, the full flowering of adulthood, or the fruitful seedbearing of aging, each member of the Dominican Family is not only the bearer of the Gospel of Christ, but also the Good News message itself.