"Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce the news to his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage. Then Jesus said to them, 'Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.'" - Matthew 28:8-11 - Reading for April 21
Pope Francis observed in his first Easter message that the women find the tomb empty, "the body of Jesus is not there and something new has happened, a truly life-changing event. Nothing remains as it was before, not only in the lives of those women, but also in our own lives and in the history of mankind. Jesus is not dead, he has risen, he is alive! He does not simply return to life; rather, he is life itself, because he is the Son of God, the living God."
"An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids that who ever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he told them to run, they all took each other's hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that, they said, "UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if the other ones are sad?" - Tom R. The Annual Black Male Summit, The University of Akron, 2014
The Dominican Sisters of Peace Midwest Mission Group had their spring meeting at the St. Catharine Motherhouse in Kentucky this past weekend. The day began cool and cloudy outside, but inside St.Catharine Hall a "Fire was burning" - the energy and enthusiasm was inspiring as we listened and learned from the morning presentation of Sr. Helen Cahill on "The Mystery of God in an Evolving Universe." She began with the question "Who is God and what is this God quest all about?" Then she developed the concept that the new cosmology challenges us to reinterpret our understanding of God as a nurturing partner in the continuing evolution of the Universe.
People frequently ask the question "what is an Associate?" An easy enough question, but difficult to answer. It's like the question "what color is a flower?" The obvious difficulty is that it depends on the flower or the Associate.
The dictionary definition of the word Associate is "a person joined or connected with an organization." The Dominicans of Peace website states "a Dominican Associate is an individual who is called to live out the charism and continue the mission of the Dominican order in relationship with the Dominican Sisters of Peace - to praise, to bless, to preach." Both of these definitions however lack the substance and essence of the specific person who becomes an Associate.
The announcement that Associate Colette Jenkins, a Religion Writer for the Akron Beacon Journal newspaper, was the featured speaker at the April 1, 2014 annual dinner of the Akron Area Interfaith Council sparked an immediate interest for many Associates and Sisters in Northeast Ohio. Her topic "Them and Us-The Mentality that Violates Human Rights" is a theme that Dominican Associates in the local area think is important to discuss in an interfaith forum. Jenkins brings a wealth of wisdom and experience from working with and representing in the news the many faith-based/religious groups in the Akron/Canton and surrounding areas for the past 12 or more years. Fifteen Associates who have participated in other interfaith opportunities will join members from fifteen religious congregations and groups at the dinner.
On the first Sunday of Lent, March 9, Columbus area Sisters and Associates were privileged to attend a Lenten Prayer service coordinated by two of our most recently committed Associates, Vanessa Carter and Nancy Congelio. On each table the following symbols were placed, asking the attendees "how do these speak to you" - stones, wood, thorns, sand and water.
Scripture readings, time for contemplation, and table discussion provided a very inspirational and spiritual time together for which the Associates and Sisters attending expressed sincere appreciation to the Presenters. All present were asked to participate in a walk following a cross, while singing "I Will Follow Jesus." The program concluded with participants at each table sharing in the "Breaking of Bread."
Pope Francis does not want to be a superman and finds it offensive to be characterized that way. In a recent interview, he said: "To depict the pope as a sort of superman, a sort of star, seems offensive to me. The pope is a man who laughs, cries, sleeps tranquilly and has friends like everyone else, a normal person," (Reuters News)
As we approach the first anniversary of Pope Francis, many stories on his words and actions have been written, discussed and debated as much of the world examined him. Everyone has an opinion on what they have observed. Since anniversaries are always a time to reflect on a person or an event, here are two comments from a Buddhist neighbor and a Dominican Associate of Peace in Ohio. What thoughts would you add to these comments?
"Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are." – Hafsat Abiola
Have you noticed, we are in the midst of a pre-event publicity campaign? Take a look at the homepage of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, there is a new tab: Catholic Sisters Week. Google the same things and a growing list of web pages is appearing. There is a February 7 article in National Catholic Reporter detailing the three year event. Check out the Hilton Foundation’s website, they are the sponsoring organization. In each of these you have an invitation to be a part of this year's event.
"We commit ourselves to be women of peace who: create welcoming communities, inviting others to join us as vowed members, associates, volunteers, and partners in our mission to be the Holy Preaching." 2009 Chapter Commitments
Dominicans Sisters and Associates of Peace are happy to welcome newly committed Associates in Houma, Louisiana. The following are excerpts from Sr. Suzanne Brauer’s reflections shared at their recent Commitment Ceremony.
"Dominic walked, preached, praised and ministered because God had called him to do that in Spain, France and Rome. We are here today because God has called seven beautiful Louisiana women to join him in the walk for God, the Walk of Holy Preaching. They are Gayle Domangue, Patricia (Teesie) Domangue, Mary Evans, Margaret Kohmann, Beth Ledet, Joanne Morrison, and Jane Quatman.