North East Ohio Associates pulled it off grandly! Thanks to the hard work and hours spent on the phone and on the road by Associate Karen Raccuia, plus the time of several other volunteer helpers, all was organized and ready when the doors of Our Lady of the Elms High School in Akron, Ohio, opened at 3pm Sunday, October 13, for the Associates' first Fall Festival Fundraiser.
The Dominican Sisters of Peace Associates Leadership Network has the goal of growing leadership in the Associates community. In support of that goal, this past weekend, Associate Council member Jan Wilson, OPA, represented the Dominican Sisters and Associates of Peace at the Tri-State Conference of Associate Leadership. The group met at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity in Cincinnati and included two Sisters and ten Associates representing eight congregations: the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville; the Ursulines of Brown County; the Mt. St. Joseph Ursulines; the South Central Community of the Sisters of Mercy; the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati; the Sisters of St. Francis of Oldenburg; the Benedictine Sisters of St. Walburg Monastery, Kentucky; and the Dominican Sisters of Peace.
"By breath, by blood, by body, by spirit, we are all one. The air that is my breath is the air that you are breathing. And the air that is your breath is the air that I am breathing. By breath, by blood, by body, by spirit, we areall one." By Breathe - Lyrics by Sara Thomsen
August 5 and 12, 2013, were days much anticipated by several candidates who had been in discernment for the past several months in their journey to becoming Associates of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. Those called into this adventure celebrated their first commitment in ceremonies in the Chapels of our Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouses in Akron, Ohio, and Columbus, Ohio, with Sisters, Associates, friends and family. At both Ceremonies, the Dominican Sisters present expressed, "With joy and gratitude, we, the Dominican Sisters of Peace, promise to share with you our rich tradition of Dominican life, common prayer, common study and ministry. Likewise we are open to receive and share the gifts that you bring.
"You will be right to depend on prophecy and take it as a lamp for lighting a way through the dark until the dawn comes and the morning star rises in your minds." ~ 2 Peter 1:19
Associate Ceil Amendolia, OPA, proclaimed the words of Peter to everyone present in Niskayuna, New York, at the Commitment Ceremony for discerning de' Ricci Associates. She continued: "We know full well that who we are and what we do influences the people we encounter in our day to day experiences. We are women and men who belong to something so much bigger than we could imagine. We know today that we are women and men moved by the Holy Spirit."
"May the God of SUMMER be with you, enveloping you with the warmth of love, filling your heart with the brilliance of light, refreshing you and cooling you in the living water of God’s grace. In the shade of God’s guiding, protective presence, may your deepened experience of this presence draw others to God's warm, refreshing love. May the blessing of SUMMER be with you." ~ Blessing Upon Blessing by Sr. Maxine Shonk, OP
"Miracles occur when we dare to enter the spaces were new life needs to break out. We are the miracle workers only because we go to those places, and then God is there to work through us." Scripture and these words of Edwina Gateley facilitated a time of prayerful sharing during the Western and Central Kansas Discernment Retreat at Heartland Center for Spirituality on June 1 in Great Bend, Kansas.
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!