A Special “Call to Mission” Asks Adrian Dominicans
to Consider Volunteering in New Orleans
Sisters who attended the
information meeting on New Orleans were (clockwise from bottom
left) Therese Groulx, Cyrilla Zarek, Renee Richie, Sharon Beckmann,
Mary Soher, Durstyne Farnan, and Dot Trosclair, Prioress of
the Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Dominic.
ADRIAN, MI October 16, 2006-- It’s been
a little over a year since Hurricane Katrina and the breaching of
the levees caused massive flooding and destruction in New Orleans,
leaving a city and its people in ruins. The stories of the victims,
survivors and lost loved ones no longer make front-page news, but
to those left behind who are picking up the pieces, the wounds from
that catastrophic event remain as fresh as ever.
During a recent meeting of the Leadership Conference
of Women Religious, Prioress Donna Markham, OP, moderated a panel
discussion in which four leaders from congregations in New Orleans
gave heartfelt reflections on their experiences following Katrina.
Mindful of their call to care for wounded brothers and sisters just
as Jesus would, Sister Donna and the Leadership Council discussed
how they could offer aid to Dominican congregations in the area.
After contacting Dot Trosclair, OP (Eucharistic Missionaries), Angeline
Magro, OP (St. Mary’s), and Marty Gleeson, OP (St. Martin
de Porres Province), the Leadership Council issued a special “Call
to Mission” in which sisters were asked to consider volunteering
in New Orleans for a three-month period.
In response to the Call to Mission, more than 35
interested sisters attended a meeting October 1 at the Motherhouse.
Another six sisters who were unable to attend the meeting expressed
their interest via e-mail. Sister Dot from the Eucharistic Missionaries
was in attendance to share firsthand the needs they are experiencing.
Because the people of New Orleans are still struggling to rebuild
their lives, the primary needs are for sisters to be a comforting
presence to the people in the neighborhoods and parishes and to
assist them in their grief and healing processes. Sisters were asked
to think about the skills they could bring to the people of New
Orleans, whether it’s as a teacher, social worker or clinical
pastoral educator, or other needed skills.
Thus far, 15 sisters have made the commitment
to go to New Orleans and several have begun making preparations
to arrive there in the next few weeks. They will work alongside
Dominican brothers and sisters and live in community with them.
Groups of Adrian Dominicans will continue to arrive in New Orleans
through next spring.