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West Coast Dominicans Meet
New Wave Gathering

Roseli (SR), Norfelly (Tac) and Jane Ann (MSJ) share a cultural moment. Each one is from the Philippines.
Los Gatos, CA,  September 16, 2007-- On an Indian Summer’s afternoon, 20 Dominican women religious from the communities of Tacoma, Mission San Jose and San Rafael met at Presentation Center in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains of California. 

The purpose of the gathering was for these West Coast women newer to religious life, to pray, converse, preach and share recreation in order to foster relationship-building in the call to Holy Preaching.  At the opening assembly on Friday evening, this New Wave of Ocean Pacific Dominican women was reminded by S Pat Farrell, OP (San Rafael), that the call to the Holy Preaching is not limited to our words and actions; it is the very community that sustains our life in service to God.

Time together included reflection on Scripture as well as excerpts from the will and testament of Saint Dominic and Henri Dominic Lacordaire’s “Essay on the Re-establishment in France of the Order of Preachers”.  Yet the most powerful witness to our life in common was the shared preaching on Saturday evening.  In advance of the gathering, sisters were invited to bring with them a sample or symbol of their preaching for mutual sharing in the medium of their choice.  Moreover, if spontaneous preaching was the preferred method of sharing, that too, was welcomed. 

Dominicans in the West Gather
The West Coast Gathering included members from group representing Domincians from San Rafael, Mission San Jose, and Tacoma.
After a relaxing dinner in one of the gardens, the sisters convened in the Center’s new “green” Welcome Center where for two hours gifts of individual preaching were offered to the assembly.  One by one these talents came forward: gifts of poetry, photography, essay, song, and dance.  Also offered were insights from ministry experiences in prisons, in hospitals, in home health care, in schools, and in campus ministry.  The gathering was moved by a reflection of what it was like to be an immigrant passing through vigorous inspection at an American airport, as well as a description of one sister’s witness to a group of South Korean women who are calling for the cessation of valuable land in their country being used for an American airbase which could be utilized for farming.  It was an evening of laughter, tears, gratitude and awe.  Later, many voiced how moved they were in the recognition of talent, spirit and compassion among their peers in Dominican life. 
Dominican Sisters of Tacoma: Senaida Rivera, novice, Sharon Casey, (prioress) Teresa Montes Lara and Norfelly Escander
Sunday morning was blessed by a celebration in the Presentation Sister’s Convent Chapel with music provided by members of the three participating congregations followed by a final assembly to discuss the possibility and value of further gatherings of this nature.  The participants in this New Wave assembly enthusiastically agreed that future gatherings of this peer group will be greatly welcomed.  It was a weekend of new beginnings, new relationships and a sharing of ideas from the Ocean Pacific New Wave of West Coast Dominican Sisters. 

Mary Kieffer, OP

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