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Coming Events

Anticipating a New Foundation in 2009
Dominican Sisters of Peace Hold Pre-Chapter Meetings

Srs. Helen McCarthy and Mary Costello

ST. LOUIS, MO -- November 24, 2008 -- “Preaching with a new fire, living with a new spirit, calling one another to praise (God’s) name!” This mantra, created by Sinsinawa Dominican liturgists Srs. Carol Artery and Priscilla Wood, inspired us during our Pre Chapter Assembly October 31 -November 2 and reechoes as we live into the fullness of that hymn.

More than 300 members who will be at our Chapter assembled in St. Louis the last weekend of October, a time of amazing convergence. We felt the Feast of All Saints, the brilliant results of the autumnal equinox, and the eve of a momentous presidential election readying our hearts for the mystery yet to be revealed during the Easter season. We caught fire – from a large banner displaying the Chapter logo, from spirited conversations at discussion and meal tables, from Sr. Carol Zinn’s challenging keynote address, from heartfelt prayer times and Eucharist, and from amazing unanimity about three important matters.

The title of the Friday morning keynote address confirmed and stretched our deepest desire: “Reconfiguration for the Life of the World – Preaching with a New Fire.” Sr. Carol Zinn, SSJ (NGO representative at the United Nations for the Sisters of St. Joseph and longtime collaborator with former Dominican representative Eileen Gannon), called us to a more profound consciousness of the interconnectedness of all life and a willingness to partner with others in radically new ways. Sr. Carol expanded upon a schema similar to Spiral Dynamics, Fr. Don Goergen’s gift to us at our Cluster Assembly in St. Louis in November 2005. Prophetic people are standing on the brink of a leap beyond humanity’s basic concerns for safety, belonging, power, order, progress and even community. Entering into a world view where EVERYTHING is connected and interconnected transforms persons and structures

“This is the reality.” Thus Sr. Carol’s young friend Crystal summed up her sage advice on other matters. Dare we ignore the urgent realities of our times? Divisions, autonomy, oppression, brokenness, arrogance, materialism, and ignorance beg for Dominicans to address these challenges, as Catherine of Siena did, out of the fullness of our tradition.

Sisters also viewed live Pre- Chapter proceedings on televisions at six motherhouses and online. " I watched, walked, and listened with deep gratitude to God for modern technology that brought all of you alive on the spot!" saidSr. Mary Elizabeth Myers, NOEMD living in Oxford. "Seeing fellow EMD Sisters just thrilled me. I left the weekend with new energy to journey the rest of my life with all of you. The bonding I felt was the oneness I dreamed of. My willingness to walk with all of you gives me joy and hope and energy to share myself with everyone. I belong! I am a part of the great family of Dominican Sisters of Peace."

Sr. Carol reminded us that structural reconfiguration must move us beyond concerns for new modes of governance and how personal needs and desires will be met. Yet we did address three dimensions of our communal life as Dominican Sisters of Peace.

In reflecting on the experience, Mary Jo Knittle, (Columbus) said, "..meeting so many Sisters I had never seen who are now in the same community – it waas thrilling! The Holy Spirit was clearly in evidence throughout our days. True Dominican Joy was spilling over during our meetings, meals and break times. The atmosphere was very positive. We are on our way to a wonderful adventure of sharing our lives and our ministries.:

Through prayer and honest dialogue, we affirmed the Provisional Constitutions, Directives, and basic Governance Structure. We also took the first steps as assembled delegates toward the election of our first Leadership Team.

Sr. Gene Poore, designated prioress for Pre Chapter and Chapter, concluded our assembly with a litany of thanks for all the committee work evident throughout the weekend, for our facilitators Srs. Carol Crepeau, CSJ, and Mary Ellen O’Grady, OP, and for the prayers of our Sisters who were viewing live Pre- Chapter proceedings on televisions at six motherhouses and online.

The seven congregations participating in this reconfiguration include the Dominican Sisters from Columbus and Akron, OH; Oxford, MI; St. Catharine, KY; Great Bend, KS; and St. Mary and Eucharistic Missionaries, New Orleans, LA.


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