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Dominican Sisters of Peace Celebrate Foundation and Begin First Chapter of Affairs

ST. LOUIS, MO - April 14, 2009--- Surrounded by supportive sisters, friars, associates and friends, the newly founded Dominican Sisters of Peace gathered at the Marriott Hotel here to formally ritualize their existence as a new foundation of the Dominican Order.

The newly formed Dominican Sisters of Peace originate with: the Dominican Congregation of St. Rose of Lima (Oxford, MI) Dominican Sisters, Congregation of St. Mary (New Orleans, LA), Dominican Sisters of Great Bend (Great Bend, KS), Dominican Sisters, St. Mary of the Springs (Columbus, OH) Dominicans of St. Catharine (St. Catharine, KY) Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Dominic (New Orleans, LA) and the Sisters of St. Dominic of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Akron, OH)

Simultaneous celebrations took place at six other locations for Sisters and Associates unable to travel to St. Louis. With the meeting telecasted to these locations, remote participants were able to see and join in the day's events.

Among the 450 participants attending the founding event, were 254 sister delegates, and 19 non-voting participants along with 60 associates and numerous guests and leadership from Dominican congregations and provinces around the United States and internationally, including Ed Ruane, OP (St. Albert) socius for North America and Dominic Izzo, OP (St. Joseph) provincial.

CarlosIn his remarks, Master of the Order, Carlos Azpiroz Costa, OP recalled our Father Dominic, who brought together Dominicans from several monasteries in Rome to form the Dominican Sisters of St. Sixtus, the first Dominican congregation of sisters formed beyond the community at Prouille. He characterized this present event as a prophetic moment in the Order and in an affectionate tribute, Carlos sang the Easter Sequence in Spanish to the assembly.

The founding ritual was marked by a blessing of water brought from the former congregations as a sign of the baptismal call to follow Christ and preach the Gospel. The Easter Pascal Candle was lit from the light of the seven former congregations and shared with the assembly as a call to be the light of Christ in the world.

Eucharist was celebrated with great energy and music with representatives from almost all the Dominican congregations of the DLC and many guests, associates and ministry partners, including international guests and an associate who travelled from New Zealand to attend. Don Goergen, OP (St. Albert) preached the homily expressing his gratitude for the congregations' courage and fidelity. "In the days to come, remember this yes, the world needs to hear it," he concluded after extolling the group continually ask themselves the question: Who do you seek? "Will this new moment allow us to see the Lord?"

Founding EventKeynote speaker Toni Harris, OP (Sinsinawa) International Co-Promoter of Justice and Peace used the chapter theme: Preaching with a New Fire, and offered four metaphors for the fire of the new congregation: passion; fuel; torch; hearth. Toni asked: "How will the new fire of your preaching bring new energy, new passion, as you work together to create a more just world?  How will every Dominican Sister of Peace understand that action for justice is not optional but is a dynamic perspective reflected in every ministry?"

The First General Chapter of the Dominican Sisters of Peace follows the Founding Event, April 15-21, 2009, in St. Louis. Most of the Chapter will be broadcast similarly to other locations for Sisters to view the proceedings. During the Chapter, direction and priorities for the Dominican Sisters of Peace will be articulated and a Prioress and Councilors to lead the congregation will be elected.

A pontifical institute, the Dominican Sisters of Peace will include more than 650 Sisters serving in 29 states and in Honduras, Nigeria, Peru, Tanzania, and Vietnam. The congregation will also have more than 500 Associates (women and men from throughout the country who partner in mission with the Sisters). Central administration offices for the congregation will be located in Columbus, Ohio, with various other offices located in St. Catharine, Kentucky; Akron, Ohio; and Oxford, Michigan.

Anne Lythgoe, OP
editor, DomLIfe.org

See photos of the Founding Event here.



Toni Harris's keynote address here



















See photos of the Founding Event here.