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Preaching through the arts
Dominican sister artists deepen relationships at Hope Café

A survey from the Dominican Institute for the Arts, mailed to U.S. Dominican Congregations, posed the question: “What important preaching would be accomplished if each Congregation and Province had a Promoter of the Arts?"

Dominican Sisters of Hope have been encouraged to facilitate Hope Cafés, the objective of which would be to “widen our tents” and invite others to come for informal gatherings at convenient sites around pre-determined topics. The focus would vary according to the interests of the group, and participants would discuss various ways to assist one another in deepening relationships and extending services to one another and community.

Sister Lorraine Ferguson, a Dominican Sister of Hope, coordinated such a gathering for artists at Mariandale in Ossining, New York on March 21. Six Dominican congregations, represented by 12 artists, shared their thoughts on how they might continue to preach through the arts.

In attendance were Sisters Barbara Anderson (Hope), Donna Brunell (Hope), Diane Dupee (Hope), Ann Eigenbauer (Sparkill), Lorraine Ferguson (Hope), Connie Kelly (Hope), Mary Pat Neylon (Amityville), Linda Rivers (Hope), Lucianne Siers (Grand Rapids), Mary Pat Reid (Caldwell), Joan Smith (Blauvelt), and Monica Socinski (Hope).

Suggestions were surfaced as to how artists could assist and support one another in their creative endeavors. They noted that Dominican congregations have a long history of respect for the arts and the artists and have encouraged the development and sharing of their talents with their congregations and society at large. Participants agreed that it is a legacy that needs to be continued.