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Dominican Alliance
Congregational leadership teams meet in Houston

By Sister Barbara Blesse, OP (Springfield)

Blessed by the warm hospitality of the Houston Dominicans, 25 members of the Dominican Alliance gathered in Texas for their spring meeting the weekend of March 30–April 1.

Now in its 15th year, the Dominican Alliance is comprised of the of the following congregations of Dominican Sisters: Grand Rapids (Michigan), Houston (Texas), Peace (Ohio), Racine (Wisconsin), Sinsinawa (Wisconsin), Springfield (Illinois) and Taos (New Mexico). As “itinerant women of the Dominican Alliance” its members “embrace the mission to preach the Gospel by linking [their] energy, members and resources.”

During the meeting, the leadership teams of these congregations spent time in theological reflection, study, prayer, contemplation, and faith-sharing. Their study included a presentation by Sister Kathlyn Mulcahy, OP (Springfield) on how today’s technology can be used to enhance the Dominican Mission. In addition, the group received input from Sister Linda Gibler, OP (Houston) on “Holy Week Reflections with Sacramentals” wherein she shared the stories of water, oil, fire and wheat as they have evolved over time from their literal beginnings within the cosmos until their present day use as sacramentals within our Catholic faith. Both presentations were engaging and provided much food for reflection and prayer.

Sister Mary Sue Kennedy, OP, executive director of the newly formed Dominican Sisters Conference, was present in order to get to know the flavor of Dominican Alliance meetings and for the members to get to know her better.

As at each of the bi-annual meetings, the members were informed about the latest collaborative activities of the existing committees as well as updated on the financial resources available for future works. The Vocations Committee continues its efforts to attract women to our Dominican life. The Eco-Justice Committee focuses its energy on bringing knowledge and experience to sisters in the Dominican Alliance congregations by developing programs on various aspects of Eco-Justice and presenting those programs to the sisters and associates wherever they gather for their meetings. The African Connection Committee is currently working with four Dominican sisters from Africa who are studying for degrees in higher education at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio. Congregations within the Alliance help to provide not only the financial support necessary for this educational endeavor but also supportive community life for the
sister students.

The entire weekend proved to be a great balance of business and new “stretching” insights sprinkled with lively conversation and mutual support.

Barbara Blesse, OP (Springfield)