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April 27, 2011

Planting for Peace
‘A different kind of tree’

In March, Sister Pat Chaffee, OP (Racine) traveled to Afghanistan to represent the Racine Dominicans' support of the Afghan Youth for Peace effort. The group planted trees as symbols of the young people's desire to be rooted in peace. The full story, and a video with images from the tree planting and a poem written by the youth, is posted at For more information about the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, and the Live Without Wars 2011 Project, visit

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The mission of Dominican Life | USA is to inform readers of news and activities of Dominican friars, sisters, nuns, laity and associates in the United States, promote the preaching charism of the Order, and inspire action on behalf of justice and peace. We appreciate your readership! We also welcome your support. Please consider making a donation to DomLife. Learn more

New Priests
St. Joseph Province announces ordinations

The Dominican Province of St. Joseph has announced the ordination of four brothers, which will take place May 27 at St. Dominic Church in Washington, D.C. The following will be ordained to the priesthood: Hyacinth Marie Cordell, OP; Ignatius John Schweitzer, OP; Ezra Sullivan, OP; Austin Dominic Litke, OP. This announcement coincides with a recent news release from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on the results of its 15th annual survey of ordinands to the priesthood.

New Leadership
Blauvelt, Sinsinawa Dominicans elect new leadership

The Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt, New York, have announced the election of their new leadership team. The Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa held their 23rd General Chapter in April, during which a new prioress and council were elected. Read more

Sister Rebecca Ann Gemma to serve as Region 8 chair

Sister Rebecca Ann Gemma, OP (Springfield) was recently elected Region 8 Chair for the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). She will be installed as an LCWR board member during the LCWR national assembly in August. Read more

Lay Dominicans
Receptions and promises celebrated in St. Louis

The St. Martin de Porres Group of Dominican Laity from Kansas City traveled to St. Dominic Priory in St. Louis on Palm Sunday to celebrate the reception and final promises of several members. Lay Dominicans, once called secular members of the Third Order of St. Dominic, are now officially known as members of the Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic. Before making life promises Lay Dominicans undergo a four to five year formation process to prepare them for living the Dominican charisms of prayer, study, community, and mission as lay Catholics in today’s world. Read more

‘That SHE May Dance Again’

“That SHE May Dance Again: Rising from Pain of Violence Against Women in the Philippine Catholic Church” is the title of a new book by Sister Nila Bermisa, MM that was formally launched on March 31 at the Institute of Formation and Religious Studies (IFRS) in Quezon City, Philippines. The book was published by The Women & Gender Commission, a mission partner of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines. Read more

Young Dominican Mission Team
‘You are the light of the world’

The Young Dominican Mission Team, consisting of Dominican Young Adults (DYA) members, visited Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois, in early April to talk about their Dominican experience. Presenters included Sean Mundy of Tarrytown, New York; Michelle Schultz of Chicago, and Dan Cummings of Ridgewood, New Jersey. Read more

Sparkill Dominicans
Sister Adele guest of honor at St. Thomas Aquinas exhibit

Sparkill Dominican Sister Adele Myers was the guest of honor at a reception in March marking the opening of the St. Thomas Aquinas College (STAC) Faculty Art Exhibit. Sister Adele was recognized as the founder and first chairperson of the STAC Art Department and for her contributions to the arts at the college and the wider Rockland County Community. Read more

Faith and Film
‘Of Gods and Men’ excellent, ‘Source Code’ disappointing

I usually cringe when I hear about a new movie about religious life or priesthood. How will the filmmakers make us look either like idiots or predators or totally irrelevant people this time? I am very pleased to announce that the makers of “Of Gods and Men” have gotten religious life right… The movie tells the remarkable true story of a small Trappist monastery of French monks in Algeria in 1996. “Source Code” is what I call a “high concept” movie, like last year’s “Inception.” …The viewer has to be able to understand and accept an implausible, difficult to understand, concept. In this case, the concept is far-fetched and confusing. Reviews by Tom Condon, OP.

Photo of the Week
Lenten food drive at St. Mary’s Dominican High School

Students at St. Mary's Dominican High School, New Orleans, carry cases of food to be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank. This year, the students collected 16,960 cans of food. The annual Lenten food drive is sponsored by the Christian Leadership Council (CLC) and organized through the religion classes at St. Mary’s, bringing students together in an effort to fight hunger in the New Orleans community.

Previous updates:

The next Dominican Life | USA update will be published on Wednesday, May 11. Deadline for submission of articles/photos is Friday, May 6.


Dominican Sisters International

The May newsletter from the Dominican Sisters International has been posted online. Also, read the Easter message to all Dominican sisters from Sister Maria Fabiola Velasquez Maya, DSI international coordinator.

Read more

DSC May gift sharing fundraiser

Dominican sisters and associates have donated wonderful gifts for the raffle that will take place during the month of May. Proceeds from the fundraiser support the mission of the Dominican Sisters Conference.

Download brochure

Dominican crosses available

Cost is $27 plus shipping. Contact