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December 21, 2011

Advent Reflection
The Beatitudes and Acedia

Fr. Michael Dodds, OP, professor at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, reflects on the wisdom of the Beatitudes during this season of Advent. “Maybe it's just that Christmas has become too commercialized, robbing it of its promise of quiet joy and peace at the Lord's coming. But perhaps part of it is that as we look forward towards this season of “Joy to the World,” we find ourselves touched, not by angels, but by acedia— that spiritual affliction… that convinces us that the whole business of being joyful just takes too much energy.” Read more

Dominican Sisters of Peace
Sister Patricia Dual makes perpetual profession

On Saturday, Dec. 10, Sister Patricia Dual, OP, made her perpetual profession of vows as a Dominican Sister of Peace at the congregation's Columbus, Ohio motherhouse. While the membership of the Dominican Sisters of Peace does include a diversity of cultures, Sister Patricia is the first African-American vowed member of the congregation. Read more

Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine de Ricci
Congregation to request merger with Dominican Sisters of Peace

After a year-long complex process of discernment, the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine de Ricci have voted to request a merger with the Dominican Sisters of Peace. The action took place during their Extraordinary Chapter, held at their retreat center in Niskayuna, New York, Dec. 13–15. The congregation had been in discernment with the Dominican Sisters of Adrian and the Dominican Sisters of Peace for about two years. Read more

500th Anniversary
Latest update: DVDs available, Vatican Radio interview

Check out the anniversary web page for papers on history and current issues regarding the Dominican family's celebration of the Montesinos anniversary. Read the latest message from the committee

Dominican sisters take action to urge immigration reform

The Dominican Sisters of Peace have approved a corporate stance on immigration reform that states: “We, Dominican Sisters of Peace, call for comprehensive immigration reform that would provide additional viable legal avenues for immigration, reunite families, legalize undocumented persons, and establish opportunities for permanent residency.” Read more The Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters were among 10 congregations of women religious who issued billboards across Iowa with a Gospel message, along with a statement calling on the president and Congress to make progress on comprehensive immigration reform. Read story in National Catholic Reporter

Preaching in Action
10th annual college conference set for May 22-27

Students from Dominican colleges or colleges that have a Dominican presence are invited to participate in the national “Preaching in Action” conference May 22–27 at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. The program introduces young adults to the Dominican charism and offers opportunities for preaching, prayer and service. Read more

UN Briefing
Climate change: Issue should unite us for common good

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (RIO + 20), will meet from June 20-22, 2012, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The two major themes to be addressed are: the green economy, in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development; and, an institutional framework for sustainable development. Just recently, however, an important related event took place in Durban, South Africa—the 17th UN Climate Change Conference. While there was extensive media coverage of this meeting in other parts of our world, relatively little information was provided here in the United States. Read article by Margaret Mayce, OP.

Sister in the News
Sister Pat Daly works to promote corporate responsibility

Caldwell Dominican Sister Pat Daly, OP, was recently featured in the December issue of U.S. Catholic magazine (“Sister Pat battles the board: How women religious are protecting consumers”) and in an interview with Rebecca Jarvis and the Rev. Seamus Finn, board member of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsiblity (ICCR), for the CBS Early Show (watch video). Sister Pat is the executive director of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, which represents 40 Catholic institutions (most from the New York metro area) to the ICCR.

UN Agency Position Available
ICR at the FAO seeks executive secretary

International Congregations at the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) is seeking a consecrated man or woman to serve as an executive secretary for the organization. The Food and Agriculture Organization is a United Nations specialized agency, accountable to the FAO Conference of member governments. FAO’s headquarters is in Rome, Italy. The deadline for application is Jan. 9, 2012. Read more

Photo of the Week

Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt, New York: Sisters that reside in the motherhouse and in the infirmary decorated Christmas trees at the motherhouse in preparation for a party for the motherhouse/infirmary staff.

Faith and Film
The Descendants, Hugo

The Descendants” is the acclaimed new film from writer-director Alexander Payne, who gave us “Sideways” and “About Schmidt” several years ago. Like those previous films, “The Descendants” pulls off the neat trick of being both funny and sad. Based on the book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick, “Hugo” tells the story of an orphan who lives in Paris’ train station in the 1930s. Hugo was taught by his father and grandfather to keep all the clocks running on time in the enormous station. The film, directed by Martin Scorsese, is visually stunning. Reviews by Tom Condon, OP.

Previous updates:

    December 7, 2011
November 23, 2011 November 9, 2011 October 19, 2011
October 5, 2011 Sept 21, 2011 Sept 7, 2011
August 24, 2011 August 10, 2011 July 20, 2011

The next Dominican Life | USA update will be published on Wednesday,January 11. Deadline for submission of articles/photos is Friday, January 6. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


500th Anniversary of Dominicans in the Americas

Click here for more information

Link to video of 500th anniversary webcast

Vatican Radio interview with Sister Toni Harris, OP

Retreats and events

Visit the Coming Events page to read the latest news of events and retreats in 2012

Hundreds attend funeral for Archbishop Kelly

The funeral for Archbishop Thomas Kelly, OP, was held Dec. 20 at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Louisville, Ky. Kelly was a member of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph. He led the Archdiocese of Louisville from 1982 to 2007.

Read/view coverage on Louisville Courier-Journal web site

Online course on Ecological Spirituality

Dominican Sister of Houston Linda Gibler, OP, PhD offers an online course on Ecological Spirituality titled “EARTH INSIGHTS: A Nature-Based Christian Spirituality,” Feb. 22-May 9, 2012. Drawing from Christian tradition and contemporary science, the course builds on the work of Teilhard de Chardin to explore the Christian journey. Sister Linda is the associate academic sean at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. Contact Sister Linda at 210-341-1366 or e-mail

More info

How I became a Dominican priest

Fr. Walter Wagner, OP, pastor of Saint Vincent Ferrer in New York City, shares his vocation story in a short video interview. Fr. Wagner hails from Louisville, Kentucky and met the Dominican Order while attending Yale where he concentrated in medieval history. From Dominican Daily.

Watch video

Convocation of DSPT College of Fellows

The third annual Convocation of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology College of Fellows will be held Saturday, Jan. 28 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Four public presentations on the theme of "Catholic Imagination and Contemporary Culture" will be delivered by Congressman Dan Lungren, Fmr. Ambassador Ray Flynn, Barbara Elliott and Judge John T. Noonan, Jr.

More info

Climate change: Issue should unite us for common good

Ideas for Dominican gift giving

The Dominican Family includes many talented visual, literary and culinary artisans. Why not consider giving a gift from the heart and hands of a Dominican this year? This is a great way to support Dominican ministries while you cross items off your holiday shopping list. Also included are suggestions for ecological and sustainable gifts.

Read more

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Dominican crosses available

Cost is $27 plus shipping. Contact