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January 8, 2014

Photos of the Week

Springfield Dominicans
Congregation elects new leadership team

The Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois, elected a new leadership team at the congregation's general chapter, which concluded on Jan. 3. From left: Sister Rebecca Ann Gemma, OP, prioress general; Sister Kathleen Cour, OP, councilor; Sister Kathlyn Mulcahy, OP, councilor; Sister Barbara Blesse, OP, vicaress general; and Sister Kathleen Gallagher, OP, councilor. The new team will take office in June.

Springfield Dominicans
Sponsored ministry offers support to tornado victims

Students and families of Sacred Heart Griffin High School, a sponsored institution of the Springfield Dominicans, came together to lift the spirits of players, fans and families from Washington, Illinois when the two teams played each other for the Class 5A playoff semifinal game Nov. 23. SHG provided buses to transport fans from Washington to Springfield to watch their team play, just six days after an EF-4 tornado ripped through the town, leaving many without homes. Financial support from SHG families provided food and transportation for more than 1,000 Washington players, students and fans. SHG also sent two trailers filled with bottled water to assist Washington residents and volunteers with relief efforts. Expressing their gratitude, Washington school officials presented to SHG President Sister Katherine O’Connor, OP and Principal Sister Margaret Joanne Grueter, OP a beautiful black and gold quilt, signed by Washington students with notes of thanks. View more photos on SHG's Facebook page

Dominican Associate Directors
Associates, sisters meet in Sinsinawa

Fifteen Dominican associates and sisters from 11 congregations from the Dominican Sisters' Conference met in Sinsinawa, Wisconsin, in November. The gathering was led by Sinsinawa Associate Director Jill Poehlman and Mary Rathert, OP. Issues discussed were the sharing of formation materials and resources, including new uses of media in educating associates and attracting younger members; how commitment ceremonies are conducted, and researching possibilities for creating a communication tool for all associates on the Internet.

Dominican Sisters' Conference
New executive director takes helm

We welcome Sister Pat Farrell, OP, as the new executive director of the Dominican Sisters’ Conference (DSC). Sister Pat is taking on this position after three years of service on the DSC Executive Committee. She is enthusiastic about this opportunity, and also expressed gratitude for the work of outgoing DSC executive director Sister Mary Sue Kennedy, OP, over the last three years. Read more

UN Briefing
Voices of femicide

On Nov. 25, 2013, the United Nations observed International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. In recognition of this day, an event took place at the UN under the umbrella of the Secretary General’s UNITE Campaign. A performance entitled “Wounded to Death” by Italian playwright Serena Dandini showcased the multidimensionality of femicide through monologue, giving a voice to victims of gender violence around the world. One of these striking accounts is included here. Read article by Abby McCrary, Dominican Volunteer

What is Earth asking of the Order?
When, and how, will we reach the tipping point?

If you are a regular reader of DomLife, you are well aware that since September a series of articles entitled, “What is Earth asking of the Order” has been appearing in each issue. As I write these words I wonder what is left to be said… I am looking for that combination of information, insights, action, and in Wendell Berry’s case, poetry, that will create a tipping point for you, the reader. It is widely known that a tipping point is simply an addition or increment that in itself might not seem extraordinary, but that unexpectedly, is just the amount of additional change that will lead to a big effect. Read article by Sister Margaret Galiardi, OP

Dominican Sisters' Conference
Area gatherings begin Jan. 11 in Blauvelt

Groups of sisters and associates who are members of the Dominican Sisters' Conference will meet over the next few months to continue the conversation on global climate change initiated at the 2012 DSC convocation (What is Earth asking of the Order?), and to explore together how the DSC would like to move forward. The meeting schedule and reflection materials are available on the DSC web site.

Dominican Education
DASS convocation: ‘Preaching Human Dignity in Our Schools’

Administrators, teachers, and staff from 19 Dominican schools throughout the country gathered in Lisle, Illinois, in October 2013 for the fifth Convocation of Dominican Secondary Schools. The convocation was organized by the Dominican Association of Secondary Schools (DASS), an organization “dedicated to helping Dominican secondary schools throughout the country promote and maintain their Dominican identity through formation and networking opportunities,” according to DASS president Sister Jane Meyer, OP. Read more

Dominican Institute for the Arts
DIA membership: A commitment to the arts as preaching

The Dominican Institute for the Arts (DIA) is a grassroots collaboration of sisters, friars, laity and associates of the Order of Preachers. DIA members include painters, musicians, dancers, sculptors, filmmakers, potters, poets, actors, composers, writers, designers of sacred space, dramatists, and those who appreciate and support the arts. The organization welcomes new members. For more information, visit their new web site at or download one or both of the following PDF documents: DIA brochure | DIA membership form

Springfield Dominicans
Sister serving on international Nobel nominating committee

Sister Sharon Zayac, OP (Springfield), executive director of Jubilee Farm, is serving on an international committee organized to promote the candidacy of President Anote Ton of Kiribati for the Nobel Peace Prize. President Tong is serving his third and final term as leader of Kiribati, one of many small island nations imminently threatened by the effects of global climate change. During his tenure, President Tong has led efforts to draw international attention to global climate change and to convey the urgent need for action. For more information about President Tong and the Nobel Peace Prize campaign, visit

Grand Rapids Dominicans
Hospital chaplain featured in diocesan magazine

Sister Sue Tracy, OP (Grand Rapids), a four-time cancer survivor, works part time as an oncology chaplain at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. Sister Sue believes in the healing power of laughter, and takes this unique calling seriously: she is a certified laughter leader with the World Laughter Tour and a member of the Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor. Read article in FAITH magazine

Houston Dominicans
Retired sisters make headlines in Houston Chronicle

An article in the Dec. 16, 2013 Houston Chronicle (“Even in retirement, Dominican Sisters continue service”) featured interviews with and photos of sisters living at St. Dominic Villa. Read article

Faith and Film
Philomena | Dallas Buyer's Club | Nebraska

Philomena” recounts a true story of a woman’s search for the child she gave up for adoption 50 years earlier. The movie is powerful and disturbing; I can’t get it out of my head. “Dallas Buyers Club” takes us back to 1985 when the AIDS epidemic was young, terrifying, and largely known as the “gay disease.” This film is notable for the performances of Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto. “Nebraska” requires patience. It’s not fast-paced. But neither are drives across the Great Plains nor small-town Midwestern life. Reviews by Tom Condon, OP.

Previous updates:

    Nov 22, 2013
November 6, 2013 October 23, 2013 October 9, 2013
Sept 25, 2013 Sept 11, 2013 August 14, 2013
July 24, 2013 July 10, 2013 June 26, 2013
June 12, 2013 May 29, 2013 May 8, 2013
April 24, 2013 April 10, 2013 March 27, 2013
March 13, 2013 February 27, 2013 February 13, 2013
January 30, 2013 January 16, 2013 Dec 19, 2012
December 5, 2012 November 16, 2012 October 31, 2012
October 17, 2012 Sept 26, 2012 Sept 12, 2012
August 29, 2012 August 15, 2012 July 25, 2012
July 11, 2012 June 27, 2012 June 13, 2012
May 31, 2012 May 16, 2012 May 2, 2012
April 4, 2012 March 21, 2012 March 7, 2012
February 22, 2012 February 8, 2012 January 25, 2012
January 11, 2012 December 21, 2011 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 22, 2014. Deadline for submission of articles/photos is Friday, January 17.


USCCB: National Migration Week

National Migration Week will be observed in Catholic dioceses around the country Jan. 5–11. Catholics are called to participate through prayer and action to try and ease the struggles of immigrants, migrants and vulnerable populations and to reflect on the Church’s obligation to welcome the stranger.

More info

Sisters recognized for working to raise awareness of human trafficking

In November, the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt and Sparkill were recognized for raising awareness and advocating for an end to human trafficking. Sisters Dorothy Maxwell, Joan Agro and Eileen Gannon represented the Women’s Committee of both congregations.

Read more

Ideas for a ‘green’ winter

In The Dominican Sisters of Peace offer some eco-justice suggestions for the winter season.

Read more (PDF)

Obituary: Sister Janet Fitzgerald, OP

In December 2013, the Dominican Sisters of Amityville, New York, said farewell to Sister Janet Fitzgerald, OP. Sister Janet was president of Molloy College for 24 years (1972–1996) and also taught philosophy.

Read obituary in Long Island Newsday

Las Casas newsletter available

The latest newsletter from Las Casas: Dominicans in Ministry with Native Americans, is available online in PDF format.

Read newsletter

Brother Cassian speaks at UN

Brother Cassian Derbes, OP (Dominican Province of St Joseph), recently spoke to a group of delegates and diplomats from various countries at the United Nations in New York City. His presentation focused on how Dominicans such as St. Raymond of Peñafort and St. Thomas Aquinas have served as counselors to leaders of both Church and State. From Dominican Daily.

Read more

Adrian Dominicans host Come and See Feb. 21–22

Single, Catholic women ages 18–35 are invited to a Come and See with the Adrian Dominican Sisters. We will pray together, study Dominican Life, learn about discernment and enjoy delicious meals. There is no cost for this weekend.

More info

Voices of femicide

Shop and support DSC

Purchase books, gifts and other items through, and a percentage of the cost will be donated to the Dominican Sisters Conference. Click on the icon (above) to get started.

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