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April 29, 2015

Photos of the Week

Hope Dominicans
Making a home for bees at Mariandale

The bees have arrived at Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center. On Friday, April 24, the sisters and staff welcomed two hives of bees onto campus. In 2014, the sisters along with residents, gardeners, friends, neighbors, and beekeepers, helped to create a new law that allows bees and beekeeping in their Village of Ossining, New York. “We are tending our own bees as part of creating a sustainable and hospitable environment,” Dominican Sister of Hope Bette Ann Jaster said. “We are interested in restoring natural habitats on our campus, which add to the diversity, abundance, and productivity of the land.” Read more, view more photos

Above from left: Dominican Sister of Hope Bette Ann Jaster, OP, and and beekeeper Regina Blakeslee preparing for the arrival of the bees.

Peace Dominicans
New leaders elected at second annual chapter

The Dominican Sisters of Peace convened their second General Chapter at the Marriott Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri, April 6–12. The congregation elected new leaders for the term 2015–2021. Sister Pat Twohill, OP, was elected prioress, along with Sisters Therese Leckert, OP; Gemma Doll, OP; Gene Poore, OP; and Anne Lythgoe, OP (councilors). Sisters Therese, Gemma and Gene were elected to a second term. Sisters Margaret Ormond, OP, prioress, and Joan Scanlon, OP, will complete their terms Aug. 8. Read more

Above from left: Sisters Gene Poore, Therese Leckert, Pat Twohill (prioress), Anne Lythgoe, and Gemma Doll.

Earth Day 2015
Sisters honor Earth with prayer, corporate stance

Dominican sisters across the United States participated in prayer rituals, peace pole blessings, and other activities for Earth Day. Dominican Sisters in Committed Collaboration, comprising five congregations in the Northeast (Amityville, Blauvelt, Hope, Sparkill and Caldwell), approved a corporate stance on climate change. The Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt also hosted a presentation in partnership with the Sierra Club at their motherhouse.

Above: Dominican Sister of Hope Rosemarie Wdzieczkowski, OP, (left) and children and staff at Our Lady of Good Counsel Early Childhood Center, Moorestown, New Jersey, celebrate Earth Day with prayer and song in the parish Peace Prayer Garden. Sister Rosemarie has been a kindergarten teacher at the school since 1997.

Above right: Peace pole blessing at Dominican Sisters of Caldwell, New Jersey.


Caldwell Dominicans
Congregation elects new leadership team

On Sunday, April 12, the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell, New Jersey, selected new leadership for the next five years. The Chapter of Elections concluded the Caldwell Dominicans’ Chapter 2015, which began in February. Sister Patrice Werner, whose five-year term will begin with a formal installation ceremony June 28, was chosen as prioress. Sister Patrice succeeds Sister Arlene Antczak, who is completing 10 years as prioress. Sisters Elsie Bernauer (vicaress), Eileen Ivory, and Patricia Tavis will serve as council members with Sister Patrice.

Above from left: Sisters Patrice Werner, OP (prioress); Eileen Ivory, OP; Elsie Bernauer, OP (vicaress); Patricia Tavis, OP. Photo by Raj Aitwal.

Amityville Dominicans
A celebration of new associates, renewals

Eight new Amityville Dominican Associates were bonded on April 19 at 4 p.m. Vespers in St. Albert’s Chapel in Amityville’s motherhouse. At a beautiful ceremony, Cathy Blackman, Shirley Douglas, Lucille Forelli, Carol Lee, Marian Magadan, Ann Messina, Nancy Szabo and Vincent Whitfield became Dominican Associates. There were also five associates who renewed their commitment. Michele Venza renewed for 10 years, and Maureen Collins, Gladys Reyes, Mary Stanis and Jane Webster renewed for five years.

Homecoming Farm
Spring Awakening celebrates legacy of Thomas Berry

Homecoming Farm, a sponsored ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Amityville, New York, celebrated the legacy of Thomas Berry at its Spring Awakening April 18. Key speakers and sisters included Elizabeth Keihm, executive director of Homecoming Farm; Miriam Therese MacGillis, OP (Genesis Farm); Chris Loughlin, OP (Crystal Spring Center for Earth Learning); Margaret Galiardi, OP (Molloy College); Mary Ann Garisto, SC (director of Sister Hill Farm); Margaret Mayce, OP (DSC NGO at the UN); and Jeanne Clarke, OP (founder of Homecoming Farm). Watch video

Summer Camps
Dominicans offer summer opportunities for children

Here are some summer fun and educational opportunities for children, sponsored by Dominican congregations! Rosaryville Camp Kateri is a week-long day and overnight summer camp at Rosaryville Spirit Life Center in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, for boys and girls ages 7–13. Session 1: June 21-26. Session 2: July 12-17. Dominican Faith Camp for girls entering 6th–9th grade is July 12–14 at Sacred Heart Convent, Springfield, Illinois. Dominican Sisters of Houston Summer Camp for girls who have completed 5th–8th grade is June 28–July 4 at Circle Lake Camp in Pinehurst, Texas. The Racine Dominicans Eco-Justice Center (Racine, Wisconsin) offers Ecology Camp at the Farm with sessions in June and July for boys and girls ages 6–10 and 11–14.

UN Briefing
Giving girls a voice of their own

“As a member of the Working Group on Girls (WGG), a coalition of over 80 national and international NGOs at the United Nations, I aim to work with and for girls to ensure their rights and voices are included at the United Nations and in international agreements. Within the WGG, I sit on the Advocacy Task Force that works to set up meetings with Missions at the UN. In recent months, I have met with representatives from Cuba, Pakistan, Guatemala, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.” Read article by Dominican Volunteer Kelly Litt

800th Anniversary of Dominican Order
Sister theologians to speak at international conference

In early May, the Dominican Friars of Toronto will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Vatican II and the 800th Anniversary of the founding of the Order of Preachers. The conference will take place at St. Michael’s College in Toronto, Canada. Carla Mae Streeter, OP (Racine), will offer a paper titled, “Lonergan as Aquinas Scholar: General Empirical Method and Vatican II’s Interfaith Dialogue Challenge.” Sister Carla Mae is professor emerita of systematic theology at the Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, Missouri. Sister Kathleen McManus, OP (Blauvelt), associate professor of systematic theology at the University of Portland, Oregon, will present “Cross-grained Praxis: Edward Schillebeeckx, Vatican II, and Religious Life in the 21st Century.”
Carla Mae Streeter, OP
Kathleen McManus, OP

Blauvelt Dominicans
Spring lecture series announced

The Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt, New York, will present a free lecture series in May and June. Topics and presenters include “Inventory! What do I Have? What do I Need?” (Sister Dorothy Maxwell, May 13); “Citizens United and We the People” (Sister Cecelia Byrnes, May 20); “The Joy of the Gospel” (Sister Theresa Rickard, May 27); “Exploring the Rich Language and Culture of the Deaf” (Sister Barbara Ann Sgro, June 3); “Poetic Character Sketches” (Sister Miriam Catherine Nevins, June 10); and “Locked Up and Free” (Sister Mary Ann Collins, June 17). For more information, contact Sister Barbara Werner, 845-359-5697 or email

We have family in Iraq
Sister speaks to students about displaced Christians

Sister Marcelline Koch, OP (Springfield) recently had an opportunity to speak to students at Eastern Illinois University about her experience in Iraq. Her visit was featured in an article in the college newspaper. Read article

Siena Center
Sister Sharon Zayac offers retreat May 15–17

Sister Sharon Zayac, OP (Springfield) will lead a retreat, “Evolutionary Consciousness: An Emerging Worldview,” May 15–17 at Siena Center in Racine, Wisconsin. Program description: “We are in the midst of a cosmic shift in understanding who we are as persons, as people of faith, as a human species. What is this newly emerging consciousness? What does it teach us about who we are, how we are related to the whole, and how we image Holy Mystery? Using The Cosmic Story as our context, we will find inspiration and hope as we explore and reflect upon its deeper meaning.” Sister Sharon has a master’s degree in Earth Literacy from Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College, Indiana, and is the director of Jubilee Farm, her congregation’s 111-acre center for ecology and spirituality.

Previous updates:

    April 9, 2015
March 25, 2015 March 12, 2015 Feb 25, 2015
Feb 11, 2015 Jan 21, 2015 Jan 7, 2015
Dec 18, 2014 Dec 5, 2014 Nov 5, 2014
October 22, 2014 October 8, 2014 Sept 10, 2014
August 27, 2014 August 13, 2014 July 30, 2014
July 16, 2014 July 2, 2014 June 18, 2014
June 4, 2014 May 21, 2014 May 7, 2014
April 23, 2014 April 9, 2014 March 19, 2014
March 5, 2014 February 19, 2014 February 5, 2014
January 22, 2014 January 8, 2014 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

Siena Heights DYA Chapter honored

The Siena Heights University Chapter of Dominican Young Adults (DYA) received the Sister Carmelita O’Connor, OP, Outstanding Community Service Award April 16 in recognition of the many ways that the group has reached out to the campus and the greater community.

Read more

Global Sisters Report eBook

Global Sisters Report, a project of the National Catholic Reporter, has compiled 23 stories highlighting the mission and ministries of sisters from its first year into an eBook. Several Dominican sisters are featured in this collection.

Read more

Women religious at the UN

An April 14 story in Global Sisters Report featured interviews with Catholic sisters who were attending the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations. Several Dominican sisters were featured in the article.

Read story

DSC newsletter

The April issue of In the Loop has been posted to the Dominican Sisters’ Conference web site.

Read newsletter

Register now for
DSC Convocation, Market Place

The Dominican Sisters’ Conference is planning for its second convocation Oct. 1–4 in Wheeling, Illinois, just north of Chicago. Don’t miss the opportunity to offer your services or wares! Tables are available at exceptional prices, and the sisters look forward to spending time in “The Market Place.” Registration materials for convocation attendees and Market Place vendors are available online.

More info

Dominican Youth Movement

The Dominican Youth Movement USA connects today’s youth and young adults to the Dominican tradition of preaching and the participant’s own call to preach.

Learn more

Brochures mark
800th anniversary

The Sinsinawa Dominicans are honoring the 800th anniversary of the Dominican Order in 2016 by making available brochures that describe Dominican values, foundations, and charisms as well as ways to practice Dominic’s way.

View brochures

Giving girls a voice of their own

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.


dsc convocation 2015