Today, August 8, the Dominican Family celebrates the feast of Santo Domingo de Guzmán (or St. Dominic), the founder of the Order of Preachers. Dominic is the patron saint of astronomers.
The Order of Preachers is composed of men and women of four branches: friars, who may be priests or brothers; cloistered nuns; sisters; and laity. Dominic de Guzman was called to ministry in the universal Church. His followers have proclaimed the Gospel around the world to peoples never known to the founder, including those of the Americas.
Dominican Sisters in the United States are a diverse, vibrant and colorful mosaic of the Church. Their mission to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ is carried out in countless ways. The Gospel is brought to life through their teaching, care for the poor, advocacy for justice, their art, music, care of creation, spiritual enrichment ministries, housing advocacy, and much more. Collaboration and building relationships are the hallmarks of their work.
Prayer, Study, Community and Ministry, the four pillars of Dominican tradition, find their home among Dominican sisters in over 30 congregations in the U.S. Sisters reflecting a broad spectrum of experience and searching out God’s hopes for the world. They can be found in the halls of Congress, in rural farmlands, in universities, in prisons and in neighborhood centers.
Throughout the history of the Order, women have responded to Dominic’s vision in numerous ways. Some have gathered in monasteries; others have formed into groups devoted both to prayer and social outreach. In time, some of these groups remained lay Dominicans, others became secular institutes, while still others became congregations of Dominican sisters. These congregations, recognized as belonging to the Order by the Master of the Order, retain various degrees of independence and autonomy. Almost all of them belong to Dominican Sisters International (DSI), "an international movement of Dominican Sisters which seeks to create links between all Dominican Sisters of Apostolic Life throughout the world for the sake of the mission of the Order." (SOURCES: Wikipedia; Domlife.org; OP.org)
Full name: Domingo de Guzmán
Dominican Days 2019
I would like to share some pictures of our Dominican Days, which took place August 1 – 4. Dominican Days are Community Days when all our Sisters come ‘home’ to Marywood, our Motherhouse. I love Dominican Days – It’s always so good to see our Sisters and to catch up with what’s going on in their ministries! Some have asked me what happens during Dominican Days. Below is a very brief overview.
Some of us started on Wednesday, July 31 with committee meetings and/or gatherings with friends or classmates, while some of our Sisters and Associates arrived during the week. A Sister who is a close friend of mine arrived on Tuesday, so she, another sister and I went out for ice cream that evening.
Thursday was “Sisters Only” for congregational meetings, dialogue, etc. We ended the day with a social joined by some of the Associates.
Friday was our day of retreat for Sisters and Associates. That evening we received 10 new associates among us – making that 152! Friday was also the day when we had our missioning: Each one of our names is called as we are commissioned to our ministry for the next year. (No surprises here! In the past, Sisters would receive an envelope on August 15th with a ticket to the place of their next mission! Now we meet with our Leadership Team before Dominican Days, and together we discern where our next ministry will be. So, I will continue to serve as Vocation Director – which I really enjoy! 😊) A beautiful reception for the new Associates was held at the end of the day.
Saturday morning, we had our annual Remembering Service – we remember each of our sisters, associates, and former members who have died this past year, as well as family members, benefactors and friends. It is always a very moving experience! In the afternoon we did a procession on campus in solidarity with other justice and prolife walks that were taking place around the country. (Sadly, this walk took place just hours away from the mass shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH.)
Saturday afternoon Sisters were invited to take part in Hula Hoop Challenge – not what you might expect – as a fundraiser for the poor. We raised $400! Not everyone was available since this took place during choir practice and other events that some Sisters were committed to, but those who participated had a lot of fun doing it. I was asked to videotape the event, which will be posted on our Facebook page!
The Jubilarian Dinner was held before Compline, where we continued to recognize our Sister and Associate Jubilarians: 85 years, 75 years, 60 years, 50 years and 25 years! Each group had a short PowerPoint presentation that shared their combined 1350 years as Dominicans living the 4 pillars: Community, Prayer, Service and Study.
Last, but not least…I ask that you keep us in prayer – Five of us: Sisters Janet Brown OP, Joyce Ann Hertzig OP, Mary Kay Oosdyke OP, Fr. Joachim Lally CP, and I (Sr. Chela Gonzalez OP) will be going to do Border Ministry in El Paso August 17 – September 2. Also keep in prayer all immigrant families who are fleeing their countries. And, pray for PEACE!