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Coming Events

Responses to the election of Barack Obama
to the US Presidency

Dear readers:
Thank you for your swift responses to the election of Barack Obama to the US Presidency. There were about 85 replies all together, most of which were overwhelmingly positive and about ten expressed very heartfelt concern about the issue of abortion and pro-life policies. We received several from Dominicans around the world. Here is a representative sample:

From Around the World:

My dear American friends,
I want to express my solidarity and my joy for your new president Obama, I have thought of all of you. This election is giving me hope even for Europe... Thanks!!!
Patrizia Morgante,
Dominican Sisters International

emailI heard of Barack Obama's election at a course of lectures that I am giving to deacons, in the north of England. Everyone was delighted and agrees that it is a wonderful moment. After years in which America has increasingly be seen as a country which threatens the freedom and development of other countries, as giving up on human rights and consenting to torture, at last here is someone who can be a figure of hope for the whole planet. But, our heartfelt prayer is that his life will be spared from some crazy assassin!

Timothy Radcliffe OP,
former Master General, Province of England

emailThe election of Obama seems to be a sad event from the Dominican point of view because of his anti-life ideas that aren't in accordance with the basic human rights. Obama cannot be supported by any Dominican since our calling is the search for Veritas, the Truth and he doesn't represent it.

Mr. Teemu Heiramo OP 
Helsinki, Finland

emailWonderful news - such as those 20th century  'I never thought I would see the day'   events which we have witnessed. We need to keep praying that the change which has begun will continue so that all peoples, not only Americans, will experience peace and justice in their lives.

Maris Stella McKeown OP
Cabra, Ireland

emailCongratulations for this beautiful election of Obama, which gives us here in the Middle-East so much joy and hope for a better future. I know that there is still a long way to go, but at least some hope has been restored. Everyone here is delighted. Congratulations.

your brother
Jean-Jacques Pérennès, op
Dominican Institute of Oriental Studies, Cairo, Egypt

emailI live in Lima, Peru, and had to go downtown on errands the day after the election. Literally EVERYONE I met asked where I was from, and when I answered "from the U.S.", with a big smile they asked what I thought of the election. When I said I was very happy and hopeful, their smile grew as they said, "SO ARE WE!" The conversation was repeated--as if from a script--on the bus, with the man selling soft drinks at the streetlight, in the stores... The world awoke today to new hope!

Kathlyn Mulcahy, OP (Springfield)

emailI am a Bolivian member of the Dominican Order and I work in my homeland, but I lived ten years in the US and had my primary studies there. That is the reason why I was very interested in the process of a new president for the US. Congratulations for having elected President Obama. I am sure he will be a very good leader for your nation.

Oscar Uzin OP (Bolivia)

emailSen. Obama’s election as President was a historic moment not only for the United States but for all who hope for a better future for all. A Canadian journalist wrote that Barack Obama was right: “Americans…still believe in an America where everything is possible”. Americans reshaped their history by electing the first black president. On election night, when Obama kept repeating to everyone’s excitement and enthusiasm: “Yes, we can”, Yes, we can”,…I realized that we are all in this together..

Philippe LeBlanc, OP
Province of St. Dominic, Canada

emailHere in Rome, many folks have offered me congratulations on our elections. International emails are also bringing expressions of hope for the future. On Wednesday, 5 Nov 08, I awakened to the alarm I'd set for 5AM. I turned on the TV in time to hear (live) both McCain's concession and Obama's acceptance speeches. I noted later in my journal that it felt to me like the resurrection of the soul of the USA. Today, when I travel internationally as a citizen of the USA, the embarrassment and discomfort that usually accompany me begin to be mitigated a little.

Toni Harris OP
International Co-Promoter for Justice and Peace for the Dominican Family


US Responses

emailI celebrate the historical election of Barrack Obama and ask for God's wisdom and guidance to make him a great leader of our nation and world. A leader who will bring about true peace and justice for all humankind and a world that will move toward greater right relationships with all creation.

May Barrack Obama continue to challenge all of us to be the change we
wish to see!

Kathleen Clausen, O.P.
Adrian Dominican

emailI did not vote for Barack. I work for Right to Life of Michigan Southeast Macomb. We are interested in life issues: abortion and Euthanasia. Barack is hard core abortion minded. He will undo the work pro-life people have worked for. He will sign the Freedom of Choice Act.

Mary Helen Smolbrook, OP
Adrian Dominican, Great Lakes Dominican Mission Chapter

emailI am baffled as to what the American public was thinking during yesterday's election. Barack Obama is a dreamer and an idealist who has presented a set of unrealistic "changes" that he says he can make. News flash: it's most likely not going to happen! I applaud all the young voters who came out and expressed their opinions, but am extremely concerned for what the future will hold. I believe that many people did not think through the long-term implications of electing a president with socialist ideals to the highest office in the land. For future elections, I beg you to think before marking your ballot for "change."

Elizabeth Campi, Dominican University of California
San Rafael, CA

emailTo be in Grant Park, [for the celebration] to be a witness to history, is something I will not forget all the days of my life. I have a renewed faith in our nation, and I believe, when we work together, we can build a better home for all.

Anthony Butler, Executive Director
Dominican Volunteers USA

emailI have never had such an emotional reaction to an election result and cried throughout Barack Obama's acceptance speech. I believe him to be a very intelligent and caring person and pray he will maintain his integrity and bring needed policy changes to this great land. John McCain's concession speech impressed me and,hopefully, he will work with Obama to help unify the nation.

Patricia Reilley, Associate
Pueblo CO
St. Mary of the Springs, Columbus

emailAmericans have spoken with their votes. We have a great country and now more Americans will feel equality. As for the issue of the rights of the unborn babies, this was trumped last night, but I believe that the voice of the unborn can still resonate in the American people. This cause is not lost in the vote for Barack Obama. There are many good people whose voices will ring out, and as Barack says, yes we can. We can work together and make this a country where everyone's voice is heard.

Carol Capelli
St. Martin de Porres
Hammonton, NJ

emailWe have elected leaders for our country that hold up a vision that another world is possible. Our work now is just beginning. We must all be partners in developing policies and programs that work for peace and ensure that all citizens have access to a quality of life.

Sr. Brenda Walsh, OP, Racine Dominican

emailIn 1968 Robert Kennedy said, "Things are moving so fast in race relations a Negro could be president in 40 years. There's no question about it, in the next 40 years a Negro can achieve the same position that my brother [John] has. Prejudice exists and probably will continue to, but we have tried to make progress and we are making progress. We are not going to accept the status quo." President elect Obama is first and foremost a citizen of the United States of America. As a friend of mine puts it, of course he will be different from other US Presidents, just like Kennedy was different from Johnson, or Carter from Reagan, and Clinton from Bush (the elder). The fact that he is not white coincides with changes in the history of our civilization. Women also are moving to positions of executive leadership in greater numbers on several continents.

Obama may be seen as an indicator of deep changes in our modern (postmodern) society. Such changes result from an evolving process, just as current science and technology benefited from discoveries and failures of the history of science over the past centuries.

I dare say that because of prejudice and/or racism, Obama's flaws and mistakes will be more visible than those of previous presidents.

Victor Laroche, OP
Southern Dominican Province

emailAs the US bishops pointed out, no other issue - and no other culmination of issues - approaches the moral magnitude of the evil of abortion in our land. Supporting abortion, even supporting pro-abortion candidates, simply puts our individual souls in peril.

So, after reflection and prayer, I intend to request the Lay Provincial Council
Executive Committee's support in encouraging the Dominican Laity throughout the Western Province to fast and pray on behalf of any future unborn victims of yesterday's elections.

Tony Galati, President
Lay Provincial Council
Western Province

emailThe most significant words that have come to us from our new President Elect Barak Obama are: "I need your help!" 

Yes, in this democracy the help we must give is our help in the total disarmament of nuclear weapons in the United States and leadership in the other Nuclear Weapon nations to do the same. We must give our help to stop our arms sales to nations, our pursuit of war-making in any nation ever again. Wars and the killing of creatures and Earth will never be the way to peace. We must give our help in strengthening the United Nations, of building a unity among all peoples and the facilitating of an economy that benefits all people, especially for basic human necessities of nourishing food, health care, education, employment, and practice of faith choices in every country. We must give our help to the creation of alternative energy sources (not nuclear power) that will not injure Earth. We must give our help to bring the nation to a repentance for all the sins of the past committed within this country and toward all other countries where the U.S. has extended its empire building. 

With love,
Sisters Carol Gilbert, OP and Ardeth Platte, OP 

emailI was a few seats behind Martin Luther King Jr in Mason Temple when he made his "I Have a Dream" speech the night before he was assassinated. As I listened to Barack Obama's deeply moving acceptance speech I felt that Martin's dream was fulfilled and even surpassed.

Sr. Adrian M. Hofstetter, OP (Kentucky)

emailI have never been so excited about an election until now! The whole country now has something to be excited about. It's a new era and I'm so glad to be a part of it. When I voted yesterday, I took my grand-daughter into the booth with me and she fully understood what we were doing. I hope she remembers this historical event.

Marge McGlinchey
Sister of Anne Lythgoe, OP

emailForty of us gathered at St. Columba - African American Catholic Church - Oakland,CA to pray and celebrate the resurgence of hope and the possibility of America regaining its moral fiber. We prayed for safety for the Obama family; we prayed that all of us will step up and take on the responsibility to transform our nation. As we work to end the violence on our city streets, we know that Obama's election is a model of another way for our youth!

Marian Castelluccio
Dominican Sisters of Adrian
Oakland, CA

emailPresident elect Obama's election is an historic event. His person, campaign and message reflected the multi racial-ethnic nature of the country and the promise that can be brought about by unifying that spectacular diversity. He is an intelligent, reflective and grounded man who despite persistent demonizing stayed the course, focusing on the common good issues critical to the well being of the hard working and the most vulnerable people in this country. He understands the importance of our role as collaborators, as opposed to dominators, with the other peoples of the world in the preservation of the planet. And in so doing, he challenges all of us to be our best selves. I pray we are up to it.

Jean Hughes, OP
Adrian Dominican Sisters
Chicago, IL 

emailI hope and pray that our new President Obama will return the Democratic Party to its former task of working for social justice and that this will include effective efforts to reduce the number of abortions, by overcoming poverty and promoting education, including family and pro-life education.

Benedict M. Ashley OP (St. Albert Province)

emailCongratulations, President-Elect Obama. You give us hope---hope that our American culture is YET redeemable, hope that the American spirit CAN be transformed into one of integrity and self-sacrificing care for the life and welfare of every part of God's creation. Yes, we CAN!

Jeanne Harris, OP Mission San Jose

emailI rejoice that this nation has taken a step toward hope and beyond racism. I feel this man will listen to life issue concerns and will create a place where those who value choice and those who value embryonic life can talk. Law or the removal of a law cannot substitute for value clarification and honest communication. We can do better as a nation and as strong defenders of life.

Carla Mae Streeter, OP

emailEstatic! now lets gets on our knees that, with God's help, he may be able to deliver what he promised.... and for his safety. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me!

Esther Calderon,OP
Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Dominic, soon to be - Dominic Sisters of Peace

emailWOW! This really is a new moment. I am so excited about Barack Obama's election and also about the whole movement his candidacy brought to life. I live in an inner city neighborhood and yesterday there were lines at the Polls. This has never happened before. You could feel the Hope in the people and their excitement about voting.
Then last night listening to Obama's victory speech and seeing the crowd and the emotion. Today people on the streets are smiling, walking with real energy - they are just happy and so am I. It is a new moment and I am glad to be experiencing it!

Monica McGloin, OP (Hope)

emailI am so happy! I haven't felt this way since John Kennedy was elected! 

I realized last night that our biggest problem in the US is not the war or the economy, but that we need to come together as one people. I appreciated John McCain's speech. He showed his true colors and I realized that we all need to come together. Then when Barack spoke it was clear to me we need to heal the divisions and see ourselves as a multi cultural country and that we are all one. Perhaps our arts can bring us together. We musicians say, 'Music Is The Universal Language.'

Michael Burke, OP


Pope Urges Obama to Build Just World
Promises Prayers for New US President

Vatican spokesman expresses hopes for Obama's presidency

Catholic voters mirror general electorate in support for Obama

Recalling a Maryknoll Life and the President-Elect's Kenya Roots

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