Message from DomLife Editor Susan Oxley

The DSC staff met Nov. 18–19 in Chicago (River Forest). We enjoyed the opportunity to visit the McGreal Center at Dominican University which is right in the neighborhood. From left: Sister Patricia Farrell, OP, DSC executive director; Susan Oxley, DomLife editor; Sister Janet Welch, OP, McGreal Center director; Sister Margaret Mayce, OP, UN-NGO representative for the DLC; and Cassie Vazquez, DSC administrative assistant.

The DSC staff met Nov. 18–19 in Chicago (River Forest). We enjoyed the opportunity to visit the McGreal Center at Dominican University which is right in the neighborhood. From left: Sister Patricia Farrell, OP, DSC executive director; Susan Oxley, DomLife editor; Sister Janet Welsh, OP, McGreal Center director; Sister Margaret Mayce, OP, UN-NGO representative for the DLC; and Cassie Vazquez, DSC administrative assistant.

It is a bittersweet experience, working on my last Dominican Life | USA update. When I was hired by the Dominican Leadership Conference (now the Dominican Sisters Conference), I was also coordinator for the National Communicators Network for Women Religious (NCNWR). I have continued in both roles, which are complementary in many ways.

In seven years with DSC and 11 years with CWR (NCNWR changed its name to Communicators for Women Religious in 2013, to better reflect the organization’s international membership), I have had the opportunity and the privilege of working with Catholic sisters and lay employees from a variety of congregations. My “formative” years working in the communications office for the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1995–1998 and 2000–2003) brought me to an understanding of the mission and ministries of Catholic sisters today, and inspired and motivated me to want to tell their stories to the world.

I took on the role of DomLife editor when my son was 3 years old. Now he is 10 and in the fifth grade at Williams Bay Elementary School, Williams Bay, Wisconsin. He is old enough to understand now that I work for “Catholic sisters,” but he does not really know what this means, or what vowed religious life is all about. This is not uncommon for his generation, or in that matter for the general public.

This lack of awareness of who Catholic sisters are today is something that the Conrad N. Hilton Catholic Sisters Initiative is working to impact through a strategic focus on “building the global sisterhood.” CWR is an active partner in this collaborative effort. I am excited to be able to dedicate myself full time to my expanding role as CWR coordinator, and to be part of a broad vision for supporting and promoting Catholic sisters and their ministries throughout the world.

I am leaving DomLife in excellent hands. Cassie Vazquez in the DSC office will be taking on the role of editor. Cassie has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s in library and information science from Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois. She previously worked as a special collection archivist at the McGreal Center for Dominican Historical Studies at Dominican University. Cassie works with DSC Executive Director Sister Pat Farrell, OP (San Rafael) in the DSC office in River Forest.

It has been a joy and a privilege to serve as editor of Dominican Life | USA. Thank you for helping me to tell the stories of the Dominican family!

Susan Oxley