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Circle of Friends
The Beautiful Circle of Friends
translation of La Bella Brigata,
by Sr. Paschala Noonan, OP (Peace)

In the introduction to Catherine of Siena: The Dialogue, Sr. Suzanne Noffke, OP, wrote, “She (St. Catherine) was the center of a group (la bella brigata, she called them) drawn from any levels of society and many religious traditions…”
“I chose the phrase because it is descriptive of the Dominican Sisters of Kentucky united with associates, friends, partners in mission, and all those sharing our Dominican charism,” Sr. Paschala Noonan, said.

This book, which follows her successful release of Signadou in 1997, is a pictorial history of the Kentucky Dominicans. A pictorial history uses minimum script and relies on pictures to capture the essence of the story.

Sr. Paschala felt this book would add another dimension to the story of the Kentucky Dominicans. “Have you ever observed someone picking up a new book?” she asked. “If the book has pictures the person turns immediately to look at the pictures. History is sometimes considered boring, but pictures bring the story to life.”

It wasn’t easy choosing which photos were best suited to use in telling the Kentucky Dominicans’ story. At times she was working with 5,000 photos derived from many sources: archives, submitted photos from sisters, friends, former students, newspaper articles and sometimes anonymous sources who just dropped photos off at her door.

“I regret that I could not use every one of them,” she said. “Each picture has a story, but space and reproduction costs limited what I could do.”
There are over 300 photos in the book, and Sr. Paschala hopes that they give at least a “smidgen of our story.”

“It is a companion piece to Signadou, which contains the essence of our story. The intent of the second book is to embellish that,” Sr. Paschala said. “The two books really go together.” While she couldn’t possibly begin to show all the sisters involved in each ministry, she randomly chose pictures to represent a field of ministry. It is her hope that the pictures will evoke fond memories of what brought the sisters to this place in time.

“For some there will be glaring omissions,” she said. “That is good. You will probably bring that up in conversations with your companions. You will be supplying what is missing in this little book. You will be remembering and broadening our story.”

The book took “too long” coming together, Sr. Paschala said. When she first had the idea and discussed it with the publisher, he suggested that it follow Signadou as soon as possible. Because of the interest generated by Signadou, he thought the new book would be a success.

“At the time, I had other commitments and personal situations which slowed me down,” Sr. Paschala said. “In fact, at age 90, my speed is limited to a tortoise’s pace.”

Delivery of the final product is expected sometime in October. “For me writing this book was a joy and confirmed my idea that we are true daughters of St. Dominic,” Sr. Paschala said.

A limited number of copies will be printed. For more information on how you can obtain a copy, contact Donna Medley or 859.336.9303 ext. 307.


For more information on how you can obtain a copy, contact
Donna Medley
or 859.336.9303
ext. 307.

2009 Catholic Press Association Third Place award in the "Best Book by Small Publisher" category.

Since the time of St Dominic, more than 800 years ago, Dominicans have been living and sharing the message of the Gospel. Today thousands of sisters, nuns, priests, brothers, associates, and laity serve in more than 100 countries around the globe.
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