The Beautiful Circle of Friends
translation of La
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
“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
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.”
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
859.336.9303 ext. 307.
For more information
on how you can obtain a copy, contact
Donna Medley or
2009 Catholic Press Association Third Place award in the "Best
Book by Small Publisher" category.