In May 2010, an international panel of younger Dominican sisters addressed prioresses gathered at the Dominican Sisters International (DSI) Assembly in Rome. Their thoughts and feelings inspired the prioresses of the North American congregations to call for a gathering of younger Dominican sisters from their continent.
On Oct. 7, the Feast of the Holy Rosary, more than 30 women from 13 congregations gathered at the motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose in Fremont, California. With the theme of “Walking Together with Realism, Daring and Hope,” they spent the next three days sharing, praying, and learning more about their Dominican identity in a global context. They discussed their hopes and dreams for Dominican religious life and the unique challenges of being the younger members of their congregations.
Sister Lystra Long, a Sinsinawa Dominican originally from Trinidad-Tobago, and Sister Mary Vuong, a Dominican Sister of Peace, both shared how valuable they thought the gathering was. “It means so much to be able to see each other, to hear one another’s voices, and realize how much we have in common, with each other as well as with the older members of our communities,” Sister Mary said.
Sister Margaret Mayce, OP, Dominican NGO representative at the United Nations, and Sister Toni Harris, OP, International Co-Promoter for Justice and Peace, were keynote speakers. Also in attendance were Mary Sue Kennedy, OP, executive director of the Dominican Sisters Conference; Sister Rose Marie Riley, OP, North American Coordinator for DSI; and Sister Maria Fabiola Velasquez Maya, OP, International Coordinator of Dominican Sisters International. Sister Gloria Marie Jones, OP, and the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose were delighted to host.
For many, this was their first trip to California, and time was set aside for exploring in San Francisco. Some of the visitors were able to visit the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael for a tour and dinner on Monday before they returned home with a new perspective, and new friends. All of the participants left determined to continue to share their hopes, dreams and ideas among themselves, and with all of the North American Dominican Congregations. The tremendous energy and spirit of these younger sisters inspired everyone they met, and reminds all Dominicans that we are all walking together with realism, daring and hope.
Story and photos submitted by Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose