Dan Burke, executive director of the National Catholic Register, blogs about Saint Albert the Great on his feast day, Nov. 15. Read article
Monthly Archives: November 2011
CITGO Petroleum Corporation and Saunders Oil, a Warren, Illinois-based CITGO marketer, named the Sinsinawa Dominicans as their Fueling Good 2011 winner. In recognition of its ongoing efforts to help build a holy and just society through education and social justice advocacy, the congregation was awarded $5,000 in CITGO gift cards to make the impact of its work go farther.
“Our sisters minister in a variety of fields such as education, health care, pastoral ministry, and counseling. We are called to missions in 30 states and five foreign countries,” said Sister Mary Ellen Green, OP, director of development for the Sinsinawa Dominicans. “Often our work requires a lot of travel, and this generous donation from CITGO and Saunders Oil takes a large weight off our shoulders, knowing we can continue to spread the Gospel of Christ’s love and help others without worrying about how to pay for our fuel.”
Since 1847, the Sinsinawa Dominicans have provided counseling, education, and a variety of services across their local community (Sinsinawa, Wisconsin) and around the world. Today, there are more than 500 Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters in the United States and abroad working to promote service and goodwill in their communities. On a local level, the sisters dedicate much of their time providing educational assistance to people of all ages, from preschool to the post-graduate level, offering classes on literacy, as well as English as a Second Language (ESL) and GED courses. Their retreat and conference center, Sinsinawa Mound, offers a spiritual respite for both individuals and larger groups.
The Sinsinawa Dominicans are one of 12 CITGO Summer Fueling Good campaign winners selected from more than 1,100 charities through a nationwide online vote. More than 100,000 votes were cast to help identify the latest winners in one of four categories: Environmental Protection and Restoration; Education and Social Investment; Energy Assistance and Conservation; and Health and Well-being.
The Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters invite you to learn more about their ministries by visiting their web site at www.sinsinawa.org.
A special thank you to those DomLife readers who voted during the contest!
Story and photos submitted by the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters
Moneyball is a baseball movie with very few scenes of baseball. This may sound odd, even a turnoff. But it actually works very well.
Moneyball tells the true story of Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland A’s, who make it to the playoffs in 2002. At the end of the season, Beane loses his three best players to richer teams who can afford to pay them much higher salaries. It happens that the A’s are a poor team, by major league standards. Billy and his staff have several meetings to try to find players to replace those who have departed. The situation is grim, as they know they can’t compete for the best players with the rich teams.
Billy travels to Cleveland to make a deal for one of their players. He doesn’t make the deal, but he gets something better. In the office of the Indians he meets Peter Brand, a young man who is the proponent of a new method for winning baseball games. Simply put, the idea is to get the most players on base. It doesn’t matter whether they get on by a walk or a hit. Once they are on base, they can score. Brand is not the kind of man you would expect to see in the office of a major league team. He’s never played or coached baseball. Instead, he’s a recent Yale graduate with a degree in economics. Billy is so impressed that he hires Peter on the spot and brings him to Oakland.
Billy and Peter build a team around Brand’s strategy to the disbelief of the staff. No one but Billy and Peter believe in the strategy, and the A’s perform miserably in the first half of the season, and become the laughingstock of the league. Gradually, though, the team starts to turn around mid-season and, late in the season, wins a record 20 games.
Most of Moneyball takes place, not on the baseball diamond, but in the offices and conference rooms. This may not sound exciting, but, believe me, it is. The film is well directed by Bennett Miller (Capote) with a fine screenplay by Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List) and Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network.) The movie is about Billy’s belief and determination to take a risk, despite the odds, and the derision of everyone else in his life. Billy himself is a former major league player, a talented high school student who forgoes college to sign up for the Mets. Sadly, he never lives up to his potential. Now is his chance to make his mark.
This movie is all about Billy, a divorced dad with a daughter. Brad Pitt gives a terrific performance as Billy, and he carries the movie. We care about Billy, a decent man who has had his share of hard knocks in life. Pitt has matured greatly as an actor. No longer just a pretty boy, playing a 44 year old, he’s showing some gray as well as a good deal of maturity. He’s strict with his players and maintains a professional distance from them. Yet Billy is ready to believe in them and give them a second chance. Billy believes in teamwork much more than stroking the egos of high priced superstars.
Many other baseball movies have scenes of locker room humor and a lot of carousing and beer. With the exception of one scene, Moneyball doesn’t go in for this kind of broad humor. It’s more about the older players who never thought they’d get a chance to play pro ball, who know they’ve got one more chance before they’re sent home packing. They want to make the best of it.
Many sports movies get all fuzzy and overly emotional at the end, with slow motion and swelling music as the team wins the big one. Like Billy Beane, Moneyball’s ending is more subdued, although I was very touched by the ending. Like Billy and Peter’s baseball strategy, Moneyball is not splashy, but solid and intelligent from start to finish, resulting in a very satisfying movie.
Tom Condon, OP
Sister Mary Hughes, OP, prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Amityville, New York, and a past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, recently reviewed “Habits of Change: An Oral History of American Nuns” by Carol Garibaldi Rogers. She describes the book as “a fine companion piece” to the travelling exhibit “Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America.” Read review
The Dominican Justice Promoters of North America met in Adrian, Michigan Oct. 21-22. Thirty-one promoters gathered arriving from California, Washington State, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York and other parts of the United States. International Justice Promoters Toni Harris, OP and Carlos Rodriguez, OP, served as our two main speakers and invited the promoters to deepen their commitment to preaching justice through the Gospel and Dominican tradition.
Facilitated by Eileen Gannon, OP (Sparkill), the group focused their conversation and reflections on five areas:
- Renewing our commitment to justice as key in the Dominican Mission of preaching and to continue to be creative in our ways of identifying justice issues to the larger Dominican Family;
- Examining the current Dominican justice agenda and to add or delete issues;
- Networking with other Justice Promoters so that collaboration and sharing of ideas and projects can be shared;
- Finding ways to communicate our justice message in light of the multiple emails many of us receive each day so that they are clear, well-written and focused; and
- Promoting participation in the upcoming 500th Anniversary of the Dominicans in the Western Hemisphere.
An important reflection for the group was the way we communicate in a polarized world as well as focusing our commitment to justice as we continue to be inundated with multiple emails on so many issues. Teresa Houlihan, OP (Grand Rapids) provided a reflection on the difficulty of coming together in our world of politics and religion with the tensions of those who see the world in only one way. She urged us to listen with openness to those who have differing opinions entering into civil discourse.
Two professional communicators, Elise Garcia, OP (Adrian) and Karen Clay (Peace) offered insight into how we can practically make our modes of communication more clear and less cluttered. An ad hoc committee was set up to develop a communications plan for the promoters.
Contributions from three other Dominicans provided significant input to our conversation. Pat Daly, OP (Caldwell), executive director of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investments, offered the group ways in which our networks can be enhanced by jointly promoting the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). Margaret Mayce, OP (Amityville) the representative NGO at the United Nations in New York for the Dominican Family, provided us with an update of her current commitments at the UN and invited the group to further their engagement with the UN. Reg McKillip, OP (Sinsinawa) who is on the Institute Justice Team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas offered practical ways in which we can enhance our voices by collaborating on issues, particularly as the upcoming presidential election moves forward.
The main discussion of the group focused on ways in which promoters can be more intentional and focused on fewer justice topics so that the Dominican Family in North America can rally around the issues that are most important in the current political climate. There are now five areas of consensus, which are:
- Peace and Human Security
- Economic Injustice
- Care of Creation
These areas are in accord with the International Dominican Justice Agenda set forth in 2006. The group realized that there would be special issues for congregations or regions, and these issues are certainly a focus for particular groups. However, the group decided to make a stronger connection with the international efforts of the Dominican Family throughout the world and find ways to make our view of the world broader by understanding the needs of our brothers and sisters in other regions such as Africa and Asia.
The promoters left the meeting with a number of tasks, but the ongoing reality of promoting justice in our world is the focus of our energy and hope as we realize our generation of Dominicans is on an important journey of living the life of truth and justice in our world today in the great tradition of Antonio Montesinos, Dominic, and Catherine.
Submitted by Chuck Dahm, OP, and Lucianne Siers, OP , Co-Promoters of Justice for North America
View more photos from the meeting (link to Picasa album)