May 31, 2013, the Feast of the Visitation, marked an historic gathering of the Dominican family in Mission San Jose. Ten Dominican nuns from Corpus Christi Monastery, Menlo Park, California, and 10 nuns from the Monastery of Mary the Queen, Elmira, New York, came to the motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose, Fremont, California, to explore future collaboration around elder care and vocations.
The group also included Sister Gladys Guenther, congregational president of Sisters of the Holy Family, Fremont, California; Sister Anna Oven, a member of the leadership team of the Dominican Sisters of Oakford, California; and Sister Judy Jewison of the Sinsinawa Dominicans. Sister Judy facilitated the meeting, and Sister Mary Jarlath McGrath, OP (Mission San Jose) led the tour.
Sister Rose Marie Hennessy, OP (Mission San Jose) and Sister Gladys presented the history of their collaboration to bring OnLok Lifeways (PACE program) to Fremont. Sister Anna spoke of the Oakford sisters connection with the MSJ Dominicans and their own participation with OnLok Lifeways. Sister Miriam (Elmira) and Sister Maria Christina (Menlo Park) shared their stories of prayer, reflection, discernment and meetings to collaboratively plan for their future.
Following lunch, the sisters toured St. Martin’s care center and the Mission San Jose motherhouse chapel. The next stop in their busy schedule was a visit to the Sisters of the Holy Family motherhouse and the OnLok Day Health Center located there.
Sister Gloria Marie Jones, prioress of the Mission San Jose Dominicans, gifted the Menlo Park and Elmira nuns with their sisters’ famous olive oil (made from the trees on their property) before departure. The joy and value of Dominican collaboration was evident in the engaged interaction, the learning and hope created for the future.