By Lucianne Siers, OP
The Visioning Dominican Retirement Committee met in St. Catharine, Kentucky, Sept. 7–10 to discuss issues that relate to those who administer and support members of Dominican congregations of sisters who are retired. Twenty-two women, both sisters and lay women who work in Dominican retirement facilities came from the congregations of Peace, Springfield, Hope, Maryknoll, Sinsinawa and Grand Rapids to network and share their expertise.
Topics for discussion included: “How to have Difficult Conversations,” “Rituals and Burial Practices including Green Burials,” and “Adjusting to the Changes in the Medicare and Medicaid with the New Healthcare Policies.” Discussions on various topics were led by members of the group who volunteered to share their own experiences and then offered opportunities to discuss ways in which other congregations deal with similar issues.
This process of sharing our perspectives on issues with qualified professionals among ourselves provides an opportunity to learn from one another as well as ways to network and exchange resources. The leadership was shared as well as the focus of each topic moved from person to person in a manner that is deeply integrated in a style of equal exchange, which is rather unusual in our society of experts; however, in the Dominican family, it is a welcome and healthy way to deepen our ways of being with one another that is a natural and reverent way of listening and speaking out of our own lived experiences.
The hospitality of the Dominican Sisters of Peace living at St. Catharine’s was outstanding. The country wide open spaces and fresh air and the rolling hills provided a relaxing and homey space for all the participants to gain new insights and carry home fond memories from a lively group of Dominican friends and new ideas to carry out in our ministries to our members. The group will meet again next year in Adrian.
For more information, contact Sister Mary Hopkins, OP (Sinsinawa), email@example.com.