“I am deeply concerned that the scale of our actions is still insufficient to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels. People now face and fear the wrath of a warming planet.” There was reason for alarm in Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s words to the UN Climate Conference in Warsaw, Poland. The conference began just two days after the strongest typhoon ever to make landfall hit the Philippines, leaving a trail of devastation. Rather than presume to tell you about Typhoon Haiyan and its terrible toll, I would like to excerpt from the address made by the Philippines lead negotiator at the Warsaw Conference, Yeb Sano. His words are an eloquent testimony to the resiliency of the human spirit, and a clear challenge to each and every one of us to rouse ourselves from any complacency we may have regarding this profound crisis of our moment in history.
Monthly Archives: November 2013
DSI is deeply moved by the suffering of the people of the Philippines caused by the recent passage of the typhoon, and in solidarity, commends the efforts of the Dominican Family working together there to bring relief to many who have experienced great loss. We carry the nation in our prayers, specially the survivors who mourn the loss of loved ones that they may experience solidarity in their efforts to comfort one another and to rebuild after the storm. From the DSI web site. Read more
Forty-two women, including several sisters and associates, participated in the Nov. 9 morning of reflection and discussion for women. Associate Pat Hannon and Sisters Dottie Maxwell and Ceil Lavan led the event, which provided presentations and discussions on the question, “What Is Pope Francis Saying to the Church?” The Blauvelt Preaching Team of sisters and associates sponsors two reflection mornings for women each year in addition to several other preaching events. For more information about the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt, visit www.opblauvelt.org.
By Sister Gina Fleming, OP
Nov. 16–17, eight students from St. Agnes Academic High School (College Point, New York) came to St. John the Baptist High School (West Islip, New York) for a weekend of prayer, study, and the forming of community. These students were the latest group to attend one of our youth preaching workshops. They learned how to bring to life their baptismal call to “preach the Good News” by using the gifts and talents that have been given to them by our loving God.
One of the highlights is when the students visited the Amityville Dominican Sisters’ motherhouse on Saturday and joined the retired sisters for an ice cream social. This is a fun event for all who participate. These young people are hungering for any opportunity to come closer to God. One need only listen to their reflections during our prayer times to hear the hunger in their hearts for relationship to the Divine! How blessed are we to be able to provide a venue to foster and ignite that relationship.
The participants continue to find the weekends very spiritual, prayerful, and a great deal of fun. Most importantly, many stay connected to us after experiencing the weekend. Some return as youth mentors and have the opportunity to lead a new group of young preachers, some have volunteered on the third and fourth floors, and still others continue to write Advent and Lenten reflections on our congregational website. Many of these same young people will attend this year’s National High School Preaching Conference in Michigan. However they choose to stay connected, we are grateful for their presence among us.
I am forever grateful for the continued presence and assistance with these weekends by Sisters Denise Haviland, Barbara Schwarz, and Irene Weiner. I am also grateful for the willingness of our sisters who reside here in the motherhouse to come and join us for some quality time. I am sure that all would agree that these programs have been a blessing to the participants, the committee, and also to the congregation-at-large in whose name the programs continue.
If any group is interested in participating in these weekends, please contact me. All high school-age students are welcome.
Sister Gina is the co-director of the National College Preaching Conference and the Promoter of Youth for the Dominican Sisters of Amityville, New York. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mount Saint Mary College
Sister Diane Kennedy, OP (Sinsinawa) was an integral part of the recent Spirit of the Mount Week, which celebrates the Dominican sisters who began the Mount Saint Mary College community. Sister Diane spoke on the college’s Dominican heritage, and presented the college’s Aquinas and Ralph Scholars with their honor cords, to be worn at graduation. Sister Diane is vice president for mission and ministry at Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois.