Dominican Family ‘walks side by side’ with the sisters


Houston Dominicans

Early in 2008, Sister Carol Mayes, OP (Houston) began gathering with friends of the Dominican Sisters of Houston to explain her vision of how the Dominican charism would continue in Houston. Rather than develop an associate program that would be an adjunct to the congregation, she wanted to foster an organization that would eventually operate independently. After several meetings, the first invitational dinner was held in November 2008. At this meeting, Sister Carol gave a brief history of St. Dominic and an overview of the concept of formation process. Beginning in January 2009, more than 65 interested men and women began meeting once a month to learn more about what it means to be a Dominican. In April, they were asked if they wanted to continue, and in September, the initial class began their formation year.

As the concept began to take shape, one of the members described the Dominican Family as walking side by side with the sisters. A leadership team continued to meet with Sister Carol and the leadership team of the Dominican Sisters of Houston. A mission statement was written and taken to other family members for adoption as was the leadership structure.

houston_family_2A fifth group gathered to make a first commitment on Sunday, April 27. When the Dominican Family gathered for their commitment ceremony, Fr. John Rooney suggested that we fasten our seat belts for his homily as he was going to take us for a ride considering all we were celebrating this Second Sunday of Easter. He reminded us that this day is an historic day: two popes were canonized saints (St. John XXII and St. John Paul II) with two popes present at the canonization (Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI), Pope John Paul II designated the Second Sunday of Easter as Mercy Sunday in 1990, and that on Tuesday, April 29, we would celebrate the Feast of St. Catherine of Siena.

Following the homily, 11 people made their First Commitment for one year. (Five women who could not attend on April 27 joined the Dominican sisters for Mass on Thursday, May 15 to make a commitment.) The previous two years of formation were spent learning about the Dominican pillars of Prayer, Study, Community and Preaching. As part of the ceremony, each one made a brief comment on which of the pillars resonated with them and how they would live the Dominican life. Another 17 members made a recommitment for one to three years.

Following the commitment ceremony, the 2014–15 leadership team was installed: Carmen Armistead, Chair, Denise Stacio, Past-Chair, John Hensley, Future-Chair, Jim Skopal, Mary Moratto, Judy McCullough and Joe Allen, Councilors.

Sisters and members of the family present raised their hands and voices to give the Dominican Blessing. A reception followed at St. Dominic Villa.