More than 100 Caldwell Dominican Sisters and associates met in late June for a two-day pre-chapter assembly. Sisters Eileen Ivory, OP, and Lena Picillo, OP, chaired the event, which was marked by prayerful reflection on the present realities and future discernment for the congregation.
As part of the celebration for the Feast of the Sacred Heart, Sister Lena was presented with the Dominican Sisters’ 2014 Peace Award. Sister Lena was recognized for her continuous dedication to justice and peace through her work with students, parents, and faculty at Aquinas Academy in Livingston, New Jersey; her efforts on behalf of trafficked individuals, her concern for the poor and marginalized, and her work with battered women and victims of sexual assault. Sister Lena accepted the award in tribute to her parents who led by example, doing good things for those in need. She also expressed her gratitude to her Dominican congregation for the many justice projects and opportunities to extend the message of peace.
Saturday’s session included a recognition ceremony for Link Community School faculty and staff. Link, founded by the Caldwell Dominicans in 1969 in Newark, New Jersey as a non-denominational missionary effort in response to the Newark riots and the resulting community devastation, will now move forward as a public charter school. Principal Maria Paradiso announced that a memorial tree will be planted in recognition of the Caldwell Dominicans’ contributions to the school’s first 45 years of existence. In return, the sisters offered the gift of a bonsai tree that will serve as a symbol of the sisters’ continuing prayers for the Link community.
The assembly concluded with a liturgy in St. Catherine’s Chapel and a picnic supper. Sisters and associates felt the assembly provided information, inspiration, motivation and education as they move toward Chapter 2015.