'We have family in Iraq': Delegation organized

Dominicans in Iraq
By Sister Marcelline Koch, OP

With gratitude, we write to let you know of the welcome of our family in Iraq to our proposal for a delegation. Sister Maria Hanna quickly responded:

Thank you so very much for your thoughtful email. I told the sisters about your proposal, and they were happy to know that they were dearly loved.

I am very grateful for this initiative. Your presence among us in such condition will be a sign of hope and solidarity. We know that we are not alone, facing our destiny on our own.

As noted in the proposal, there will be two small delegations from the Dominican Family that will visit Iraq/Kurdistan in the first part of the New Year (five Dominicans in all). Though traveling separately, they will spend some time together with our Dominican Family in Erbil, Kurdistan (where most of the Dominican sisters and a large part of the Catholic community have gone during these recent months of heightened violence). Both delegations will send written reports to the Dominican family in the United States and throughout the world once they have returned.

We are asking that you prayerfully accompany the two delegations during the first few weeks of January. May Christ our Light be a guiding presence and a beacon of peace for both the pilgrims and our sisters and brothers in the region. The Dominican friars who will travel prefer not to be mentioned by name publicly until after the trip has finished. The delegation of sisters includes Dusty Farnan, Arlene Flaherty, and Marcelline Koch.

Both the sisters and the friars who are going on this delegation are writing letters to request prayers and financial support. The donations will be shared among the Dominican Family in Iraq. All checks (for those who are responding to this particular appeal letter) should be made out to Dominican Leadership Conference and sent to:

Pat Farrell, OP
1326 Park Avenue,
River Forest IL 60305

We also invite you to send Christmas cards. The delegates will hand-deliver these Christmas cards filled with your greetings of love, solidarity and peace. You can send them to any one of those going:

  • Dusty Farnan, OP, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, MI 49221
  • Arlene Flaherty, OP, 496 Western Highway, Blauvelt, NY 10913
  • Marcelline Koch, OP, 1237 W. Monroe, Springfield, IL 62704

Thank you for your solidarity and for your prayers for our family in Iraq.

Sister Marcelline Koch, OP for the Iraq Coordinating Committee:

Jim Barnett, OP, Chuck Dahm, OP, Dusty Farnan, OP, Pat Farrell, OP, Arlene Flaherty, OP, Eileen Gannon, OP, Margaret Mayce, OP, Rick McDowell, Beth Murphy, OP, Roberta Propara, OP, Lucianne Siers, OP, Mary Trotochaud, and Richard Woods, OP