We have family in Iraq – Delegations witness ‘profound sadness,’ hope

iraq_sistersThree U.S. Dominican sisters and two priests, in separate delegations, visited northern Iraq in January, where the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena are ministering to displaced Christians. Sisters Marcelline Koch, OP (Springfield); Durstyne Farnan, OP (Adrian); and Arlene Flaherty, OP (Blauvelt) made up the delegation of sisters. A Feb. 5 article in Global Sisters Report, “Bearing witness, being church: Dominican sisters in Iraq,” a direct result of this visit, was also picked up by the Huffington Post. The sisters will give a livestreamed presentation about their experience on Sunday, March 8 at 4 p.m. EST. Brian Pierce, OP, and Timothy Radcliffe, OP, spent nine days in Iraq, staying with Iraqi Dominican brothers in Baghdad and sisters in Erbil. Their trip overlapped for a day with the delegation of three Dominican sisters. “They were beautiful days, and at the same time they were days filled with stories of tragedy, loss, and uncertainty. The faith of the Iraqi people is simply unbelievable, their resilience a sign of their deep faith, hope and love for their homeland…” wrote Fr. Brian, in a message sharing a written report on their visit.