Photo of the Week: Taking the Next Step

Thirty Years of Parish Ministry Lead to Dominican Sisters of Peace

New Haven, CT – The Dominican Order celebrates its founder, St. Dominic, on August 8. And in 2020, despite a pandemic and quarantine orders, the Dominican Sisters of Peace celebrated the Feast Day of St. Dominic by welcoming a new candidate to the order, when Cathy Buchanan, 55, entered the Congregation as a Candidate at the House of Welcome in New Haven, CT. 

Buchanan comes to the Congregation from Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament parish in Roseland, NJ, where she served as a Pastoral Associate. In that position Cathy was the Coordinator of Liturgy & Adult Formation.

New Jersey native Cathy Buchanan, left, waits at the door of the Dominican Sisters of Peace House of Welcome in New Haven, CT, with Vocations Director Sister June Fitzgerald, OP, right. 

Prior to her ministry at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament parish, Cathy served in the New Jersey State Department of Corrections for more than 25 years.

Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Caldwell University in Caldwell, NJ. She earned a Master of Arts in Education at Seton Hall University, and later, her Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry at the Immaculate Conception Seminary & School of Theology at Seton Hall University. 

Cathy served as a volunteer at her home parish, St. Stephens in Kearny, NJ, for more than 30 years, even during her law enforcement career. After retirement, she earned her Master of Theology and began working at the Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament parish. She had been discerning the call of God in her life for a very long time, but Cathy did not rush into her decision to join the Dominican Sisters of Peace. “I have spent more than two years in what I call “active” discernment.” Cathy said. “I spent the first year in prayer to help know God’s will for my life and to better understand where God might be leading me. I was also acting on the promptings of God from my prayer, by contacting religious communities and spending time in conversation with their vocation directors.”

“I spent another year visiting different religious communities and looking for opportunities to attend discernment events,” she continued. “I studied each community’s charisms and missions to see if I felt my gifts might fit with these communities, and I prayed for God’s guidance to help me choose the best community for me.”

“After visiting so many communities, I realized that I love the cultural and generational diversity of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, and their outreach to the poor and marginalized. I was also attracted to the joy of the Sisters in the community,” Cathy concluded. 

Cathy Buchanan is the daughter of the late Mary & Andrew Buchanan. Her brother Peter is also deceased. She has six nieces and nephews and two great-nieces. 

Having moved to New Haven to begin her candidacy, Cathy is currently ministering at Dominican Sisters of Peace-founded college, Albertus Magnus. She expects to enter a long-term ministry soon