Transition Ritual is in Planning Stages
June 7, 2021 — For quite a long time, among the members of the Dominican Sisters Conference, (DSC) there has been a desire, to find a common way to embrace the future of Dominican Life and Mission in the United States. Through the work of the OP Sisterhood Futuring Task Force, that pathway has been made more clear and real. Their work has led to the creation of a new younger cohort of leaders who are being asked to serve as a catalyst for conversation and engagement about the future with sisters under 70 across congregational boundaries.
On July 1, 2021, the DSC Futuring Leadership Team will begin a three-year term.
The new Futuring Leadership Team includes Sisters Carol Dempsey (Caldwell), Pat Magee (Hope), Donna Maria Moses (Mission San Jose), Mai-dung Nguyen (Peace), Lorraine Reaume (Adrian), and Kathleen Tait (Springfield). They will be working with Mary Ellen O’Grady, OP (Sinsinawa) Interim Director of DSC, and Anne Lythgoe, (Peace) President of the DSC Executive Committee.
The team is the result of the innovative work of the Futuring Task Force, who led a three-year process of discernment and planning. Their vision includes the transmission of the “treasure of Dominican Charism into the future by enhancing the quality of vowed life for those who have joined our congregations in recent years and by supporting them in mission and common life.”
Reflecting on this process, Toni Harris OP (Sinsinawa), Task Force Co-Chair along with Michaela Connolly OP (Blauvelt), commented, “Our Task Force came together in 2018 because we believed then — as now — that assuring our Dominican life and mission into the future requires our conscious and deliberate effort, trusting as always in our Providential God.”
You can learn more about the evolution of the OP Sisterhood Task Force and its role in the Dominican Sisters Conference by viewing this presentation from Sr. Rebecca Ann Gemma, OP (Springfield).
A central focus of the Futuring Leadership Team is to engage those under 70, in inter-congregational conversations about how common dreams and aspirations for a shared future might become reality. “This is no small task” Anne said. It is formidable, but I’d rather think that this new leadership group is being asked to take a set of first steps to engage younger members in critical conversations about topics they have already identified and how they see the evolution of their own congregations in light of the realities we all share.”
A wide range of topics in affinity groups was identified through a survey conducted by the task force last fall. Some of these include inter-congregational living and houses of Holy Preaching, building relationships, justice work, theological study, care of creation, associates, and anti-racism. A database of under 70 sisters is also being called for to promote networking among members.
When the DSC Futuring Leadership Team begins its work officially on July 1, 2021, the Sisterhood Task Force will conclude its work. A virtual celebration of this transition is being planned for some time in July. Details will be forthcoming.