August 6, 2017, Adrian, Michigan – The General Council of the Adrian Dominican Sisters issued the following statement on the third anniversary of the flight of Iraqi Dominican Sisters and their neighbors from ISIS.
Three years ago today, our Iraqi Dominican Sisters and their neighbors in the towns and villages of the Nineveh Plain fled their homes and livelihoods with little more than the clothes on their backs in the wake of a brutal ISIS attack. For three years, tens of thousands of men, women, and children have been living in tents, trailers, and refugee camps in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq with few resources, great uncertainty and fear. Now, as ISIS is being repelled and vanquished from their hometowns and villages, rubble and ruin is what remains.
As we strain to put ourselves in their situation, we cry out in lamentation. Please join us in taking time to reflect on the events that have led to this heartache. We have family in Iraq.
If you wish to assist the Congregation’s ministerial efforts in support of our Iraqi Dominican Sisters and their work to aid the displaced people of Iraq, please consider making a contribution through the “1000 Cranes for Iraq” project.
September 21, 2016, Detroit – Sister Barbara Cervenka, OP, has spent much of the past summer laboring in her ministry of the arts. She was the keynote speaker for her peers at the 19th Annual Gathering of the Dominican Institute for the Arts, giving a presentation on the great Dominican artist, Fra Angelico. Read the full article in a recent issue of DomLife.
During the summer, Sister Barbara was also on hand for the opening of the most recent showing of “Bandits and Heroes, Poets and Saints,” an exhibit of popular art in Brazil, as it continued continuing its national tour at American University’s Katzen Arts Center.
The art exhibit was designed by Sister Barbara Cervenka, OP, and Marion Jackson, co-directors of Con/Vida, a non-profit organization, based in Detroit that collects popular art from Latin America and promotes it in the United States. The tour – which opened in August 2013 at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit – depicts through about 200 pieces of art the history and culture of Northeastern Brazil. Read Menachem Wecker’s full article on the exhibit in the National Catholic Reporter.
For the past year, Sister Barbara has also been busy with a special project, 1,000 Cranes for Iraq. Basing her work on the Japanese tradition of folding 1,000 paper cranes for peace or health, she has continued her own project of creating daily oil paintings of paper cranes. Each painting is given to an individual or group who donates $100 to help the Dominican Sisters of Iraq in their ministry with Christians and other minority groups who fled the onslaught of Isis in Mosul, Iraq, in August 2014. Donations to 1,000 Cranes for Iraq help the Sisters in their school, clinics, and pastoral ministry to other refugees living in northern Iraq. Visit the website to view the latest creations by Sister Barbara and other Adrian Dominican artists and to help support the Iraqi Dominican Sisters in their ministry.