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September 8, 2016, Detroit, Michigan – People of all faiths and cultures are invited to a prayer service to observe the International Day of Prayer for Peace. The service begins at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 20, 2016, at the Capuchins’ St. Bonaventure Monastery Chapel, 1780 Mount Elliott, Detroit. Security and lighted parking will be available.
Sponsored by the Capuchin ministries – including the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and the Solanus Casey Center – the event focuses on the theme, “Let Peace Begin with Me.” Capuchin Friar Ray Stadmeyer, pastor of St. Charles Church in Detroit and director of the Capuchins’ On the Rise Bakery, will be the featured speaker. The Capuchin Soup Kitchen Choir and the Dearing Dancers will perform at the program, which includes international prayers for peace.
“We gather to speak of peace and so much more,” Brother Ray explained. “We gather hoping our hearts can change and surrender to a force greater than our need to control, judge, hate, fight, and exclude. We come together, begging the God of all creation to allow us to see in one another and in all creation the spark of the Divine.”
All participants will be invited to make a commitment to work for peace in some way during the coming three months.
September 7, 2016, Detroit – Sister Heather Stiverson, OP, is one of six U.S. Catholic Sisters to be featured in a newly launched national social media campaign, “Sister to All.” The campaign was conceived and is being run by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
Sister Heather was held up as an example of Sisters in her work as an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor and front desk staff member of Dominican Literacy Center in Detroit. Noting the challenges and joys of watching her students struggle with and improve their English skills, Sister Heather said, “I pray every day before I come to work that I can be the best person I can be for these students.”
Other Sisters were featured in the campaign’s materials for their work with people who are homeless, newly-arrived Hispanic immigrants, women in street-level prostitution, and people struggling with substance abuse.
Released on September 6 – shortly after the canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta – the Sister to All campaign aims to dispel the misunderstandings that many people have about Catholic Sisters. Research commissioned by the foundation discovered that while the majority of Americans view Catholic Sisters favorably, they still have common stereotypes about Sisters. For example, many believe that Sisters have little or no impact on non-Catholics when, in fact, they serve people of all faith traditions and ethnic backgrounds.
Many also believe that religious life is a tradition from the past and is dying out. The research discovered, however, that about a quarter of all Catholic women have considered becoming a Sister.
Sister Heather is a case in point. When she first met the Adrian Dominican Sisters as a nursing assistant in the Dominican Life Center, she was not a Catholic. She felt drawn to the Eucharist and converted to Catholicism. At the invitation of the Sisters, she discerned whether God might be calling her to enter the Congregation.
“I was really attracted to their joy and work in social justice, especially with people on the margins,” she said. “I spent a year in discernment, talking to God and talking to other people. I felt God was calling me to something more in my life, to be a Sister.”
If you are considering religious life and would like to explore life as an Adrian Dominican Sister, please contact Sister Sara Fairbanks, OP, at 517-266-353; or toll-free, 1-866-774-0005; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Sister to All in an article published by the National Catholic Reporter’s Global Sisters Report.
Feature photo: Sister Heather Stiverson, OP, works with ESL students at Dominican Literacy Center in Detroit. Courtesy of Sister to All Campaign