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December 7, 2022 – Adrian Dominican Sister Xiomara Méndez-Hernández, OP, has been named the new Executive Director of the Dominican Sisters Conference (DSC), an organization that “unites the Sisters and Associates of U.S. Dominican Congregations in their mission to preach the Gospel of Jesus, standing as a clear voice for truth, justice, and peace.” The announcement came December 6, 2022, from outgoing Executive Director Mary Ellen O’Grady, OP, a Dominican Sister of Sinsinawa (Wisconsin). The full press release follows.
Dominican Sisters Conference Names New Executive Director
The Executive Committee of the Dominican Sisters Conference (DSC) is pleased to announce its selection of Xiomara Méndez-Hernández, OP, as its new Executive Director. She will take the place of Mary Ellen O’Grady, OP (Sinsinawa) who completes just under three years of excellent service to the DSC.
A Dominican Sister of Adrian for 14 years, Sister Xiomara has extensive experience with the first core team of the 55 and under cohort, Dominican Women Afire!, and she served two years as board President of Giving Voice, a peer led organization that creates spaces for younger women religious to give voice to their hopes, dreams, and challenges in religious life.
“I am delighted that the DSC will be led by such a passionate and committed Dominican woman as Xiomara, who brings a younger new perspective to our Conference,” said Anne Lythgoe, OP (Peace), President of the DSC. “Xiomara possesses a deeply reflective spirit, intelligence and most importantly, the collaborative style of relating that draws out the best in others. I sense we are about to move into a transformative time in the history of the DSC.”
Sister Xiomara currently serves as the Interim Manager of the Spiritual Care Department of Holy Cross Health in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She has held similar chaplaincy positions since 2015. She has participated in the Collaborative Leadership Development Program and the Gamaliel National Leadership program on community organizing, among other similar programs. She holds a master’s degree from Catholic Theological Union in pastoral studies.
Sister Xiomara comes to the role of Executive Director with cultural and international sensitivity, and a faith in the transformational power of inclusion and diversity. We welcome Sister Xiomara to this position and we hold her in our prayers for success at this very exciting time for the Dominican Sisters Conference.
December 5, 2022, Washington, D.C. – Donna Markham, OP, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, is one of four authors of an opinion piece published by the Chronicle of Philanthropy that announces the launch of “A Nation of Bridgebuilders,” a partnership of Catholic Charities USA, YMCA of the USA, Interfaith America, and Habitat for Humanity International.
In their piece, the leaders wrote:
“The message from this month’s midterm elections was clear: Most Americans reject political extremism and want a less divided and contentious nation. They also believe achieving that goal is possible.”
“This may have surprised the pundits and pollsters, but it didn’t surprise us. As the leaders of four major civic institutions — Catholic Charities USA, YMCA of the USA, Interfaith America, and Habitat for Humanity International — we have seen the desire to bridge differences play out in large and small ways during one of the most divisive periods in our nation’s history.”
After detailing the many ways they have witnessed groups coming together for the common good, the authors announced the official launch of “A Nation of Bridgebuilders,” a partnership to deepen and expand bridge building in communities across the country and explained how the organizations expect to implement their plan.
Authors, in addition to Sister Donna, are Suzanne McCormick, President and CEO of YMCA of the USA, Eboo Patel, Founder and president of Interfaith America, and Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International.
Read the entire article on the Chronicle of Philanthropy website.