Preaching


The OP after our names stands for “Order of Preachers,” the formal name of the religious order founded in 1216 by St. Dominic. As Dominicans, we preach with our lives—in both word and deed—guided by a search for truth (veritas) and a commitment to contemplate and share the fruits of our contemplation (contemplate et aliis tradere). 

Our Dominican lives are shaped by the interconnecting movements of study, prayer, communal life, and ministry. 

Dominic so firmly believed in the importance of study to the preaching mission that he provided a rule of “dispensation” from other responsibilities in the event they interfered with study. We are women committed to study. Through prayer and contemplation we interiorize our learnings and enter into communion with the Source of all truth. Our communal life orients us to the common good of the whole Earth community. And in ministry, our preaching takes effect.

As women of the Gospel, our preaching is also expressed in word. Read reflections on the Word of God posted by Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates on the Praedicare Blog below.

 


2024 Founder's Day Liturgy
Preaching by Sister Corinne Sanders, OP

 

Thursday, June 27, 2024
Isaiah 56:1,6-7
Matthew 7:24-25

Sister Corinne Sanders, OP

On this day June 27, 1923, Bishop Gallagher of Detroit delivered an unexpected and spontaneous announcement regarding the separation of the Adrian Province from the New York Congregation. All in attendance at the commencement exercises of the Academy that day were surprised – most notably Mother Camilla Madden.

Though conversations and letters had been exchanged, and the separation was anticipated, no formal plans had yet been made. If our beginnings in Adrian, Michigan, in 1884 were recorded as ‘casual,’ our transition from a province to an Independent Congregation was certainly just as ‘casual.’

It was not until July 26 that the official letter was written and sent, but no matter. Thirty-nine years after coming to the ‘small house in the cornfield,’ the province, under the wise and loving care of Mother Camilla Madden, was now an established community of over 400 Sisters staffing schools throughout several states.

The solid foundation had been laid. Mother Camilla and the Sisters had faithfully heard God’s word. They observed what was right and just. They served God’s people; and God fulfilled the promise to be with them always, filling their house with holy joy.

Today, we remember this event. We acknowledge that from the beginning, faithful listening to God’s word created a solid foundation. A foundation built on rock. Founder’s Day is a tribute to Mother Camilla Madden, who stewarded the province from simple beginnings into a faithful congregation of women ministering and meeting the needs of the people near and far.

Founder’s Day is also a day to pause and consider our founding spirit, our charism if you will. It is a day to reflect and ask, “Where is our charism directing us now at this time?” For as we honor our past, we also look toward our future.

As we know, the Dominican charism, our inspirational spark, came into existence in 1206 with the establishment of the monastery in Prouille, France. This spark, this gift of the Spirit, this rock on which we have built our house, has captured the hearts of many through the centuries. And it has been uniquely shaped over time by those called to bring it to life for the service of the world.

Mary Pellegrino, CSJ, writes that a charism is a “particular facet of the likeness of God that people or groups reflect in particular ways.” It “distinguishes one religious community from another.” It is the founding inspiration pulsing with energy at the center of the community.1

As we honor the past, and look to the future, what expression of charism rises up in you? What likeness of God is revealed and shines in you? In us?

As we honor the past and look to the future, we can trust that our faithfulness to the charism will point us in the right direction. As we faithfully tend to God’s call, observing what is right and just, and serving God’s sacred Earth community, we can trust that our God will fulfill the promise made and will be with us always, filling our house with holy joy.

 

A recording of this liturgy is available in the Congregation's public video library.


1“Life on the Margins: Charismatic Principles for Modern Religious” by Mary Pellegrino, CSJ, for America Magazine, https://www.americamagazine.org/issue/life-margins (Faith in Focus section), October 16, 2013.

 

 


Morning Prayer for 2024 Founder's Day
Preaching by Sister Carol Johannes, OP

 

Thursday, June 27, 2024
1 Corinthians 3:9c-11

Sister Carol Johannes, OP

What a perfect text for today! “For we are God’s co-workers; you are God’s field,” Paul says, “God’s building.” All of us have been God’s co-workers for decades: teaching, preaching, healing, feeding, caring, encouraging, building up God’s people. We’ve been the great work horses of the church. But now, we’ve gone from subject to object: often, we’re the ones now in need of healing, feeding, and caring. And our faithful God has sent us the incredible gift of a new group of Co-workers, who direct their attention to us with kindness, gentleness, care, and often affection. And as we experience each Co-worker, we know we are experiencing God’s own goodness. Thank you!

But on this Founder’s Day, though it is always healthy to live in the present, it’s also a good and holy thing to reflect upon the past: how and why has our reality come to be? And we know the answer. There have been many, many exceptional heroines in our past, far too many to name today. One, however, could almost be said to have birthed us. And that, of course, is Mother Camilla Madden.

If she were asked today to describe her Adrian ministry, she could, without missing a beat, quote Paul’s words: “According to the grace of God given to me, like a wise master builder, I laid a foundation, and [others] have built upon it. But each one must be careful how to build on it, for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ.” And build upon that foundation, she did.

It seems that there is one constant in every period in the lives of people of faith, and that is to sustain hope in the midst of difficult and discouraging situations. Among other things, political polarization, dishonesty, greed and an almost inexhaustible hunger for power weigh heavily upon us today. In Mother Camilla’s era, however, she dealt with genuine religious persecution as the Ku Klux Klan flourished and crosses were burned on the front lawn of the Motherhouse.

Perhaps the greatest hardship, however, was the constant struggle for resources. The Adrian endeavor might be called the “field” that Paul speaks of in Corinthians, but it was large, empty, bleak and daunting. “It must be understood that Mother Camilla assumed charge of the newborn Adrian province in its most poverty stricken and lonely time. As a branch of the New York Motherhouse, which was under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of New York..., Bishop Foley of Detroit had little use of it. Mother Camilla suffered from his indifference, and worse, his almost brutal refusal of allowing her to take schools in Detroit.” Her plea to open an Academy was rejected time and time again, and her compassionate Sisters could see the heartbreak this caused her.

Our early history, Amid the Alien Corn (and at the time it was quite alien), asks, “What was it in Mother Camilla that gave her particular qualities of greatness? Different answers would come from different people, but most would agree that faith and charity called forth the other strengths evident in her activities. Above all, they must have pressed her on to the risks she took, almost spontaneously at times.” There were times that appeared that she was actually living on risk; she was really building on faith. Risk was the courage of her faith. She was not by nature a bold, adventurous woman. But given a need, and a little push from somewhere, she pressed forward while others might have stared and shaken their heads and simply said, “impossible.”

One could go on forever extolling Mother Camilla’s extraordinary gifts: her generosity, creativity, intelligence, charm, dedication to education, holiness, and hospitality. If she were alive today – as far as hospitality is concerned – she would have been absolutely thrilled to welcome and embrace our Sisters from Edmonds and the Philippines.

One author describes her as accomplishing her dreams through “skilled implementation” and “inspired scheming.” Structures were solid at that time, but she had a way of finding cracks to escape from them. She could never have accomplished all she did for the Church and the Congregation had she not possessed this facility of getting out from under the networks.

We honor her today as our almost unbelievably courageous Foundress of the reality we know and love today as “Adrian,” and all it means to us. We might like to take a walk down the hall to the historical library, make a mini pilgrimage, to look with gratitude and reverence at Mother Camilla’s legacy, her enduring hope and trust in God, and her passionate love for all that Adrian represents. And just maybe, she might help us as her faithful daughters, to develop the capacity to do some “inspired scheming and skilled implementation” of our own in assuring a bright future for the place we call home, as well as the wider world it loves and serves.

 

Several quotes above are from Amid the Alien Corn (Volume I, the Early Years, 1879-1924) by Sister Mary Philip Ryan, OP, 1967. 

A recording of the Prayer Service is available on our public video library.

 

 


2024 Jubilee Liturgy
Preaching by Sister Elise D. García, OP

Saturday, June 22, 2024
Isaiah 12:3-6
Philippians 1:3-6
Luke 1:39-56

Sister Elise D. García, OP

Happy Jubilee, Jubilarians! ¡Feliz Jubileo! Congratulations y felicidades.

On behalf of all your Adrian Dominican Sisters let me express our deep gratitude to you for your 25, 60, 70, 75 and 80 years of life as faithful, loving Dominicans.

As I look around this chapel, I am so mindful of all the shoulders we stand on, of all those who came before us and have loved and guided us to this moment. It is right and just that we should bring into our awareness your parents, grandparents, siblings and family members who helped shape you before you entered, especially those who supported you in making this radical life choice.

It is also good to think about the teachers and Sisters who inspired you – the ones you credit with helping you become who you are today. I’m sure you can picture them or call up their names.

Think of your fellow crowd members here present, of all those we honored yesterday, and others in your hearts who helped you make it through, among other things, formation! And all the Sister-friends and other friends who have been with you through thick and thin over the years.

Let us remember too all the women, men and children you served through each of your ministries – who loved and challenged you in life-changing ways. And the amazing colleagues and partners in mission with whom you shared life and ministry.

This chapel is packed to the rafters with your ancestors, a host of beloved Sisters, friends, and admirers, along with, of course, the good friends and family members who were able to join you here today or watching via live stream. Welcome! ¡Bienvenidos!

They are all part of the incredible journey that the One who began a good work in you continues to shape and to mold in you to this day.

As I reflected on the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians and today’s Gospel reading of the Visitation, I wondered: Is it too far-fetched to think that the One who began a good work in you might have started it in your mother’s womb? Let’s look at the Gospel reading. Two pregnant women, relatives, encounter each other at opposite ends of child-bearing age – an unmarried teenager and an elder who thought herself well past child-bearing years. They are an unlikely and rather scandalous pair. But in their encounter with one another they at once recognize the One who had begun a good work in each of them – and through them.

As the authors of Wisdom Commentary write, “Mary’s blessedness is not only in bearing Jesus but in hearing and acting on the word of God, a prominent Lukan theme.”

At a time when both experience astonishment and vulnerability, Mary and Elizabeth lean on each other through the joy and the suffering that comes from hearing and acting on the word of God.

Hearing and acting on the word of God is what brought each one of you to the doorstep of religious life 25, 60, 70, 75, and 80 years ago. For all we know that call may have been in you – the essence of you – from the time you were in your mother’s womb, growing in God’s good time until it finally sounded. I am sure each of you can remember that moment – or those moments – when you heard the sound of the call.

The Visitation speaks to us of the salvific power of women’s love and companioning sisterhood. The authors of the Wisdom Commentary write:

“The companionship of Elizabeth and Mary is mirrored by that of the Galilean women who cooperate in financing Jesus’s ministry, work together to prepare the spices and ointments for his burial, go with one another to the tomb, and together to announce to the Eleven and all the rest the message entrusted to them by the heavenly messengers.”

The companionship of Elizabeth and Mary is likewise mirrored by your companionship, as Dominican Sisters, as you worked together and with so many others to advance the Mission in such an astonishing diversity of ways with extraordinary fruitfulness – through times of great joy and also, no doubt, of suffering.

Jubilarians, you have gifted us and all those you served as K-12 teachers, including music, speech and drama, and the arts; school principals, presidents, and superintendents of schools. Through ministries in colleges, universities and seminaries, you have served as vice presidents, administrators, deans, department heads, dormitory rectors, and campus ministers, as well as instructors, lecturers, and professors in a wide range of fields – from theology, liturgy and religious education to music, criminal justice, social work, and ceramics. You have served as educational and Montessori consultants, librarians, archivists, and literacy center directors and tutors.

Among you are those who have tended the hearts, minds and spirits of so many in need of your care as chaplains, social workers, counselors, psychotherapists, spiritual directors and directors of retreat centers. Your healing care has also been offered through your work in hospital administration and hospice care and as nurses, clinicians, massage therapists and in care for adults with disabilities

Many parishes have been blessed by your service as administrators, religious educators, music and liturgical directors, in faith formation, pastoral care and youth ministry. Some of you have also served as diocesan administrators and liaisons and as the executive director of a bishops’ conference.

And wait, there is more!

In this chapel are mentors of all sorts, social justice advocates, mission formators, ministers to migrants and refugees, human rights promoters, international development workers, and a United Nations representative. We have potters, sculptors and artists. Treasurers and bookkeepers. Volunteer directors and coordinators, nonprofit administrators and managers.

And we have been immensely blessed as a Congregation to have among you, Jubilarians who have served in elected leadership – as Prioress, Vicaress, Councilor, Treasurer, and as Chapter Prioresses, some more than once and for extended terms. We also are blessed by the service that a number of you have offered and continue to offer as directors of Congregation offices and ministries.

Sisters, your amazing gifts have been offered across 26 states, from Alabama to Washington – and in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Italy and Canada.

The companionship of Elizabeth and Mary is mirrored by that of Dominican women like yourselves who cooperate in advancing the Mission of Jesus.

You are a gift to us and to the world. And although the litany of gifts I just recited may raise sweet memories of the past for many of you, your good works are still alive in the hearts and minds of all those you served. And, perhaps more importantly, the good work God began in you has not yet been brought to completion. As canonist Kelly Connors, PM, said: “The first apostolate of all religious is the witness of their consecrated life. We carry out that witness until we breathe our last breath.”

I close with words I heard a few weeks ago from a young leader of the Nuns & Nones movement named Brittany Koteles. It was at the closing of our Land Justice workshop when everyone shared their learnings and gratitude. Brittany spoke with poignant gratitude of her deepening awe at the lifelong commitment of us women religious to our mission and ministry together. She also was struck by the power of community, our companionship as Adrian Dominicans in mission. “You are women so committed to each other as to return to Earth to lie side by side in concentric circles.”

I am still deeply touched by those beautiful haunting words. They speak to the enduring nature of the lifelong commitment we celebrate in you and with you today – the eternal blessing of hearing and acting on the word of God.

Gracias, hermanas queridas. Thank you, dear Sisters. Salamat po.

 


Recordings of the 2024 Jubilee Liturgies are available on the Jubilarian webpage and in the Congregation's public video library.

 


Liturgy for the 2024 Deceased Jubilarians
Preaching by Sister Joan Delaplane, OP

 

Friday, June 21, 2024
Proverbs 31:10-30
Revelation 14:13
Matthew 11:25-30

Sister Joan Delaplane, OP

The Book of Proverbs asks: "A valiant woman, who can find her?" We can; in fact, the 80 that we’ve named here were 'valiant women.' Valiant is defined by Thorndike as strong in word or spirit, courageous, brave; and in light of those 80, we would have to add, dedicated, faith-full, hard-working, generous, risk-taking Dominican women, grounded in LOVE.

But the heart of Jubilee today, I believe, is celebration of the faithfulness of our Creator to each Deceased Jubilarian who was lovingly willed into life, cherished and cared for every sacred moment of life. Secondly, we celebrate how, through the gift of the Spirit, they were empowered to give a faith-full response to life and love to their last breath. Each unique life made a difference on Mother Earth and to our Congregation. "The fruit of her toil brings her honor in this place."

I do believe in the Communion of Saints, and that our bond of love is not severed by the thin veil that separates our physical selves. I believe in the power of their intercessory prayer, care and concern for our community, our nation, and our world to this very day.

We are well aware that we have some challenging months ahead. "Have faith," says Mary McGlone, "that when the forces of evil unleash their worst, they ultimately expose themselves impotent against love." We can trust that the Divine Mystery of Love who breathed each of us uniquely into life out of love, for love, to be a tangible incarnation of that love for God’s people and creation, will continue to be with us faithfully as promised. And we have, and need, God’s gift of one another, as well, on the way.

Proverbs tells us that valiant women speak wisely. What words of wisdom would our Sisters in the Communion of Saints wish for us to hear from their present perspective? Would they remind us to hold fast to Jesus’ promise to be with us, as Jesus trusted and held fast to Abba’s embrace of him as Beloved Son in midst of suffering and the unknown?

Would they remind us of God’s word in Isaiah 46: "Listen to me…you who have been borne by me; even to your old age, I am God; even when you turn gray, I will carry you."

We celebrate a faithful God who told us that even if a woman forgot her nursing child or had no compassion for the child of her womb, yet "I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hand." (Is 49:15, 16)

Our deceased Sisters utilized their diverse and wondrous gifts in so many beautiful ways. There were also some very difficult times and circumstances with which life confronted them. At times, it was challenging, I’m sure, to grasp the truth Jesus spoke: "My yoke is easy; my burden light." But love of God and trust in this God’s faithfulness can bring that truth to bear in one’s life.

I believe there is a witness to that in a poem that the brother of one of our Jubilarians received from a priest friend of his. She said I could share it with you today. Father Ray had been in a car accident which severed his spinal cord and left him quadriplegic. He wrote:

To walk I cannot use my feet
My hands I cannot use to eat
But, oh, I have my eyes to see.
Dear God, you are so good to me.

My body's bound with an iron chain,
I am quite cognizant of pain
But I restrain the blinding tear.
And thank you God, that I can hear.

The common life I truly miss
My brother’s company was bliss.
But grace for all I may beseech.
I thank you God, for the gift of speech.

For every need I must depend
Upon the services others lend.
Oh heavy cross, the galling kind,
But, oh, my God, I have my mind.

Daily, hourly, suppressed desire,
To do for others ignite a fire,
That lights my way up Calvary’s hill.
The only solace, 'tis God's will.

What we know to be God’s will is that we be open to the grace to believe in and trust the Divine Promise to be lovingly and compassionately with us always. Yes, reason to celebrate and give thanks!

Thank you, God, for the gift of life of each of our deceased Sisters who shared faith and life with us on our journey. "Let them find rest from their labors, for their works accompany them," and our memories honor them. Amen!

 


Easter Sunday 2024
Preaching by Sister Bibiana "Bless" Colasito, OP

Sunday, March 31, 2024
John 20:1-18

 

Sister Bless Colasito, OP

Good morning, everyone!

Today’s Gospel shows the reversal of an androcentric world thinking of male dominance even in the interpretation of grace. This world thinking of male dominance was not patronized by Jesus in today’s gospel. In fact, the narrative pictured Mary in the beginning and at the end of the Gospel. As related earlier in the Gospel, Mary “bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels….” In the commentary, Barbara Reid says that Mary’s action “symbolizes one who dares to enter the Holy of Holies, an act reserved for high priests.” It will not escape our minds that Jesus, on that Resurrection morning, chose to manifest himself to a woman of no-good standing based on the thinking of her very own community. This preference of Jesus, of revealing himself to Mary Magdalene early on that Easter Sunday, was an act of absolute respect for women, no matter their social condition.

Pope Francis in the synthesis of the Synod on Synodality urges people throughout the world to stop “referring to women as the problem,” hence stop the androcentric notion that men have the profound truth and women come secondary, or [not] at all.

The recently concluded UN Conference on the Status of Women, attended in person by over 6,000 women and men, religious and lay, and [attended] virtually by over 15,000 women all over the world, echo the hard reality of women and girls who have been victims of domestic violence in all its forms.

Like Jesus, who showed absolute importance to women, like Pope Francis, who is urging humanity that women are gifts to this universe and not a “problem,” the Conference on the Status of Women is calling people of goodwill to heed the suffering of women. This global issue is more horrific when the abuse happens inside the confines of their own homes.

What lesson can we draw from this example of Jesus’s regard of women? The UN Conference on the Status of Women calls for the development of women in ways where they are uplifted financially, socially, culturally, and spiritually, so they are able to function as individuals with so many gifts to give to the world. Jesus uplifted Mary Magdalene’s socio/cultural image by appearing first to her and [having her] be the messenger to the disciples that he “will go ahead of them to Galilee” and meet them there. These women in that conference and all the unfortunate women whose issues they have taken to the UN dared to enter the “Holy of Holies” in that premises where voices of nations [are laid out] to be heard. In the Gospel today, Jesus lifted Mary Magdalene. He heard her heart beating and [her] longing for compassion from her community. While nobody braved to take her as one of their own, Jesus gave compassion to her. That changed Mary Magdalene for the better.

Mary did not witness how the resurrection happened, but when “she saw the stone had been removed from the tomb” she was the first to tell the disciples that Jesus’s body is nowhere to be found. In the Gospel of Mark, the angel inside the tomb told Mary Magdalene and the other women with her to “tell his disciples that Jesus will see them in Galilee.” In today’s Gospel, it was Jesus himself who told her to tell his disciples that he “will go ahead of them to Galilee” and meet them there. The appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene after he rose from the dead indicates how women are indispensable proclaimers of the Good News.

In the UN Conference on the Status of Women this year, the message was clear, the world needs to seriously consider the cause of women with urgency. This urgency was proclaimed by those women who either in-person or virtually attended the conference. Some of these women were victims and survivors of the abuse from inside and outside their homes. This urgency, if taken most importantly, will help alleviate the sufferings of women from the confines of the home and from the treacherous manipulations of those who are engaged in human trafficking. On many occasions, women are trafficked by their own families, their own intimate partners, and by people whose heart and mind are focused on profit.

The Gospel today is the Good News. It is the Good News of Jesus’s love for everyone, including women. The resurrection account testifies to that love, that unconditional love where everyone claims their special place in the heart of God, and the promise of Jesus meeting us in our own Galilees, whoever we are. Allowing us to dare to enter the “Holy of Holies” reserved for everybody, can be a radical call to live our life today.

Happy Easter!

 


Easter Vigil 2024
Preaching by Sister Elise García, OP

Saturday, March 30, 2024
Mark 16:1-7

 

Sister Elise García, OP

And so it is that women were the first to witness that Jesus was raised. Women who had followed Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem. Women who stood by him at the foot of the cross through his passion and death. Women who waited for his body to be taken down to see where he was laid. Women who rose early the next morning and set out when the sun had risen to anoint his body.

The scandal of Jesus’ death by the shame and disgrace of crucifixion is matched by the scandal of women being commissioned to testify to his resurrection.

The young man in the tomb, dressed in a white robe, said to the women, “Go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee, there you will see him, just as he told you.”

The words “just as he told you” suggest that Mary Magdalene, Mary, and Salome were also at the Mount of Olives with Jesus and his disciples two days earlier. It was then, right after the Last Supper, that Jesus told his disciples, “After I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”

They were there, along with the disciples, being told those words. Don’t you think it’s likely that, right before this, they were also there at the Last Supper? Can you imagine any meal served in those days without women?

As our Church prepares for the second session of the Synod Assembly this fall, a key question pressing from around the world concerns the role of women in our Church. As we gather in conversation circles and submit our thoughts and input on this synodal journey, we can say that from Mary’s “yes” to being our Theotokos to Mary Magdalene’s being commissioned as the Apostle to the Apostles, women have been central to the Divine plan of incarnate Love.

A very large stone was rolled away from the tomb, making it possible for the women to enter and be commissioned to share the astonishing resurrection news. Perhaps on this synodal journey a very large stone will be rolled away from our beloved Church doors, making it possible for all the People of God to enter, fully functioning, as a discipleship of equals.1

______

1 I’m grateful to Thea Bowman, FSPA, for her understanding of what it means to enter the Church as a “fully functioning” Black Catholic woman, and to Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza for her feminist theology of liberation, Discipleship of Equals.

 


Good Friday 2024
Preaching by Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP

Friday, March 29, 2024
Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12
Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
John 18:1 - 19:42

 

Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP

How can someone be so powerful and so vulnerable at the same time?

Jesus is very clear who he is: "I am! I am!" he declares twice. No one intimidates him, even as his body and life are threatened. He is completely grounded in his identity and his mission, “For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.” He cares for those he will be leaving behind – uniting all disciples as his siblings, and with his mother. John portrays Jesus as very much in charge, even though he is being unfairly judged, his friends have abandoned him, he is being tortured, and then killed. Jesus decides when “It is finished.”

We have a lot coming at us that we don’t have control over: Our aging process, our health changes, loss of friends, uncertainty about the future of religious life, and the future of this country. We can be quite overwhelmed by global events that impact so many in this world.

Yet, we are not called to see ourselves as powerless victims. Like Jesus, we have a mission. As Dominicans, we too are here to “testify to the truth” – the truth of God’s love, the truth of the value of each human life, the truth that “what appears to be a death will be transformed into a birth.” (Wisdom Commentary John, pg. 475)

Jesus models for us how to stay true to our call, our purpose, until our last breath. We may do this through our witness of patience and acceptance as we deal with new and challenging realities, or in how we care for the other sisters and coworkers around us, or through our generous service, or in our faithful prayer.

No one here, at this moment, can say “It is finished.” We are still breathing.

As we approach to venerate the cross today, bring what is weighing heaviest on you, and ask Jesus for the grace to carry it, grounded in your identity and your mission.

We can claim Christ’s power in our vulnerability, a power that radiates out from the suffering of each moment and promises new and unimaginable resurrected life.

That divine cosmic power is never finished.

 


Holy Thursday 2024
Preaching by Sister Corinne Sanders, OP

Thursday, March 28, 2024
Exodus 12:1-14
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
John 13:1-15

 

Sister Corinne Sanders, OP

Tonight we gather on this most holy night which begins the Triduum – the sacred three days that mark our faith. In the Gospel, it is, as John says, the festival of Passover and Jesus knows his hour has come.

This is the climax of a life lived in faithfulness to God who called him into public ministry with the words “You are my son/my child in whom I am delighted.“

No doubt these words were a game changer for Jesus. And indeed, he changed the game. Time and again he broke rules, broke protocol, and upset the status quo. He challenged anyone or anything that diminished life.

He did this knowing he was loved by God and he chose to bring the fullness of that love to others, no matter the cost.

And on this night with his disciples, he knew his hour had come. He had to make this moment count. One last time, he needed his disciples to understand and embrace his world, his ministry, his work – not as followers or disciples, but as one with him. As friends. As a Beloved Community.

It was his time – once and for all – to act one more time in a way that showed his disciples God’s kingdom was breaking in and they would be full participants in this.

And so, he washes their feet. He upsets the status quo. He breaks the rules. He the teacher, the leader, the chosen one – upsets the way things are supposed to be. And they object. We hear Peter object, and I dare say the others did as well. This is discomforting for them.

As Beatrice Bruteau indicates in her book Holy Thursday Revolution, the disciples liked things the way things were. Jesus did the heavy lifting and they were behind him all the way.

Jesus, however, does not agree with this, and so he chooses tonight to once and for all show them another way. Recognizing their discomfort, he does what he has always done; he extends a loving and affirming invitation. Whatever I can do, you can also do. You can break boundaries, you can expand vision, you can wash feet, you can eat of my body and drink of my blood and be fully in me and in the One who sent me. You can for I am with you.

As Bruteau says about Jesus’ actions, they are meant to tell us that "The power of God is vested in you – hidden in you, perhaps, but it is there. Believe in it, let it shine!"

As we now re-enact the washing of feet, I invite us to take this time to feel the power of God in us, to allow what is hidden to come forth, to prepare ourselves for the sharing of the Eucharist where we enter fully into the being of Jesus.

This night is indeed a revolution – a revolution of love so needed in our world.

 


Palm Sunday 2024
Preaching by Sister Fran Nadolny, OP

Sunday, March 24, 2024
John 12:12-16

 

Sister Frances Nadolny, OP

Good morning! Here it is Palm Sunday and it was exactly three months ago that we celebrated a glorious Christmas Eve liturgy. Our liturgical year, in conjunction with the activity of our full moon in the wonders of creation, keeps us on the move. So it was with Jesus as he fulfilled the words of Zechariah and rode as a king — but a king soon to be humiliated and dethroned.

Much like a rerun on television, we know the story. Jesus was treated like a king, highly praised. And we barely process into chapel and take our places when we hear of Jesus’ suffering and death. There is no time to reminisce about Jesus’ good works or his exhortations to be aware of those unjustly treated. It is over and done — liturgically — for today.

But I was curious about what happened when Jesus’ parade ended, so I took a look at the passages following. And that’s when Jesus tells the people that it is time to face the reality of his earthly passing. “Unless a grain of wheat dies, it remains a grain of wheat.” “Those who love their lives, lose their lives.” “If you want to serve me, follow me.” We, ourselves, have taken those little snippets to heart and have written them on holy cards or on small plaques in our rooms or maybe highlighted them in our New Testaments. They are signs to us that we want to die to self in order to be as generous as we can with the gifts, talents, and abilities that we have.

So perhaps you would like to take your palm frond and, conscious of a person, an issue, a location in the world needing your prayerful generosity, write that name, issue, location on the palm. Then as you journey this week through remembrances of service, suffering and death, may you be especially mindful of your palm and the hope that it represents both for you and for those for whom you pray. United in the all-encompassing love of Jesus’ generosity, our week will be holy.

 


Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God
New Year's Day 2024
Preaching by Sister Fran Nadolny

Monday, January 1, 2024
Numbers 6:22-27
Galatians 4:4-7
Luke 2:16-21

 

Sister Fran Nadolny, OP

Good Morning and Happy New Year! Our New Year greeting and wishes for you are simple, taken right from this morning’s Book of Numbers: May our God bless you and keep you – and give you peace. May it be so all through 2024.

This year I had some kind of revelation as I was struck that we celebrate two feasts of Mary in December – The Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe – and then January always begins with a celebration of Mary, the Mother of God. In fact, in our Church, there are eighteen Marian feast days, and these do not include the numerous special regional feasts that occur annually.

So, why is this? I believe that Divine Creation needed human intervention and a partner to get the job done in the work of bringing the Light of truth and justice and love into the world. That partner was Mary, who was truly a co-creator of “Love Forever Being Born,” which is a title by artist Kelly Latimore for his beautiful icon of Mary. Love Forever Being Born.

Let’s think about partners today. There are life partners, business partners, partners in mission, card and game partners, next-door-neighbor partners, table partners, organizational partners, local community partners, General Council and Leadership Council partners, coalition partners, prayer partners – all trying to get the job done, whatever that job might be. We cannot exist without partners. They need us and we need them. It is impossible to do all the jobs and all the tasks in isolation.

Partners share values, mission, vision. They may not share those values or visions when the partnership begins, but they grow into it, just as Mary did. She pondered these things in her heart from the moment she was asked to be a partner until the moment the earthly partnership ended.

When we observe and ponder the partnership of the Divine Creator and Mary, we are awed by the outcome. As we begin a new year, as we celebrate Mary, it is so valuable for us to ponder our own various partnerships — whether with humans or the divine. What are the gifts that we bring to those partnerships? What are the gifts that we receive from those partnerships? What love and energy for a better Earth community are born from those partnerships? May our first resolution of the new year be a commitment to being a strong and faithful partner – as was Mary, the Mother of God.

 



 

LINKS

word.op.org - International Dominican Preaching Page

Catholic Women Preach - Featuring deep spirituality and insights from women

Preach With Your Life - Video series by Adrian Dominican Sisters

 


 

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