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.

 


Gathering for prayer at the Broadview Deportation Center in Broadview, Illinois are, left to right, Sisters Jean Keeley, OP, JoAnn Fleischaker, OP, Noreen George, OP, and Dot Dempsey, OP. Photo courtesy of Sister Jean Keeley.

By Sister Jane Zimmerman, OP

“Affairs are now soul size,” said the poet Christopher Fry. These words ring true in our own time, and they moved the Dominican Midwest Chapter into action. Four years ago we committed ourselves to advocate actively for humane immigration reform; to collaborate with others in this endeavor; and to accompany the immigrant, documented or undocumented, toward a more secure life.

Sister Donna Kustusch, OP, researched and created the proposal for this initiative. She was calling us to be what she called a “Witness Community.” She wrote this as part of a rationale for her proposal:

We know that Dominic’s intuitive creativity was an experiment. He wanted to insert himself, as a member of a community, into the life of the Albigensians so that the community could “preach” by presence, word, and action the Spirit of a loving God. He actually did not know where this intuition would lead. He was answering a creative call of the Spirit. 

Witness Community is an experiment born from our Gospel call to walk as Jesus did. It is a call to live the beatitudes, to see and live the struggles of the poor. It challenges us to live a reflective life together, reflecting on our presence to others and our struggles as strangers in a strange place. It is an attempt to live anew Dominic’s experiment here in the Chicago area, a place rich with our history.

It is largely because of Sister Donna’s commitment and passion for this project that the Immigration Initiative has taken on a life of its own. She was taken from us four months later in July 2013, but is still so much a part of it all!

The 68 Sisters and 37 Associates in our Chapter are each, in some way, involved in the Immigration Initiative: through taking direct action with other organizations; praying and fasting for immigration reform; contacting government representatives; or donating items on the wish lists of hospitality houses. 

In collaboration with the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants (ICDI), several of our Sisters have been praying the rosary early each Friday morning at the Broadview, Illinois, Deportation Center for the detainees being deported and for their families. “Detainees are brought from seven different counties,” Sister Jean Keeley, OP, said. “They are shackled at their hands, feet, and waist as they are herded onto the buses that take them to the airport. The windows on the buses are covered so that they cannot see out.” Volunteers are also present to families who must say good-bye to loved ones.

People who are released from detention and are in transition can stay in one of the two hospitality houses: the Marie Joseph House of Hospitality for women, and the Saint Mary of Częstochowa Hospitality House for men. “I am a presence there,” said Sister Dot Dempsey, OP, a weekend volunteer. “Mostly I stay in the office for phone calls, or I might go to the kitchen/dining room to make myself a cup of tea and talk to whomever is around.”

Our Sisters are also court-watchers. They are joined by university students and people of faith who write their observations while immigration court is in session. These reports and observations are sent to the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) to let the court system know that people are watching and are concerned about their immigrant brothers and sisters.

Many of our Sisters and Associates volunteer and tutor at Aquinas Literacy Center in the McKinley Park neighborhood, Chicago. Created 20 years ago by Sisters Claudia Hinds, OP, and Rosemary Brennan, OP, this nonprofit, community-based center offers free individualized English language instruction, group conversation classes, and group computer classes. The Center is sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters.

We also collaborate with the Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants, an organization of more than 150 Sisters and Brothers from 137 religious communities. Members are committed to prayer, pastoral care in detention centers, legislative action, and support of separated families. “I attend the monthly meetings of the Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants,” said Sister JoAnn Fleischaker, OP. “I am learning much about immigration issues here on a local and state level.” 

We in the Dominican Midwest Chapter feel that our involvement in this Immigration Initiative is a powerful way of preaching. If St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena were alive in our time, they would be in the thick of it right alongside us!

   
LEFT: Former Aquinas Literacy Center Executive Director and present day tutor Sister Joan Mary, OP, and her student take a short break. RIGHT: Volunteer tutors Sisters Mary Margaret Mannard, OP, Norine Burns, OP, Patricia McKee, OP, and Dot Dempsey, OP, with Bishop Joseph Perry at the twentieth-anniversary celebration of Aquinas Literacy Center, October 2016. Photos courtesy of Aquinas Literacy Center

 



 

LINKS

word.op.org - International Dominican Preaching Page

Preach With Your Life - Video series by Adrian Dominican Sisters



Recent Posts

  • Preaching for Easter Sunday 2021 Posted 6 months ago
    Easter Sunday Preaching by Sister Elise D. García, OP April 4, 2021 Scripture Readings: Acts 10: 34a, 37-43 Corinthians 5: 6b-8 John 20: 1-10 Here we are on this glorious Easter morning! And yet the Gospel passage the Church gives us for reflection today is, well, not quite so glorious.  It is not one of the scenes ...
  • Preaching for Easter Vigil 2021 Posted 6 months ago
    Easter Vigil Preaching by Prioress Sister Patricia Siemen, OP April 3, 2021 As we hear the words from Mark’s Gospel, we find ourselves walking along with Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome, as they approach the tomb where Jesus is buried. It is dawn, with the new day’s light ...
  • Preaching for Good Friday 2021 Posted 6 months ago
    Good Friday Preaching by Sister Mary Margaret Pachucki, OP April 2, 2021 Good Friday is the best love story we can ever imagine. Love is total self-giving.  And Jesus showed us the perfect example.  He gave himself up for us: “There is no greater love than for one to lay down their life for another.” Pope ...
  • Preaching for Holy Thursday 2021 Posted 6 months ago
    Holy Thursday Preaching by Sister Patricia Harvat, OP April 1, 2021 The Gospels and letters of St. Paul are narratives of the life of Jesus and the life of disciples accompanying Jesus, learning what commitment to Him and his mission meant. This evening we enter into the narrative of the Last Supper ...
  • Preaching for Palm Sunday 2021 Posted 6 months ago
    Palm Sunday 
Preaching by Sister Frances Nadolny, OP March 28, 2021 Good morning. Today begins a week rich in liturgical significance. Participating in the re-enactment of Jesus processing into Jerusalem reminded me of recent pictures of Pope Francis entering into the holy cities of Iraq. People were so happy to see him, ...
  • Preaching for St. Patrick's Day 2021 Posted 6 months ago
    St. Patrick's Day Homily, March 17, 2021 Written by Sister Attracta Kelly, OP Proclaimed by Prioress Patricia Siemen, OP Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh go léir! Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone! And happy feast to all the Patrick(s), Patricia(s), the Patty(s), the Pat(s), the Patrice(s) among us. I cannot think of any other ...
  • Preaching for Second Sunday in Lent, 2021 Posted 7 months ago
    2nd Sunday in Lent - February 28, 2021 Preaching by Elise D. García, OP Scripture Readings: Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18 Romans 8:31b-34 Mark 9:2-10 In this Second Sunday in Lent as we make our journey toward the Passion of Christ, we, along with three of the disciples, climb Mount Tabor and are given a glimpse, ...
  • Martin Luther King Day, 2021 Posted 8 months ago
    Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Preaching by Fran Nadolny, OP January 18, 2021 This is such a rich day to preach. This is the first day of the International Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It is the federal holiday for Martin Luther King Jr., which is designated as a national day ...
  • Reflection for Jubilarians in Holy Rosary Chapter Posted 11 months ago
    Reflection by Sister Marg Heinz, OP Jubilee Mass for Holy Rosary Chapter November 4, 2020 You are the salt of the earth You are light of the world These gospel words we just heard have truly been lived out in the lives of our Jubilarians. They offer much for our reflection today, but as I ...
  • Thursday, September 10, 2020 - 23rd Week in Ordinary Time Posted last year
    Homiletic Reflection by Jamie T. Phelps, OP Thursday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time Scripture Readings: 1 Corinthians 8:1B-7, 11-13 Psalm 139:1B-3, 13-14AB, 23-24 Luke 6:27-38   Our Context: Raging fires in the U.S. and in migrant camps in Greece and weather on the West Coast; the coronavirus pandemic, which according to Harvard University research ...
Read More »