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Zoom | 19 June 2021
DSIC - revisioning
This meeting is a follow up of the feedbacks from YSOP meeting and is part of an inter-generational visioning process of DSIC. This meeting is open for sisters below 50 years of age and in all stages of formation (novitiate, juniorate and sisters with perpetal vows).
The objective is to inform sisters about DSIC, why it was founded, how it works and in light of this to reflect and respond to a questionnare that the DSIC council has prepared.
Speakers: Sr. Margaret Mayce and Sr. Veronica Rafferty
Registration link: https://forms.gle/phsQUkFDPupR2HjcA
The meeting will consist of the following zoom sessions: 10 – 12 CET ; 16 – 18 CET and an optional social gathering at 20 CET.
MEETING OF FORMATORS IN ROME
This meeting is organized every two years and we will continue to do so. It could be online or in Rome, depending on the pandemic circumstances.
Theme: Course on psychology/psychotherapy
Unfortunately this meeting will not be held this year but we hope to organise it in 2022. More information will follow.
Zoom | 9 - 11 Apr 2021
PERMANENT FORMATION WORKSHOP FOR SISTERS IN THE 50+ AGE GROUP
Permanent formation for sisters in 50+ age group, is an opportunity for sisters who want to participate in international activities. We invite you to dream together our future as part of DSIC.
Theme: “Widows” or “Midwives”? Passing on wisdom; What are we longing for: facilitating new life; Preparing a way for the Lord; “Why are you crying? Why do you look for the living among the dead”; Something new is being born.
Date: 9 – 11 April 2021
Timetable: this program will have four two hours sessions distributed on Friday (16-18) evening, Saturday (10-12 and 16-18) and Sunday morning.
Speakers: Sr Monika Hüppi (Switzerland)and Sr Margaret Mayce
Languages: online interpreters will be available for all the languages of the participants.
Online | 14 - 26 Mar 2021
UN Commission on the Status of Women
The Priority theme is: ‘Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.’ You can find complete information on the CSW65 on the UN website: English. Français, Español
Here is the link to the video from the session on 26 March 2021.
ZOOM | 8 - 10 January 2021
Young Sisters of the Order of Preachers (YSOP) is a yearly meeting that brings together young Dominican sisters across Europe. Young Dominican sisters includes novices and sisters with less than 20 years of professed life.
Theme: “Signs of the times in the distortion of truth»
Report by Sr. Eileen O’Connell OP, Dominican Sisters Cabra
Our sisters in Madrid were to be our hosts for the 2021 YSOP gathering but, as with so much else, COVID-19 intervened. It did not however prevent 40 sisters coming together even while staying apart – by Zoom. The language zones of DSE were represented by sisters of various nationalities and congregations. Our theme was: signs of the times in the distortion of truth. Sr Gemma Morató Sendra OP and Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP offered rich insights.
With Sr Gemma, we considered our current reality. In a post-truth world, emotions and not facts determine what one accepts as truth. Fake news, deliberation distortion of truth to manipulate emotions and beliefs, spreads ever-wider and faster and threatens to undermine society. Dominicans, with our motto Truth, seem an unlikely fit here. Yet, the concern that moved St Dominic must also drive us to engage fully, asking like him: what will become of this world? How might we do this? Almost counter-intuitively, the shift beyond Bauman’s ‘liquid society’ to ‘gaseous society’ – everything is volatile, transitory, interpersonal links are weak, search for identity is central, fear of insecurity looms large – offers us a space to contribute. We Dominicans, who have given our whole lives to following God, can relate to this ‘gaseous’ world where everything is relative, there are no certainties, the lifelong nature of our commitment is so alien. In the ever-shifting ground of today, we consecrated Dominicans can tell that our life is rooted in something – or in someone: the God of compassion. We can communicate best by showing people our lives. Our communal life can offer a strong witness to God. Many experience loneliness and existential emptiness, exacerbated by society’s focus on individual over community. We can demonstrate the gift of communal life as a remedy to this pain only if we live together well. This calls us to put a new focus on the quality of our communal life. We can be obsessed with, even oppressed by, the busyness of mission and our communal life suffers. If it causes us to weaken or lose the witness of communal life, busyness becomes an unhelpful, unhealthy trap.
Fr Timothy asked what seeking truth means in the fake news context and how we might undertake our mission of truth-telling in a manner that overcomes polarities. Echoing Sr Gemma, he identified relationships and understanding the other as antidotes to fake news and named twin ‘tools’ for uncovering truth: objective study along with conversations that foster friendship. Portrait painters use these to capture and disclose the truth of their subject. Likewise, for Dominicans as truth seekers, we need to combine “intense peering”, the discipline of serious study, with the “exhilaration of conversation”, a deep genuine interest in others. We need Dominican scholars specialised in their field (and enabled and supported to be thus) as much as “charitable” Dominican conversationalists – strong relationship-builders with committed students. Even when seemingly futile, we must reach across divisions and have difficult conversations. Only together can we undertake this act of hope and discover other people’s truth. Jesus uncomfortable engagement with the Samaritan woman becomes real only when his word “penetrates her aggression” to reach her life’s truth.
On Saturday, we met Sr Marie Monnet OP, Justice and Peace Promoter for Europe and the Middle East. Their aims are to inform (with newsletters) and instruct (online programmes). Asking which issues interest us, she encouraged sisters to explore Domuni University and to contact her if willing to teach. We were glad that Sr Margaret Mayce OP, DSIC International Coordinator, was with us. She introduced the 2021 global visioning process – coming together to share hopes and dreams for Dominican life and mission for the next five years and exploring how DSIC can help. She told us again of her commitment to involving young sisters in DSIC and her intention to include them in the 2022 Assembly.
Our thanks especially to Sr Pílar del Barrio OP, DSE Coordinator, and to the DSE Council members for planning and bringing to fruition YSOP21 despite the pandemic. Our thanks too to our translators who ensured language was not a barrier to our communication. It was good to be together. We look forward in hope to YSOP22 and pray that then we can meet safely in person once again.
Sr Eileen O’Connell OP
Riga | Sisters of Bethany | 3 - 5 January 2020
— YSOP 2020
Report by Sr. Chiara Mary Tessaris from the English Dominican Congregation of St Catherine of Siena.
If it is true that since the late 19th century the Baltic States have represented the outpost of freedom on the frontier between East and West and that in 1990 they were the first states to proclaim their independence from the USSR, there could have hardly been a better place for holding the annual YSOP 2019 Conference. The event took place in Riga, Latvia, from the 3rd to the 5th of January. Dominican Sisters from Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Germany, Norway and Spain, England, Ireland and the United States have gathered to share a time of personal growth, common prayer and reflection on “ Wounds and Wars: Healing and Peacebuilding: A History of the 20th Century” and to discuss “All that makes us ‘us’: Memory and Identity”. Sr Pilar Del Barrio, DSE coordinator led the conference assisted by her council.
The gathering was held at the Convent of the Sisters of Bethany. The prioress Sr Hanna Rita Laue OP and her community offered a friendly and welcoming setting that made possible a joyful and fruitful exchange of ideas, experiences and challenges.
The main speakers were Church Historians Dr. Jitka Jonová and Sr Sabine Schratz OP. Jitka, a lay Dominican senior lecturer at Sts Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology, Palacký University and Sr Sabine Schratz, Director of Lumen Dominican Centre in Dublin and member of the Historical Institute of the Order of Preachers have provided the participants with a critical analysis of the intricated history of the 20th century, focusing in particular on the impact of the two World Wars and of the advent of communism on European history, culture and religious life. Their thorough presentations sparked an engaging and fruitful discussion that allowed the sisters to appreciate and compare how differently the same events affected their own countries and culture. Particularly interesting and moving testimonies came from the Slovakian, Czech, Hungarian and Latvian sisters who shared instances of heroic resistance to persecution of the Catholic Church under communist regimes.
Strength and weaknesses of international organizations such as the League of Nations and the United Nations were also discussed particularly in relation to global questions such as protection of minority rights, environmental issues and migration. In this respect the final and conclusive discussion greatly benefited from the participation of the international coordinator for DSI Sr Margaret Mayce OP, who shared with the sisters some of the lessons learnt through her long experience over eleven years as the NGO Representative at the United Nations in New York City. Sr Margaret reminded YSOP that framing European challenges without loosing sight of the global perspective is not only a necessity arising from a world becoming increasingly more interdependent, but also and no less importantly it is a constitutive element of the Dominican call to preach the truth and “to go and make disciples of all nations” (Mt, 28:19).
Sr Sabine’s insightful account of the complex interplay between memory and identity and the role that history plays in shaping both has resulted on the one hand in a deeper awareness of how little we know about each other’s history but at the same time it has allowed to appreciate the role that DSE plays in filling these gaps bringing Dominican sisters together and promoting collaboration among different countries and regions by overcoming linguistic and intellectual barriers.
— Meeting of Dominican sisters in Spain
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Oslo | Katarinahjemmet
Small congregations meeting 2019
Oslo | Katarinahjemmet
Report by Sr. Agnes Schreck, Dominican Sisters in The Netherlands (Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia congregation)
Can art be equated with beauty? What role did Sr. Plautilla Nelli, O.P. have in the San Marco school of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries? Are we listening to the “signs of the times” expressed in today’s art? The young Dominican sisters of Europe (Dusseldorf YSOP) gathered at Katarinahjemmet in Oslo for their annual meeting to reflect on these and other questions as they explored the theme “Contemplation and Beauty.” Professor Gregory Reichberg, philosopher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo and St. Thomas Aquinas enthusiast, provided an overview of beauty as found in the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas–particularly beauty’s relation to truth and goodness and the dinstinction between transcendental and aesthetic beauty. Fr. Alain Arnould presented on the San Marco school from Fra Angelico to Sr. Plautilla Nelli and then gave a compelling appeal for engaging with the art of today. Sr. Dana Benedicta Pawlowicz, an artist and member of the Katarinahjemmet community, reflected on the situation of the preacher in the world today and compared the ways in which the preacher is also an artist. Along with these presentations, the sisters enjoyed the gracious hospitality of the Katarinajemmet community, the enriching conversations with each other, and the opportunity to pray together at Mass and Office. Sisters from communities in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, and Slovakia attended. YSOP hopes to host the next gathering in early January 2020 (location to be announced).