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JUST Words
Sharing the life, mission, and
ministry of the Dominican
Sisters of Springfield, Illinois.
Published three times a year.
Volume 17, Number 2

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JUST Words V.17 No.2 2017

JUST Words
Sharing the life, mission, and
ministry of the Dominican
Sisters of Springfield, Illinois.
Published three times a year.
Volume 17, Number 2


Spring 2017
Vol. 17, No. 2

“Centering our lives in Jesus, the Word Made Flesh,
we walk into the mystery unfolding before us.”

from the 2014 Chapter Direction Statement


Dear Readers, Mission Statement:
Called by God
Midwesterners are familiar with Communities grounded in justice can
thunderstorms. We aren’t the only provide sanctuary for immigrants. into right relationship
people who contend with these noisy People of diverse ethnicities can with all creation and graced by
heralds of nature, but we get our fair gather for sacred conversations about Dominican life and mission,
share. We know the rolling thunder race to dissolve long-held divisions. we compassionately preach the
and the streaks of lightning capable of
burning large structures and mighty Faith-filled people have long Gospel of Jesus Christ.
trees to the ground. sought ways to protect others from
danger—to redirect anger toward JUST Words
Fortunately, there is a simple acceptance, to divert hate into
method to protect ourselves and our love—by grounding themselves in Sharing the life, mission, and
buildings from lightning. A lightning the Gospel. Will you help create ministry of the Dominican
rod is a metal pole placed on a high communities of compassion where Sisters of Springfield, Illinois.
structure and tethered by electrical the wounded find healing, and the Published three times a year.
wire to another pole buried in the innocent are protected? Will you form Volume 17, Number 2
ground. This arrangement attracts communities of compassion where the
and diverts the deadly current of strength of the Gospel breaks down Dominican Sisters
a lightning strike down the pole, walls of division, replacing them with of Springfield, Illinois
through the wire, and into the ground the power of truth and justice? Sacred Heart Convent
where it is safely dissipated. 1237 W Monroe
“Lightning rods and rainbows,” Springfield, Illinois 62704
What a great metaphor for February 23, Phone: 217.787.0481 • Fax: 217.787.8169
dissipating the storms that threaten 2017. Accessed April 10, 2017.
our survival as a people and a planet!
With credit to Sister Nancy Sylvester, Sister Mary Jean Traeger, OP For inquiries about this publication:
IHM, and Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault, Sister Beth Murphy, OP
who write of becoming “lightning Sister Mary Jean Traeger, OP, is a Director of Communications
rods of God’s compassion,” I offer member of the JUST Words editorial [email protected]
my own reflection on this metaphor. board.
For inquiries about vocations:
The world faces storms of all Cover photo : Hermana Patricia De la Ó Llanos hikes Sister Teresa Marron, OP
kinds. Ideological divisions crack toward a cave near La Oroya, Peru, beautifully Director of Vocations
through friendships; violence erupts photographed by Sister Kathlyn Mulcahy, OP. [email protected]
somewhere in the world daily. A
recent Time magazine cover posed the For inquiries about the
scorching question, “Is Truth Dead?” Associate Program:
We might add other unanswerable Sister Paul Mary Janssens, OP
questions: What can the world do Director of the Associate Program
about ISIS? What good is a bombing [email protected]
raid to victims of sarin gas?
For inquiries about
What if, instead, people chose Mission Advancement
to become lightning rods of Sister Kathleen Anne Tait, OP
compassion? Oppression runs like Director of Mission Advancement
an electric current through the lives [email protected]
of suffering people, threatening to
destroy whole populations. Lightning Editorial Board Members:
rods of compassion can connect,
like sturdy wires, to divert and Sister Barbara Blesse, OP
dissipate destructive abuses of power. John Freml
Sister Judine Hilbing, OP
Sister Geraldine Kemper, OP
Craig Missel
Sister Beth Murphy, OP
Sister Linda Sue Noe, OP
Aaron Tebrinke
J. Graham Thompson
Sister Mary Jean Traeger, OP
Mary Waters
Sister Elizabeth Wrenn, OP


Sister Kathlyn Mulcahy, OP

Publication Designer:

Aaron Tebrinke

2 | JUST Words


Bidding Farewell to Friends
by Sister Judith Hilbing, OP

For 52 years we, the Springfield The people of La Oroya, the Springfield Dominican Sisters Edith Vila
Dominicans, have transformed surrounding villages, mining camps, Alania, Patricia De La O’, Judith Hilbing,
struggle into miracle and history and the families of our Peruvian Maria Luisa Ñaupari Gutiérrez, Elizabeth
into legend as we lived an ordinary sisters—whom we had accompanied for Castro Cruz and Doris Terrel Jiménez in La
story of joy and pain, trepidation over 50 years—were going to experience Oroya, Peru.
and relationships, in the highlands both our gratitude and departure. We had scarcely landed in Peru
of the Andes Mountains. La Oroya and visited the Lima suburb of Canto
has always been a metallurgical city, Accompaniment fits into the Grande when four of us left the heat,
home to a refinery, pathway to the natural rhythm of Peruvian values. density, and confusion of the city and
jungle’s produce in the east. In La Walking with, supporting, or being headed up into the high Andes. The
Oroya and the vicinity relationships complementary in a “stronger-than- greenery of the rain-soaked mountains
and ministries were fashioned by our rock” kind of way named exactly was pure delight after the humid sand
North and South American sisters, what we always tried to do. Because dunes of Lima. Our formidable chauffer,
dedicated to preaching, peacemaking, Sisters Kathlyn Mulcahy and I served considering the immense road that
and hospitality. in Peru for many years we were chosen both curved ahead of him and poured
to bring the love and prayers of the behind him, set off to test all wagers
Various events and lack of personnel North American Dominicans to our that we would arrive in one piece.
led us to the decision, marinated in eight Peruvian sisters as they closed La Steering with one hand and passing
passion and pain, to formally terminate Oroya, took a memory journey into the with abandonment on curves, he began
this ministry. March 4, 2017, was the surrounding region, and celebrated a to sing. I was soon caught up in the
date set for the rituals of gratitude. thanksgiving Eucharist and departure cadence of Lady in Red composed by
celebration filled with music, words, the British-Irish singer Chris de Burgh.
tears, and hugs. The words flowed over me “I’ve never
seen you looking as beautiful as you did
tonight. I’ve never seen you shine so

(continued on page 4)

Spring-2017 | 3


(continued from p. 3)

bright. You were amazing. I will never and knew that at the deepest level even
forget the way you look tonight, Lady the strongest will cry. The realization
in red.” that we would not get through this
passage without an abundance of tears
As we twisted higher and higher, made all the sadness pour out: the last
the freshness of the vivid mountains days for our Hermana Margarita as the
swept around us, overwhelmingly green cancer overwhelmed her determination
because of the abundance of rain. I to live, abandoning the mountain
found myself changing the words of culture for that of the metropolis,
the song to Lady in Green in honor leaving 52 years of relationships and
of Pachamama—Earth Mother—the ministries, and honoring the sisters who
indigenous goddess of the ancestral gave years of their lives to the people
Incas. I chanted inwardly “I’ve never and ministries of the mountains.
seen you looking as beautiful as you
do today. I’ve never seen you shine so We yearned for peace as we returned
green. You are amazing! I will never to Lima. We stuffed two cars with
forget the way you look today, lady in things from the house that the moving
green.” van hadn’t taken, and set off on a last
gorgeous ride through the many faces of
It came to me that I was singing to the Andes—rustic rocks, snow-capped
the mountains a love song for all those mountains, green knolls, and gushing
who have ever served in La Oroya, waterfalls—as well as our astounding
assembled now as a cloud of witnesses— maneuver through a rock fall that
in heaven and in tangible time. So we covered the highway.
call “Presente” to Sisters de Carmel,
Rene, Patricia McDonald, Dominga, This article then, serves as a construct
Mary Rose, and Doris who have recently of how hope flourished, and still
gone ahead, and to the twenty other of flourishes, in the hearts and souls of
us still-living Dominicans who have the women dedicated to preaching
ministered in La Oroya. and the making of peace in La Oroya,
Peru. It will always be an ordinary story
Hugs, blessings, and good wishes of “salt and light” fashioned by the
challenged the incipient pain and tone contributions of ordinary women of the
of sadness in the celebratory time as Gospel. We, the Dominican Sisters, are
we entered into the Eucharistic and itinerant preachers. Accompaniment,
farewell blessing celebrations. So sharing, and mutuality will always be
many combined graces and insights, present as we engage new ventures on
promises and hopes, covered aches this journey of life.
and pain as we recalled 52 years of life
and mission. In this land of saints and Sister Judith Hilbing, OP, is prioress
martyrs we renewed old acquaintances, of Sacred Heart Convent, Springfield.
gave thanks, and watched traditional She ministered in Peru 1978-1993 and
dancers. We shared food and stories. 2006-2009.
We honored the dead and cherished
the living. Hermana Doris Terrel
Jiménez and her bananas
Then seven of us went on a memory in L aOroya, Peru.
journey to Huagapo, the site of the
largest, most gorgeous grotto and
waterfall in the hinterlands of the area.
Huagapo means “the powerful one that
cries.” We sat at length in its presence

4 | JUST Words

Nunca te olvidaremos, La Oroya:

Despedida a Nuestros Amigos y Amigas

por Sister Judith Hilbing, OP

Durante 52 años, nosotras, El acompañamiento encaja en
las Dominicas del Sagrado el ritmo natural de los valores
Corazón de Springfield, peruanos. Caminar con, apoyar, o
hemos transformado la lucha en ser complementario de forma “más
milagro y la historia en leyenda al fuerte que la roca” era exactamente
vivir una historia ordinaria de alegría lo que siempre tratamos de hacer.
y dolor, temor y relaciones, en la sierra Por haber servido en Perú durante
de los Andes. La Oroya siempre ha muchos años, Hermana Kathlyn
sido una ciudad metalúrgica, hogar de Mulcahy y yo fuimos escogidas
una refinería, camino a los productos para traer el amor y las oraciones
de la selva en el este. En La Oroya de las dominicas norteamericanas
y la zona alrededor las relaciones a nuestras ocho hermanas peruanas
y los ministerios se formaron por cuando cerraron La Oroya, hicieron
nuestras hermanas norteamericanas un viaje de memoria a la región
y sudamericanas, dedicadas a la circundante y celebraron una acción
predicación, el establecimiento de la de gracias Eucarística seguida por
paz y la hospitalidad. Las hermanas reunidas por la última vez alrededor una celebración de despedida llena de
de la mesa en La Oroya: Hermanas Beatriz Vila
Varios eventos y la falta de personal Alania, Maria Luisa Ñaupari Gutiérrez, Patricia música, palabras, lágrimas y abrazos.
nos llevaron a la decisión, marinado De la O’, Doris Terrel Jiménez, Edith Vila Alania, Apenas llegamos al Perú e hicimos
en la pasión y el dolor, para terminar Kathlyn Mulcahy, Judith Hilbing, Mila Díaz Solano, una visita al suburbio de Canto
formalmente este ministerio. El 4 de y Elizabeth Castro Cruz. | El valle del Río Mantaro. Grande, y cuatro de nosotras dejamos

marzo de 2017 fue la fecha establecida para los rituales el calor, la densidad y la confusión de la ciudad y nos
de gratitud. dirigimos hacia las alturas de los Andes. La vegetación de
El pueblo de La Oroya, las aldeas alrededores, los la sierra empapada de lluvia era pura alegría después de
campamentos mineros y las familias de nuestras hermanas las dunas de arena húmeda de Lima. Nuestro formidable
peruanas, a quienes habíamos acompañado durante más chofer, teniendo en cuenta el inmenso camino que se
de 50 años, iban a experimentar nuestra gratitud y nuestra

Spring-2017 | 5


(continuó de p. 5)

inclinaba delante de él y se derramaba René, Patricia McDonald, Dominga, de relaciones y ministerios, y honrar
detrás de él, se puso a probar todas las Mary Rose y Doris que han pasado a las hermanas que dieron años de sus
apuestas que llegaríamos en una sola recientemente, y a las veinte otras vidas al pueblo y a los ministerios en
pieza. Dirigiéndose con una mano y dominicas, todavía vivas, que hemos estas montañas.
pasando con abandono en las curvas, servido en La Oroya.
comenzó a cantar. Pronto me sentí Anhelamos la paz al regresar a
atrapado en la cadencia de Lady Abrazos, bendiciones y buenos Lima. Hemos llenado dos coches
in Red compuesta por el cantante deseos desafiaron el incipiente con cosas de la casa que el camión
británico-irlandés Chris de Burgh. dolor y el tono de tristeza en el no había llevado, y partimos en un
Las palabras fluyeron sobre mí: tiempo de celebración al entrar en último paseo magnífico a través de
“Nunca te he visto tan hermosa como las celebraciones eucarísticas y de las muchas caras de los Andes—
esta noche. Nunca te he visto brillar bendición de despedida. Se mezclaron rocas rústicas, montañas cubiertas
tan brillante. Estuviste increíble. las gracias y las perspectivas, de nieve, verdes lomas y chorros de
Nunca olvidaré tu aspecto esta noche, las promesas y las esperanzas, agua—y también nuestra asombrosa
Señora de rojo.” cubriendo el dolor al recordar 52 maniobra a través de un huaico que
años de vida y misión. En esta tierra cubrió la carretera.
El camino se retorcía cuesta arriba, de santos y mártires renovamos
la frescura de las vívidas montañas antiguas amistades, dimos gracias Este artículo sirve, pues, como
llenaba la vista alrededor de nosotras, y vimos bailarines tradicionales. un recuerdo de cómo floreció la
un paisaje abrumadoramente Compartimos la comida y las esperanza, y sigue floreciendo en
verde debido a la abundancia de historias. Honramos a los fallecidos los corazones y las almas de las
lluvia. Me encontré cambiando las y amamos a los vivos. mujeres dedicadas a la predicación
palabras de la canción a Lady in y a la construcción de la paz en
Green en honor a la Pachamama— Luego siete de nosotras fuimos en La Oroya, Perú. Siempre será una
la Madre Tierra—la diosa indígena un viaje de la memoria a Huagapo, el historia ordinaria de “sal y luz”
de los Incas ancestrales. Yo cantaba sitio de la gruta y cascada más grande, amoldada por las contribuciones de
interiormente: “Nunca te he visto más magnífica en la zona. Huagapo mujeres ordinarias del Evangelio.
tan hermosa como hoy. Nunca te he significa “el poderoso que llora”. Nos Nosotras, las Hermanas Dominicas,
visto brillar tan verde. ¡Eres increíble! sentamos en su presencia y sabíamos somos predicadoras itinerantes.
Nunca olvidaré tu aspecto este día, a nivel más profundo que incluso El acompañamiento, el compartir
Señora de verde.” los más fuertes lloran. Dándonos y la reciprocidad siempre estarán
cuenta de que no pasaríamos por esta presentes mientras emprendemos
Me llegó a la mente que yo cantaba experiencia sin una abundancia de nuevos caminos en este viaje de la
a las montañas una canción de amor lágrimas, se hizo derramar toda la vida.
para todas aquellas que han servido tristeza: los últimos días para nuestra
en La Oroya, reunidas ahora como hermana Margarita mientras que el Sister Judith Hilbing, OP, es la
una nube de testigos en el cielo y en cáncer abrumó su determinación de priora de Sacred Heart Convent en
el tiempo tangible. Así que llamamos vivir, abandonar la cultura de sierra Springfield. Sirvió en las misiones del
“Presente” a las Hermanas de Carmel, para la de la metrópoli, dejar 52 años Perú de 1978 a 1993 y de 2006 a 2009.

6 | JUST Words Foto de La Oroya, Peru por Hermana Kathlyn Mulcahy, OP

Healing with Dialogue

Election Year Strained Friendship

by Aaron Tebrinke with reflections by Shirley Johnson and J. Graham Thompson, LMFT

Aaron Tebrinke, our Multimedia was no longer for Clockwise from left:
Specialist, and Shirley Johnson me about the debate. Aaron Tebrinke,
have been friends since 2013. Aaron It became more about Shirley Johnson,
feared that their friendship was comforting a friend who Graham Thompson.
damaged by the general election last was genuinely hurt and felt Photos by Sister
November. He was eager to try an as though life as he knew it was Elizabeth Wrenn, OP
exercise in contemplative dialogue quickly falling away and that there
with the help of facilitator Graham was nothing he could do to prevent it. I won’t
Thompson, marriage therapist, lie. Being
Dominican Associate, and JUST In some ways, I felt conflicted vulnerable
Words editorial board member. and responsible for what he was enough to
Shirley agreed. Here is a summary of going through because I held the explain the
their experience. opposing viewpoint, which seemed origins of my decision-
to be what he felt was responsible for making process was not a pleasurable
Shirley: First, I must say that I came his feelings of “true fear,” “betrayal” task. I felt I had to expose formative
into this experience not knowing and “loss of connection” to the moments that were sometimes
what to expect. I was apprehensive way of life he has always enjoyed. painful to revisit. One example was
because I know how emotional I I gained a better understanding of the conflicting messages I got from
can get over politics. I purposely Aaron and an appreciation for his my father about respecting the law
came into the conversation with no values and responsibilities to others. concerning the protection of the
expectations, which allowed me to be And I understood that it was his southern border—respecting the
completely taken in by the process. overwhelming feelings of isolation, legal progress of immigration—yet
powerlessness, and emotional also being guided to take in people
Aaron: I had high expectations disconnection that guided his vote. in need without question.
based on my observations of sisters (continued on page 10)
using contemplative dialogue Aaron: As the speaker, it was scary;
practices, but I had a realistic fear that
the relationship was too damaged to

Shirley: As the listener, I felt that
I was truly hearing the heart of my
friend for the first time. I heard his
concerns, and I heard the impact
that the general election had on him
emotionally. I empathized with the
inner conflict he experienced and
understood the influence of his life
experience on his decision. I was
moved with compassion for him and
for those he knows who felt scared
and fearful of what might take place
under a Trump administration. It

Spring-2017 | 7

Brown Bag Seminars:
Progressing with Active Faith
Out of concern for the by Aaron Tebrinke
divisive outcome of the
2016 national election, the Top: Title card for Contemplative Dialogue 2-8-2017 video. The Brown Bag Seminar series, held for three
sisters looked for a way to make a consecutive Wednesdays at the end of January and early February, allowed the Springfield Dominicans to
positive difference in the tone of civil share their commitment to becoming an anti-racist institution, their desire to heal the environment through
discourse with a successful “Brown sustainable living, and their experience of contemplative prayer. The full-house crowds at each session
Bag Seminar Series.” Offered in the affirmed the sisters’ contribution to civil discourse. Above: This card was handed out to all attending the
weeks following the presidential seminars. These practices, developed by Grand Rapids Dominican Sister Carmelita Murphy, often guide the
inauguration, the series reflected sisters’ dialogue in community discussions.
the values the sisters try to live
every day in their desire to dismantle Video links: Video link: | Video link:
racism, care for creation, and engage
in contemplative conversation Moral Compass: Practical Ways to what is said.“We listen from the
regarding important issues. inner silence that creates a space
Navigate the Climate Crisis
The series attracted 150 participants Sister Sharon Zayac encouraged where something new can emerge,”
on three consecutive Wednesdays participants to do what they can Sister Rebecca Ann explained. The
for noon-time presentations that where they are, explaining that even challenge in contemplative dialogue
reflected the sisters’ traditional small efforts make a big difference. is not to dominate the conversation,
ministries of education, healthcare, “Imagine the world you want to or be an ‘expert’ but to listen to others,
and pastoral ministry—with a twist. inhabit. Do what you can to bring it she continued. Sister Rebecca Ann
The seminars focused on educating about,” she told participants. closed the session with a parting
and providing pastoral support for Contemplative Practice: Spiritual wish: “May the word that you heard,
those who want, like the sisters the word that you spoke, the word
themselves, to transform our world Ground for Challenging Times
by building anti-racist institutions, Sister Rebecca Ann Gemma that is present continue to guide you
caring for God’s creation, and sharing and members of the Springfield throughout this day.”
their experience of contemplatively Dominican leadership team led this Aaron Tebrinke is the publication
approaching important civic session, modeling a way to listen
concerns. beyond the words to the deeper designer for JUST Words and
transformative meaning beneath Multimedia Specialist for Dominican
Here are a few take-aways from Sisters of Springfield, IL.
each session:

Dismantling Racism: How-Tos for your
business, church, or organization

Sister Marcelline Koch discussed
the power of racism and offered tools
for participants to consider using in
their own places of work. “Power
over some people—that’s what rac-
ism is—privileges others and then it
hurts everyone: people of color and
white persons,” she said. “My priv-
ilege is that I never have to think
about race,” said Sister Marcelline.
“I never have to think about the fact
that I am white.”

8 | JUST Words

2017 Jubilarian Class

God bless you for your years of faithful service! Congratulations to:

75 60 60
Sister M. Martina Finn, OP Sister M. Jerome Quinn, OP Sister Bernice Juip, OP

60 60 50

Sister M. Angelene Biderbost, OP Sister M. Linda Tonellato, OP Sister Jean Patrick Ehrhardt, OP

50 50 50
Sister Mary Corde Lenn, OP Sister Ann Clennon, OP Sister Martha Marie Kirbach, OP

50 50 50

Sister Kathleen Gallagher, OP Sister Mary Joan Sorge, OP Sister M. Katrina Lamkin, OP

(continued from page 7) More importantly, I felt that with daily. The alienation caused both
Fear was my first emotion after Aaron heard my heart and my of us to separately recoil inward.
disappointment in a system I felt
the election. I felt the president-elect repeatedly failed me as an African- This exercise made me listen more
would minimize my power to speak American. I felt validated in my than I would in a political discussion.
freely. convictions about my faith and My logical mind was put on hold so
my community, and respected for my emotional side could hear what
I shared that my inner struggle basing my political decisions on she was feeling instead of looking
came from a desire to protect people, these issues. I also felt Aaron heard
to be a support to people, and to not my frustration—frustration with for imperfections to
feel powerless in the face the moral obligation to vote and the correct.
of threats to our civil lack of real choices in candidates; my
liberties. I shared the frustration that “throwing a dart” to Graham reflected:
powerlessness I felt to decide something of this magnitude When one adds a
help those close to me, felt like the only option open to me. person’s emotional
and our shared feelings Finally, our dialogue ended with a context to the content
of powerlessness, fear, feeling of comfort and freedom for of a difference,
and anger. me; the kind of comfort that can only it moves people
occur when I truly feel heard. with differences
I explained my fear emotionally close so
was not a fanciful Aaron: As a listener, I heard things they can listen with
fiction; the worst-case I never heard from my friend before. new ears and validate
scenario was playing out I heard her desire for a genuine the other’s reality.
before me in real-life, relationship, not just a superficial The debate method
and I was not able to friendship. And for the first time, I we all learned in
stop it. The Republican heard clearly and without judgement, school promotes a “tit-for-tat” form
presidential nominee pledged only her reason for voting as she did. I of communication where one argues
he alone could fix the system, yet he heard her sadness, and how horrible only to “win.” This type of content
was completely unprepared for the it was for her to be reduced to a argument usually distances people
magnitude of the office. Even now pessimistic state. She felt there were from one another and does not
the Executive Branch has barely any “really no choices” even though a contribute to emotional closeness.
of the key roles filled and the senior choice was being demanded. Debate locks you into the logic of
level positions in the Pentagon and your brain and will not let your heart
State Department are nearly empty The most common thing we impact how you listen to another.
as well. Any mention of climate connected on was a sense of loss The conflict managing technique
change was removed from the White in being unable to speak freely and used for this exercise is promoted by
House website hours after the new openly with all people we interact the Gottman Institute, a marriage
president was sworn into office. They research and therapy organization,
also removed any reference to civil to support healthy marriages. Though
rights or LGBT protections. Decades Aaron and Shirley are not married
of scientific research was removed or in a romantic relationship, this
from the EPA page. process helped them understand
one another at an emotional level.
Shirley: As the speaker, I felt safe They saw each other differently, in a
to express my viewpoint without way similar to how the disciples on
feeling ridiculed or judged. I feel the road to Emmaus had their eyes
Aaron was able to see my perspective opened by Jesus.
in a manner he’d not previously Shirley Johnson is the Executive
considered. I felt a release, because Director of Sangamon County Child
since the elections many friends have Advocacy Center.
called into question my character and Aaron Tebrinke is the publication
values; this was the first time I felt designer for JUST Words and
safe being honest, knowing I would Multimedia Specialist for Dominican
be heard. Sisters of Springfield, IL.

10 | JUST Words

How to Create a PA R TInNMEisRsioSn
Legacy of Hope

by Sister Kathleen Anne Tait, OP

One donor’s story the barn with the Creative Arts Please consider including the
Center, which was completed last fall. Dominican Sisters of Springfield
The generous donor’s family The simple, practical facility provides in your estate planning—it’s one
loved coming to Jubilee Farm! They a beautiful space for our growing way you can leave a legacy of
relished the beautiful nature trails arts program, a large meeting space, hope that will help us infuse our
and interaction with animals at and an office/work area. This estate values of inclusivity, collaboration,
feeding time. Over the 18 years since gift brought hope for the continued interdependence, life-long learning,
Jubilee Farm’s founding, the donor’s growth of our ministry that calls us justice and integrity into our
family—like many visitors—has all to live simply and sustainably and education, health care, pastoral, and
experienced the peace that comes to share the gift of the land. social outreach ministries in the
from truly being one with creation! United States and Peru. Your legacy
The donor watched the growth of will bring hope to our elder sisters
programs at Jubilee Farm and whole- How to create your who have given their lives in service
heartedly supported our efforts to
preserve the integrity, stability, and own legacy of hope to God’s people and who continue
beauty of the Earth community for to pray for you each day!
future generations. She wanted to If you want to create a legacy of
leave a legacy of hope for the efforts hope for the Dominican Sisters,
of Jubilee Farm and chose to make here are a few tips:
a gift from her estate. 1. Contact your lawyer or
financial planner who can
This donor’s gift was the answer help you reach your personal
to prayer for Jubilee Farm because and philanthropic goals.
termites had taken a toll on our 2. Arrange first for the care
120-year-old barn, which housed of your family and your own
our pottery studio and workshop. health.
Wishing to remain anonymous, 3. After these needs are taken
her estate gift and the generosity of care of, consider benefitting Sister Kathleen Anne Tait, OP, is the
others dedicated to the preservation a charity that mirrors your Director of Mission Advancement for
of creation made it possible to replace values and priorities. the Springfield Dominican Sisters.

Sixteen co-ministers from St. Dominic
Health Services made a pilgrimage from
Jackson, Miss. and visited the new Creative
Arts Center at Jubilee Farm on Friday, April
21, 2017.

Spring-2017 | 11


U.S. Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements

by Sister Linda Hayes, OP

Sister Linda Hayes listens to Cardinal Peter Turkson. Photo credit: Heather Wilson, PICO National Network
In mid-February, I joined an
eight-member delegation from for by Pope Francis. We heard the must disrupt those who train us to see
heart-wrenching struggles of people Muslim men and women and children
Springfield’s community organizing living on the margins, experiencing as sources of fear rather than as children
group, the Faith Coalition for isolation, extreme poverty, and racial of God,” the bishop said.
the Common Good, at the US exclusion. We listened to their stories Yet, it was not enough to merely
Regional World Meeting of Popular and analyzed the systemic causes of disrupt, he said. We must also become
Movements (USWMPM) in Modesto, their misery. rebuilders in solidarity. “So let us see
California. Pope Francis called for the For me the highlight was San Diego and judge and act. Let us disrupt and
meeting so that the Church might Bishop Robert McElroy’s address. After rebuild. And let us do God’s work,”
hear, in an unfiltered way, the pains, two days of speakers and participants McElroy concluded to a final thundering
anxieties and fears of the people, as clamoring for leaders in the Catholic round of applause.
well as their resistance, and renew its church to step up their involvement in As people moved on to the next thing
“historic solidarity with social justice the issues on the board, it took Bishop there were tears and exclamations such
movements.” McElroy only six minutes to rouse the as, “This is the church I have been
Cardinal Peter Turkson, head of the crowd of “protagonistas.” He called waiting for.” And “I have never heard
Vatican’s office for Integral Human participants to become “disrupters and a bishop speak so powerfully!” Truly it
Development, opened with a message rebuilders” amid current American was an electrifying moment!
from Pope Francis who called for politics, a reference to the newly elected You can find presentations, videos,
people to resist the “grave danger” in U.S. president’s campaign claim that he and the final recommendations from
this moment to disown our neighbors was “the candidate of disruption.” “Well the meeting at
amid a culture of indifference. Turkson now, we must all become disrupters,” and
said the goals of the gathering were to said McElroy. “We must disrupt those
recognize societal structures that create who would seek to send troops into our Sister Linda Hayes, OP is the
indifference and exclusion and to make streets to deport the undocumented. Dominican Sisters representative for
of the people ”protagonists of change.” We must disrupt those who portray the Faith Coalition for the Common
refugees as enemies, rather than our Good, a board member, and the
My companions and I truly brothers and sisters in terrible need. We organization’s treasurer.
experienced the deep encounter called

12 | JUST Words


The Matthew 25 Pledge in Action

by Mary Waters, Sister Judine Hilbing, OP, and Sister Beth Murphy, OP

Welcoming the Stranger

F Sister Mary Clare Fichtner and her First Communion class. By Sister Judine Hilbing
rom the grassroots has sprung to fade. “We are in a transition age She arrives each week eager to
an idea called the Matthew that requires new collaborations,” serve. She is simply dressed, clothed
25 Pledge. Rooted in Jesus’ Sister Clare summarizes. “We have in generosity and compassion. Her
admonition to care for the most to gather people together, name what name is Volunteer and she is found
vulnerable people in our world, change is desired, and work on it.” at every literacy center, soup kitchen,
the pledge is a simple, powerful It is hope that allows Sister Clare to food pantry, resource center, and
way to evaluate your involvement confidently say, “I never see anything prison where the Dominican Sisters
as a disciple of Jesus: Feeding the as a difficulty, just a challenge.” of Springfield minister among
hungry? Clothing the naked? She relies on this philosophy and women on the margins. Volunteer
Visiting prisoners? Working toward a prayerful process she calls an is at the service of the Gospel and her
systemic justice? What does it mean “Ignatian review” to give her focus. participation in outreach programs
to put Jesus’ call into action? Here’s When she finds herself trying to locate is essential for success.
a glimpse into what it looks like for resources for or integrate people who The woman seated across the table
some of our sisters, students, and are homeless or refugees into parish lives each day in anxious fear. Will
people who minister with us. life, she knows collaborating in hope her husband be deported? How will
will bring surprising results. she care for her children? Will she
Generating Hope “When we work together, we have find her own voice in this English-
speaking land? Looking into the face
By Mary Waters of the volunteer, she begins to relax.
There is no judgement here, only a
helpful woman encouraging her to
move forward one step at a time.
As I watch this faithful volunteer
bid goodbye at the end of the day, I
can feel my own fear transforming
into hope. In an era when we talk
about the diminishment of religious
life, I am confident that the outreach
programs initiated by the Dominican
Sisters will continue to thrive. There
will always be women of the Gospel
to walk with us as visible expressions
of our compassionate God.

Sister Mary Clare Fichtner hope, get a surprise, find joy, rejoice in Sister Judine Hilbing, OP, is

considers herself a resource to that joy and, new hope is generated,” director of scholarships, Marian

programs and people at Sacred Heart she says. “It just keeps going. We were Catholic High School, Chicago

parish in Columbia, Mo. Truth is, as given hope in baptism. We need to Heights, Ill.; food pantry director at

she follows that inner voice calling rely on it.” the St. Irenaeus/Catholic Charities

her to “do something more,” she Mary Waters is a Dominican Food Pantry, Park Forest, Ill.; and a

is a conduit. Her efforts, big and Associate and JUST Words editorial member of the JUST Words editorial

small, rely on hope to bring people board member. She lives in Columbia, board. (continued on p. 14)

together and encourage boundaries Mo.

Spring-2017 | 13

(continued from p. 13) tot watching SHG students from SHG Students in Steubenville, Ohio, on their
his parish work to raise the money service trip last summer. Hannah Schmidt, fourth
Teaching Discipleship necessary to support their trip. “I from the left, and Max Heinzel, far right, plan to
Sister Beth Murphy wanted to be the kid volunteering return again this summer.
my time,” he recalls.
“We work to instill authentic What to do next:
discipleship in our students,” says Discipleship may take the shape of Try Sister Clare’s Ignatian review to
Caitlin Torrence, theology teacher an infinite number of acts of charity, help you focus on positive outcomes.
at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School, advocacy, or efforts toward social
Springfield, Ill. In the classroom, change. What does it look like for
SHG students learn the theology and you? Volunteer at a Dominican
doctrine that is the foundation of their Literacy Center. www.
faith. The proof of their education will Sister Beth Murphy, OP, is the
not be in the classroom, or on their communication director for the Volunteer-Tutors-.html
report card, however, but in whether Dominican Sisters of Springfield.
they live out the mission “grounded
in the values and teachings of Jesus
Christ,” Caitlin explains. For many
students, their theological formation
is deepened and challenged through
the service opportunities SHG

Hannah Schmitt, Mikey Conlon,
and Max Heinzel have discovered
this through the school’s annual
trip to Appalachian Ohio. There
students lived simply while they
encountered the people whose
homes they repaired. Hannah says
the trip fulfilled her desire to serve
and strengthened her awareness of
the needs of people in impoverished
communities. It was the “joy in
people’s faces” that Mikey remembers
most about his week of service. And
Max Heinzel was inspired to make
the trip long ago, when he was a


Please join us in prayer for our Sisters and Associates who have entered into eternal life:

Sister Janice Greenwood, OP • January 4, 2016
Sister Rosalima Blough, OP • January 15, 2016
Sister M. Carmen Cesario, OP • February 6, 2017
Sister Virginia Dever, OP, (Sister John Thomas) • March 15, 2017
Hermana Margarita Valentin Contreras, OP • March 16, 2017
Sister M. Laurentia Fenlon, OP • March 21, 2017

Loretta Fairchild (Associate) • April 7, 2017
Marvin Eugene Fairchild (Associate) • April 18, 2017

14 | JUST Words

Faith Relations Panel
Sister Mary Jean Traeger was one of
five religious leaders to participate in
the Greater Springfield Chamber of
Commerce’s Leadership Springfield
faith relations panel April 14. In
addition to Sister Mary Jean the panel
consisted of representatives from
the Presbyterian, Jewish, Baha’i and
Muslim communities in Springfield.

Sister Trinita Eddington, left, and Sister Margaret Grueter, at the book-signing. Unified Community
Book Signing: A Sister’s Love In January, the Springfield Race
Seven Springfield Dominican Sisters whose stories are told in a new book Unity Committee recognized Sister
signed copies for guests during an event at Sacred Heart Convent February Marcelline Koch with a certificate of
10. A Sisters’ Love: The Story of the Dominican Sisters at St. Dominic’s shares appreciation plaque for her numerous
the stories of Sisters Trinita Eddington, Dorothea Sondgeroth, Kristin Rever, contributions to building racial unity
Celestine Rondelli, Susan Karina Dickey, Margaret Grueter, and Thecla and empathy throughout the city.
Kuhnline. Copies of the book are available for purchase at www.stdom. The plaque reads in part: “Because
com/about-us/ways-to-give/a-sisters-love/. Proceeds support the ministry of your efforts, Springfield (Ill.) is a
of the sisters at St. Dominic Health Services, Jackson, Miss. much more inclusive, welcoming, and
unified community.”

Loving the Universe
Our Sister Sharon Zayac and
Amityville, New York, Dominican
Sister Margaret Galiardi spent the
Sister Habiba Bihnam, OP. | Photo credit: Justin Brown The Daily Eastern News month of March in New Zealand
sharing their knowledge of the
Human Impact Universe Story and its implications
Sister Habiba Bihnam, OP, a Dominican Sister of St. Catherine of Sienna, Iraq, for life and faith in a chaotic world.
shared the story of the Iraqi Christian exodus from the villages of Nineveh They presented twelve programs on
Plain with students and professors at Eastern Illinois University March 29. a number of topics to various groups
At the invitation of EIU’s Newman Catholic Center, Sister Habiba joined during their stay.
a panel discussion to raise awareness of the human impact of the current
presidential administration’s executive actions regarding immigrants and
Spring-2017 | 15

Dominican Sisters of Springfield Illinois Nonprofit Org
Sacred Heart Convent US Postage
1237 West Monroe Street Paid
Springfield, IL 62704-1680
Springfield IL
Permit No. 414

Address Service Requested

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Dominican Sources DATEBOOK

“ …telling the truth… is June 15-17 General Assembly, Sacred
Heart Convent
part of building the human 18-24 Retreat, Sacred Heart Convent
community….To lie [is] not 29-July 3 Study Days
just to fail to be accurate. It
is destructive of language, July 4 Independence Day
the basis of human 9-11 Dominican Sisters Faith Camp
16-22 Retreat, Sacred Heart Convent
–Father Timothy Radcliffe, OP
“A crisis of truth in our society,” 2004. August 6 Community Jubilee Celebration,
Sacred Heart Convent

8 Feast of Our Holy Father Dominic
19 Founders’ Day, 144th Anniversary

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