Dear Friends,

We are all beginning to feel relief from more than 18 months of isolation and distance from our families, friends, colleagues, worshipping communities, and all who have a role in our lives.

Our lives came to a halt from one day to the next. While we maintained ‘social distancing’ from the world around us, none of us were really, truly separated from each other.

People around the world found ways to come together as we banged pots and pans from our apartments, stood on porches with lit candles, sang songs and made music together using internet tools like Zoom, and of course we used the telephone and letter writing to stay in close contact with our families and friends.

Sisters wrote letters to the frontline workers who put their own lives on the line and kept the world going. Among the frontline workers whom we consider heroes are all of our employees. In this issue of Mission & Ministry, we are saying thank you to each and every staff member. We are blessed by those who care for us as much as they care for their families. It is a mutual feeling. We have felt the losses they have experienced, and they have felt ours.

“Our baptism calls us to be faithful even in the face of these immense challenges,” Sister Maureen Geary reminds us in her reflection “Preaching Time”. And, yes, though our faith has been tested, we behold the wonder of “presence” in our world today.

Sister Mary Ann Barrett’s poem reminds us that “We have been given time...” and “Now is the acceptable time.” Dominic recognized the importance of time spent in silence and contemplative prayer; he espoused life in community while also honoring the sacred value of time alone. Perhaps this time was exactly what our Sisters needed to prepare our hearts for transitions.

As Sisters gathered in Community, the first time in months, we celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of the motherhouse. What a gift to celebrate one historic beginning as we prepare to celebrate the transition of our motherhouse to another corner of the Marywood campus. Praise be the work of the women in our Archives Department. This year they have taken time to cull and curate collections of our Congregation. Enjoy the memories captured by Sister Mary Navarre, accompanied by photos selected by Sister Michael Ellen Carling in “Changes” on page 7.

The ministry of Spiritual Direction at Dominican Center at Marywood has been a beacon of hope for many in the chaos and confusion of Covid time,” shares Sister Diane Zerfas in “A Year in the Light”.

Despite the forced closure of the space at Dominican Center at Marywood, our programs and formation classes continued online. Zoom brought a Village together to truly show the movement of Spirit among us.

We have so much to be thankful for as we reflect on these past months. As we emerge and celebrate and most certainly as we focus on transition, we keep our grateful hearts lifted in prayer. Henri Nouwen reminds us of this purpose and the liberation found within, “Above all, prayer is a way of life which allows you to find a stillness in the midst of the world where you open your hands to God’s promises and find hope for yourself, your neighbor, and your world.”

Delve into all of these articles and more in our most recent issue of Mission & Ministry by visiting https://www.grdominicans.org/be-with-us/mission-ministry-magazine/the-treasure-of-time/

With my prayers of hope for you and yours,

Sandra Delgado, Prioress
Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids