The pandemic forced the closure of the doors of Dominican Center at Marywood on March 13, 2020. With ingenuity and courage, our Dominican Center team set into motion a plan to keep welcome lamps burning for all seeking community. Below are some highlights of this unusual year.
- Solace, hope, and kindness emanated from the ever-widening circle of the Dominican Center Village and Stay in the Light second Monday Zoom gatherings.
- Sharing the wisdom of spiritual giants continued as Foundations in Spirituality attracted the largest class of participants in years; they joined from all over Michigan as well as Arizona, Mississippi, and Canada.
- We said a bitter-sweet goodbye to Margarita Solis-Deal, celebrating the leadership gifts she brought to our Dominican Center ministry; yet wishing her well in new ventures.
- The pandemic forced an earlier than expected permanent closure of our Conference Center services arm and employee farewells followed.
- Dominican Center’s Ministry of Spiritual Direction has been a beacon of hope for many. Spiritual Directors found ways to connect with their longtime directees. New directees sought a spiritual director and Ann Walters OP, spiritual direction referral coordinator, met each with compassion, wisdom. and connection.
- This year, Zoom broadened the reach of our Spiritual Director Practicum. Formation classes continued online, and in May we celebrated six newly certified spiritual directors upon completion of the two-year Practicum.
- The 2018 introduction of the apprentice role has been a Godsend and helped assure online availability in all formation programs. Currently, Amanda Dobson has been working with Carmelita Switzer OP in Foundations. Andy Rebollar has joined Diane Zerfas OP in the Practicum. Mindy Hills works with Diane Zerfas OP in planning retreat experiences and envisioning ongoing formation for our spiritual directors.
- With the announced sale of the motherhouse, transition at Dominican Center is ongoing and we hope to announce soon the results of our search for a new location. We will continue to follow best safety practices and intentional program design that includes both online and in-person programs.
- Our search for a new executive director is active.
Dominican Center Marywood at Aquinas College is a ministry of Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids.