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He Explained to Them the Scriptures: Spring Preached Retreat at Marywood

May 28, 2019 / Tuesday - June 01, 2019 / Saturday

Featured Programs

Father Mark Dean, OMI, writes:

As the disciples walked along the road to Emmaus (cf. Lk 24: 13f) they were joined by a stranger who opened for them a complete new understanding of scriptures well-known to them.

I would like to share with you how, with the help of Fr. James Alison (a stranger, perhaps, to you at this time), I have come to see the Scriptures in a new light… a light whose source is the Risen Christ.

We will first look at a way of understanding ourselves (through a look at how human culture is formed), and how this self-understanding impacts our understanding of God.

We will also look at how the Risen Lord was not at all the kind of Risen Lord which the disciples could have expected. He came to them, quite unexpectedly, as Forgiving Victim.

Then we will look at some well-known parables and see how they may point us in a direction we had not anticipated when seen through the heart of Jesus, the Forgiving Victim. Such new insights may cause us to reconsider how we understand such terms as "God's wrath..." or Atonement theology.


Father Mark serves at the King’s Retreat House in Belleville, Illinois, providing retreats and presentations.


Cost: $335 for retreat and meals - or - $460 for retreat, meals, and overnight room. If you would like to register for the retreat and meals, but not overnight space, use the coupon code Scriptures at checkout for the $335 price. 

$200 for Dominican Sisters and other religious. Sisters, please call the front desk to register at this price.

Register with Dominican Center front desk by calling 616.514.3325.

  • Cost: $460.00

From Garden to Vineyard: The Forgiving Victim ~What We Learned Along the Way in Our Journey with Jesus

May 30, 2019 / Thursday, 6:30pm - 8:30pm

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To understand Jesus as the Forgiving Victim, Father Mark Dean, OMI, uses the work of René Girard and James Alison to look at how we, as humans, are shaped according to the desires of others. Join us as we journey from Garden to Vineyard and ...

... Explore the nature of God - a God who is neither violent nor in rivalry with us.

... Travel to the Garden of Eden to experience the plucking of the "forbidden" fruit to better understand this Forgiving Victim.

... Look to Jesus' parables to transform their understanding of how the Victim always chooses forgiveness and nonviolence to transform our hearts and souls.

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  • Presenter: Father Mark Dean, OMI
  • Date: Thursday 05/30/2019
  • Time: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
  • Cost: $15.00

From Homelands to Strange Lands

June 15, 2019 / Saturday, 8:30am - 11:30am

Featured Programs

Why are people fleeing from homelands for strange lands? What are the root causes of migration today?

Disease, disaster, economic crisis, danger… the reasons people migrate aren’t so different today than they were at other times in history. Beyond such extremes of suffering, familial connections are global, as are economies. What does that have to do with why people flee home countries? That’s exactly what Joan Williams, OP, and an interfaith pilgrimage to Honduras in March 2019 set out to explore.

Join us for a study and contemplative program about right relationship and migration. Let’s explore our worldviews together and look through lenses that differ from our own.

Guided by Sister Joan Williams, we will look through her eyes to meet the people of Honduras and better understand why people are fleeing from homelands to strange lands. She will share first-hand what impacts their day-to-day lives in neighborhoods, villages, and places of work. She will give us a greater sense of how policies and practices in Honduras, and in our own country, have and continue to influence the Honduran reality of today. Her sharing is based on her own experience of 19 years of living and ministering in San Pedro Sula, Honduras; reflection on her return to the United States; and her experiences on the reverse caravan pilgrimage to explore the root causes of migration.

Cost: $25 / $10 students (students use code HOME at check out)

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FD: Evangelization

  • Presenter: Sister Joan Williams, OP
  • Date: Saturday 06/15/2019
  • Time: 8:30am - 11:30am
  • Cost: $25.00

Discovering Our Common Ground

June 19, 2019 / Wednesday, 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Featured Programs

In Discovering Our Common Ground, we invite all to this experiential and interactive evening that uses the transformative tool of acting and role play in helping us shift our thoughts, beliefs, and actions as we explore alternative responses and reactions to real life scenarios. Watch as this experience shifts our thoughts, which transforms our responses.

Theatre is a form of knowledge; it should and can also be a means of transforming society. Theatre can help us build our future, rather than just waiting for it.
- Augusto Boal

This experiential method, developed by Augusto Boal, has given audiences safe platforms to express diverse thoughts and opinions. It allows all those who participate an opportunity to listen to perspectives, share their own, and visualize how it all plays out in real time.

Join us for an experience that brings light to how we consciously or unconsciously participate in advancing civility. The awareness of this is often the first step to transformation and helps us choose responses that work for the power of good. Come ready to participate.

Cost: $15 / Students: $5

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FD: Spirituality

  • Cost: $15.00

Soothing Silence: A Gift to Our World

July 16, 2019 / Tuesday, 9:30am - 11:00am

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In this contemplative program, Soothing Silence: A Gift to Our World, Jeanne Lound Schaller teaches that children are never too young to help build a better world and adults are never too old to live, daily, honoring their God-given gifts, thus inspiring all generations.

See what needs to be done, do it, and then ask God if it’s possible.
- Jeanne Lound Schaller

Soothing Silence | Desert in My Backyard: One Woman's Journey Into Silence | Dominican Center at Marywood, Grand Rapids, MIAt age 73, through her current work as a coordinator for restorative practices in education, Jeanne is committed to helping build a better world by teaching about the gifts of inner and outer silence and how soothing silence can transform how we deal with little and big conflicts.

Sharing stories from her book, Desert in My Backyard: One Woman’s Journey into Silence, Jeanne inspires and teaches through the life journey she shared with her husband and children, and a backyard prayer house built almost 40 years ago in Midland, Michigan.

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FD: Evangelization

  • Cost: $15.00

A Return to Civil Discourse

July 18, 2019 / Thursday, 6:00pm - 8:30pm

Featured Programs

In A Return to Civil Discourse, we will explore how we all yearn for a connection with others. We gravitate toward people who support our perspectives and worldviews hoping to impact our communities to work for good. Conversely, we find ourselves trying to convince and convert others to our beliefs and points of view.

The campaign season is upon us, and very few are looking forward to being inundated with messages from both sides of the political divide promoting fear and proclaiming who is right and who is wrong.

Civil discourse is a conversation in which there is a mutual airing of views without rancor. It is not a contest of who is right and who is wrong, but it is a process intended to promote greater understanding. It is our ability to do just that, which moves us to a greater level of understanding and engagement to work for the common good. Join us and discover ways to engage in civil discourse, a discourse grounded in the belief that civility is not weakness. And that compromise is not surrender.


  • Victoria Vuletich, Center for Civil Discourse and Western Michigan University Cooley Law School
  • Ann Walters, OP, Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids
  • Gleaves Whitney, Director of the Haunstein Center (special guest)

Cost: $25 / $10 students (students use code CIVIL at check out)

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FD: Evangelization

  • Presenter: Sister Ann Walters, OP , Victoria Vuletich, Center for Civil Discourse, Gleaves Whitney, Director of the Haunstein Center
  • Date: Thursday 07/18/2019
  • Time: 6:00pm - 8:30pm
  • Cost: $25.00

Celebrating Saint Mary Magdalene

July 22, 2019 / Monday, 6:30pm - 8:30pm

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Saint Mary Magdalene is “the one who loved Christ and who was loved by Him” and in her honor the “paradigm of the ministry of women in the Church” is recognized. These are the words of Pope Francis celebrating Saint Mary Magdalene’s July 22 Feast Day.

But who was this Mary? Where did all the distortions of her life originate? Why did the Dominicans choose her as the patron of their Order? Together, we will search the Scriptures for her historical footprint and for gender criticism of her story. We will conclude with a short prayer in her honor. Please bring a Bible with you.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,[a] “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her. (John 20: 11-18)

DID YOU KNOW?: In 1295, the Dominican Order was given care of the Shrine of St. Mary Magdalene at Le Sainte Baum (the Holy Cave), in southeastern France. Because she carried the news of the Resurrection to the apostles, she was referred to as the “Apostle of the Apostles,” and from the beginnings of the Dominican Order, she was proclaimed co-patroness of the newly founded apostolic Order of Friars Preachers. St Catherine of Alexandria is also named the co-patroness with St. Mary Magdalene.

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FD: Theology

  • Cost: $15.00

Ignatian Retreat

September 17, 2019 / Tuesday - May 19, 2020 / Tuesday, 6:30pm - 8:30pm

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The Spiritual Exercises form a structure for encountering and loving God more deeply. They are a compilation of meditations, prayers, and contemplative practices developed by St. Ignatius Loyola to help people deepen their relationship with God.

Go forth and set the world on fire.
- St. Ignatius of Loyola

This adaptation from the 30-Day Ignatian Retreat feeds the hunger of our hearts with the Word of God.  The Ignatian retreat is a retreat in daily life. Through nine months of prayer, contemplation, and community, participants will explore Ignatius prayer methods and insight into the spiritual through personally meditating with Scripture and engaging in small group conversations and reflection.

Series Dates:

  • September 17, 2019
  • October 15, 2019
  • November 19, 2019
  • December 17, 2019
  • January 21, 2020
  • February 18, 2020
  • March 17, 2020
  • April 21, 2020
  • May 19, 2020

View Dominican Center’s Refund Policy.

  • Cost: $200.00

Be Still in Sacred Spaces: A Morning of Relaxation and Peace

September 28, 2019 / Saturday, 8:30am - 12:00pm

Featured Programs

The best gift that you can give the world is a you that is fully present. Come, retreat to a place focused on quieting the environment around and all that is within you. Learn to respond to your need and longing for time and space to renew body, mind, and spirit. Come on your own, invite a friend, or gather with a special group to Be Still in Sacred Spaces.

Participants may choose three sessions. Continental breakfast included.

Gentle Yoga: Come Home to Yourself with Kathy JulienReturn home to yourself as you build awareness of your breath, observe the body's sensations, and expand the heart. Gentle yoga is suitable for all ages, fitness levels, and physical conditions.

I Light: Release and Trust the Journey, with Leara Glinzak, MSAT - Using an art experiential, explore how creativity and faith, when woven together, create centering. Ground in your faith and experience a creative process and an art therapy directive that will guide you on an introspective journey.

Labyrinth Walk: Connect With Your Truth, with Susan Duesbery - Known as a path of prayer the labyrinth has an uncanny ability to help access our deepest truths. In challenging times, labyrinth walking graciously offers profound guidance on how to navigate our journeys with an open, loving heart.

Sacred Scripture, with Nahed Fernando - Experience a contemplative reading of Sacred Scripture, guided meditation, and time of contemplation. Through stillness, journaling, and sharing we will seek more presence and openness as our spirits move into a deeper awareness of God.

Write Your Way to Stillness, with Sandra Mitchell - Using guided contemplation, a writing prompt, sharing, and non-judgmental feedback, this transformational writing experience is open to writers of all levels. As you put pen to paper, discover your deepest truths and allow your heart’s energy to create healing stillness.

Zentangle®: Be Present, with Amy Kam, CZT - The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. This artistic meditation creates a safe space to discover new ways to open up to your self-expression and allows you to see the beauty in all things.

  • Cost: $25.00