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Posts tagged ‘dominican sisters’

The World Prays for Peace

One of the many origami paper cranes from our prayer service in San Rafael in 2012

One of the many origami paper cranes from our prayer service in San Rafael in 2012

The Dominican Sisters of Peace shared with us the following prayer for the International Day of Peace

Gentle Spirit,
Breathe in us the wind
of truth, wisdom and righteousness.
May your Presence inspire us
to create labyrinths of peace.
Compassionate One,
Make our hearts burn with love,
honoring all peoples and creation.
Bless all nations, every family and community
while we seek to work for justice and unity.
Prince of Peace,
Lead us to ways of healing and reconciliation
we pray with those who suffer and struggle.
Bless us with your reconciling love that knows no boundaries
as we seek to live in community, justice and peace.
So be it.

– Rev. Elizabeth S. Tapia, Global Ministries

Proclaim God’s Marvelous Deeds

Today’s Responsorial Psalm is from Psalm 96.

Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Sing to the Lord a new song; 
   sing to the Lord, all you lands.
Sing to the Lord; 
   bless God’s name.

Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Dominican Sisters of Tacoma Choir

Dominican Sisters of Tacoma Choir

The Dominican Sisters in Tacoma live in the land of Chihuly, so I have framed their picture with a detail from the ceiling in the permanent exhibit in Tacoma, Washington.

I Love Being a Nun!

While this post is entitled, “I Love Being a Nun!”, actually I am a sister. Nuns are those who are cloistered and primarily involved in the ministry of prayer. Those of us who are sisters are involved in apostolic ministry – and that’s a big umbrella (teaching, hospital ministry, parish ministry, social work, working for social justice, etc.).  So, it would be more correct for me to say, “I love being a sister”, which I do often. But since people often call sisters nuns . . .

Well, you see what I mean.

Anyway, nineteen years ago today I entered the convent and started the process of becoming a Dominican Sister of San Rafael. I made my first profession of vows in 1996 and my perpetual vows in 1999. And while nineteen is not one of those special numbers like 20, 25, or 50, it still seems pretty significant to me. I was 40 years old when I entered (I guess you can do the math). And I still love being a sister. My family tells me that they have never known me to be happier. Living in community – doing work that is satisfying and of benefit to others – praying together with a community of sisters on a daily and regular basis – being encouraged to continue to study . . . to be all we can be (for the sake of others) . . . What can I say but that I am grateful!

And Meister Eckhart, the Dominican mystic from the 13th century tells us, “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”

I highly recommend this life to others!

Here I am with John and Don, a couple of friends, at a party prior to my entering the convent.



Here I am playing the guitar at a ceremony for Sister Alexa, our newest novice, just a couple of weeks ago.

The Feast of Saint Dominic

This statue of St. Dominic stands in the square of Caleruega, Spain, the place of Dominic’s birth.


We celebrate the Feast of Saint Dominic on August 8th.

Saint Dominic founded the Dominican Order 800 years ago:
the nuns in 1206, the friars in 1216. This allows us to celebrate our special anniversary for ten years.

You can find a brief biography of St. Dominic on our website at

God’s Radiance in Creation

Hildegard of Bingen tells us:

There is nothing in creation that does not have some radiance – either greenness or seeds or flowers, or beauty – otherwise it would not be part of creation. The Holy Spirit pours out this fresh greenness of life into the hearts of women and men so that they might bear good fruit.

This quote is from the monthly reflection of our Dominican Sister Patricia Bruno which can be found on our website in Stories Seldom HeardHer reflections for the month of August tell us about some of the Dominican mystics.

How to Choose the Way We Live Our Lives

As the Vocation Minister for our congregation of Dominican Sisters, I am often asked about how to choose from among the many wonderful possibilities of vocations. It is easy for us to choose when Choice A is clearly good, and Choice B is clearly bad. But it usually doesn’t work that we. We most often make choices from among things that are good. And if they are good, we also know that God is in them. So we are also not making a choice between God and Not-God.

Now much as I would like to tell many gifted, generous, and committed women that the best choice is to become a Dominican Sister of San Rafael, alas, I cannot do that. We only know our own hearts. And, as much as this has been a wonderful and life-giving vocation for me, others have other fulfilling vocations to live.

So how to choose? Perhaps the Sufi poet Rumi can help us. I don’t think I could say it any better!

Let yourself be silently drawn
by the strange pull of what you really love.
It will not lead you astray.

~ Rumi ~

Holy Spirit, draw us.

We Have Family in Iraq

Grapes from the Dominican convent garden in Pisa, Italy

As I read Wednesday’s Gospel reading (John 15:1-8), I remembered taking a picture of grapes in the convent garden of Iraqi Dominican Sisters in Pisa, Italy. The sisters there were taking safe refuge. Some of our U.S. Dominican congregations have also received young Dominican sisters from Iraq so that they could safely study in this country before returning to Iraq to do ministry.

These sisters truly are bearing fruit courageously, and have learned how to rely resting in Christ and on the blessings of the larger Dominican family. In return, they have blessed us, even those of us who have not been privileged to share their lives. I am reminded that, through through these sisters, I have family in Iraq. I am reminded that, through the ministry of Dominicans anywhere in the world, our ministry is extended . . . and that I am there too.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.