I Have Seen the Lord! Dominican Women Preaching with their Lives
The Dominican Sisters of Peace continued their celebration of the 200th Anniversary of Dominican women in the US with prayer and a presentation for the Feast of Mary of Magdalene, Patron of the Order of Preachers, on Saturday, July 23, 2022, at 3:00pm EDT.
The featured speaker for the program was Claire Noonan, DMin. Claire has served as the Vice President for Mission and Planning at Dominican University in River Forest, IL.
Claire’s program, “I Have Seen the Lord! Dominican Women Preaching with their Lives,” focused on the future of the preaching charism of Dominican women in the US.
As we celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the founding of the first community of Dominican Women in the United States, we celebrate, in a special way, the Feast Day of our patroness, St. Mary Magdalene.
Called “The Apostle to the Apostles,” Mary Magdalene was the first person to see Christ after His resurrection. She ran to the disciples and was the first to preach the Gospel of the risen Christ. She is very much a woman of her time, and a woman of our time.
Our special prayer service for the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene can be downloaded in a PDF format here (not alterable) and in Word format here (for modifying should one wish to add, subtract or substitute) and will be located on the Anniversary Webpage. The PDF formatting fits standard letter size (8 1/2” x 11”) paper with no seams or folds needed when printed.
The Dominican Sisters of Peace are excited to welcome Shingai Chigwedere, a native of Zimbabwe, to the Congregation. Shingai officially joined the Congregation as a Candidate in a July 14, 2022, ceremony held at Albertus Magnus College, one of two post-secondary schools founded by the Dominican Sisters of Peace.
Shingai, a human resource professional recently based in Indianapolis, IN, chose to the Congregation headquartered in Columbus, OH. She holds a bachelor’s in Psychology from Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona, CA, a Master’s in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University Chicago, and a Master’s in human resource management from the Keller Graduate School of Management. She worked in human resource management for companies including Aramark Uniform Services and DeVry University before hearing God’s call to, as she says, “do more with the Catholic Church. All I knew for sure was that a big change was going to happen in my life in the future,” she says.
She took her human resources skills to the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, but even as she was working in and for the Church, she felt that something was missing. “Even though I could now be my full self in the workplace, openly praying with colleagues in meetings or attending Mass daily onsite, that integration did not fill this deeper longing I felt. Through lots of prayer, spiritual direction, and many hours in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, I started visiting communities in 2019. During the pandemic it became clearer that God was asking me to serve as a religious Sister and eventually to take the next step by applying for candidacy.”
Shingai found the Dominican Sisters of Peace through the Vision Vocation Network. She was impressed by the growing cultural diversity of the Congregation. Of the ten women in formation, four are from multicultural backgrounds. She shared that “Even in the discernment retreats, the Vocations team encourages us to pray in our native languages,” she says. “As a Black African woman, appreciation of cultural heritage is important to me, and it is wonderful to see it actually being lived.”
Shingai also admired how the Dominican Sisters of Peace look ahead to the future and adapt to the current state. She stated that, “The fact that seven Dominican congregations came together in 2009… shows me that they value the broader Dominican community and are not afraid to make changes in order to better serve the world.”
Shingai is the daughter of Lilian and the late Stan Chigwedere, of Harare, Zimbabwe. She has two sisters, Farai Chigwedere and Tendisai Chigwedere. Shingai was an active member of Christ the King in Lombard, IL and moved to the Dominican Sisters of Peace House of Welcome in New Haven, CT this spring. At the end of July, she will begin working in the Office of Dominican Mission, Campus Ministry and Meister Eckhart Center, at the Congregation’s post-secondary school, Albertus Magnus College, in New Haven, CT.
The Dominican Sisters of Peace have an active Vocations and Formation ministry, with four women candidates, two Sister novices and four having taken Temporary Vows.
To view a video of Shingai Chigwedere’s Entrance Ceremony, click here.
To view a copy of her Entrance Ceremony program, click here.
New Haven, CT – In the Catholic Church, St. Matthew is the patron saint of accountants. He was originally called Levi; however, this follower of Jesus took the name Matthew – the gift of God – when called to be a disciple.
Paula Danforth, a finance specialist from Fair Haven, VT, has followed in her patron’s footsteps, choosing to follow God’s call to enter the Dominican Sisters of Peace in a July 14, 2022, ceremony.
Paula worked in the Finance Department of the Slate Valley Unified Union School District, Fair Haven, VT, for more than five years. She began to attend retreats at the Dominican Retreat and Conference Center in Niskayuna, NY, where she met members of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, who founded and still run the Center.
“I found myself inspired by the ability of the sisters to respond to the needs of the times,” Paula said. “I wanted to be a part of a community that was open to change.”
Paula holds a degree in Business Administration from Castleton University in Vermont and believes that her professional and spiritual skills will be of use to the Congregation and its mission for peace. “I have always belonged to God and have a strong desire to use my Spirit-given gifts to serve God’s people,” she says.
Like many of the young women who have entered the Congregation in recent years, Paula was attracted to the obvious joy of the women who are part of this religious community. “I saw their joy and passion for their ministries,” Paula said.
Paula is the daughter of the late Warren and Rejane Danforth. She has four siblings: Carol Saltis, Susan Beayon, Cathy Genier, and Brian Danforth, and one adult daughter, Janelle Cahee. She grew up in the Our Lady of Seven Dolors parish in Fair Haven, Vermont. She plans to continue her professional practice in school finance or accounting while living at the Dominican Sisters of Peace House of Welcome in New Haven, CT
The Dominican Sisters of Peace have an active Vocations and Formation ministry, with four women candidates, two Sister Novices and four having taken Temporary Vows.
To view a video of Paula Danforth’s Entrance Ceremony, click here.
To view a copy of her Entrance Ceremony program, click here.
In honor of the 200th Anniversary of the Dominican Women in the US, the Congregational Celebration Committee of the Dominican Sisters of Peace has prepared six prayer services for the Anniversary year. Each service includes prayers, readings, and songs, with links to YouTube performances if needed. These can be used by individuals, small or large groups.
All the services will be in both PDF format (not alterable) and in Word format (for modifying should one wish to add, subtract or substitute) and will be located on the Anniversary Webpage. The PDF formatting fits standard letter size (8 1/2” x 11”) paper with no seams or folds needed when printed.
The first prayer service has the theme of Non-violence. You can download the PDF version of the Non-Violence Service here, and download the editable Word document here.
The themes of the next five services will be: St. Mary Magdalen, Patroness of the Order(July); St. Dominic (August); Advent/Christmas (Nov/Dec); World Day of Peace, Mary, Mother of God (January) and Ash Wednesday/Lent (Feb/March). You can find these prayers in the Information Hub of this website.
Sunday, July 3 was a day of bright sun, happy smiles, and celebration, as the Dominican Sisters of Peace at the Columbus, OH, Motherhouse witnessed the Vows of Temporary Profession for Sr. Annie Killian, 33, a Tennessee native currently serving as a Public Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Notre Dame.
Sr. Annie’s journey to religious life began with a personal search for a deeper relationship with God while studying for her PhD in English at Yale University. The eldest of four in a Catholic family, Sr. Annie served as a student leader in campus ministry at Saint Thomas More Catholic Chapel at Yale. As she began to discern her call to religious life, she was introduced to the Vocations Director of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, who lived right down the street. The Congregation had just opened an intergenerational, multicultural “House of Welcome” for women in formation, and in Sr. Annie’s words, “These were the women with whom I wanted to throw in my lot!”
While studying at Yale, Sr. Annie also taught a writing course at a women’s correctional facility through the Wesleyan Center for Prison Education, which awakened a passion to connect her academic studies of the humanities to the earthly causes of social justice.
Sr. Annie served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Ohio Dominican University for a year before entering the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate in Chicago in 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. While at the Novitiate, she served at Kolbe House Jail Ministry, designing and teaching a correspondence course on “Life After Loss” for persons incarcerated at the Cook County Jail, and helping clients leaving the facility to effectively reenter society. After completing the first year of her novitiate, she accepted a position at the University of Notre Dame, where the Dominican Sisters of Peace have a local community.
“Annie’s passion for preaching Christ’s Gospel of peace is purely Dominican,” says Sr. Pat Twohill, Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. “She is an articulate and loving voice for the causes of justice in our church and in our world.”
“It’s been a blessing to walk with Annie through her formation journey,” said Sr. Pat Dual, Director of Formation. “She told us that she came to the Dominican Sisters of Peace to share our joy – but she has brought much joy to our community as well.”
Sr. Annie will continue her ministry at Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute, where she works to engage the public through arts and literature.
The Dominican Sisters of Peace currently have 10 women in formation to vowed religious life.