Paula Danforth Enters the Dominican Sisters of Peace as a Candidate

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

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.

New candidate Paula Danforth is welcomed by Prioress Pat Twohill, OP, at a ceremony on July 14.

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.

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Sister Annie Killian Makes First Vows of Profession

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.

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