COLUMBUS, Ohio – On Saturday, Dec. 15, the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine de’ Ricci officially became members the Dominican Sisters of Peace, formerly the Great Bend Dominicans, who have served in Kansas since 1902.
During the ceremony, which was webcasted live to the Motherhouse in Great Bend and elsewhere, the de’ Ricci sisters reaffirmed their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience as Dominican Sisters of Peace and received Dominican Sisters of Peace symbols. A presentation of a “treasure box” by outgoing de’ Ricci President Sr. Anne Lythgoe to Dominican Sisters of Peace Prioress Sr. Margaret Ormond symbolized the gifts the de’ Ricci Sisters bring to the Dominican Sisters of Peace.
This merger came after an extensive process of exploration, discernment and deep prayer that began in 2001. Approval for the merger was received from the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life on July 25, 2012, Rome, Italy.
Numbering 60 vowed Sisters and 64 lay Associates, the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine de’ Ricci were a pontifical institute founded in 1880, in Albany, N.Y., to address the spiritual life and faith formation of women. From headquarters in Upper Darby, Pa., the Sisters had continued to carry out this call today in operating two retreat centers and in serving in individual ministries as spiritual directors, counselors and parish faith formation directors, and more. As Dominican Sisters of Peace, they will continue in these ministries.
“We take this step out of a conviction that we have reached a moment when our critical resources of leadership and essential supportive structures can no longer sustain us on our own,” stated Sr. Anne Lythgoe. “At the same time, we believe that we possess gifts for ministry in the Church that can make a significant contribution to God’s people as we place our mission in a larger context within the Dominican Order.”
“The Dominican Sisters of Peace are humbled and honored by the decision of the de‘ Ricci Sisters to join with us in our mission of preaching the Gospel to the people in our times,” proclaimed Sr. Margaret Ormond. “These Sisters and Associates bring so many gifts and we are eager to share with them and to learn from them.”
The Dominican Sisters of Peace congregation is a pontifical institute founded in 2009 from the union of seven former Dominican congregations. Now with more than 600 Sisters and 500 Associates in 37 states and nine countries, they serve in many ministerial areas, including education, health care, spirituality, pastoral care, prison ministry and ecology/care of creation. The congregation’s 27 founded institutions that continue to operate today throughout the United States include three colleges/universities, four high schools, two grade schools, four health-care centers, three literacy centers, five farms/ecology centers, five retreat/spirituality centers, and one low-income housing project.
“Together, we will continue to embrace the preaching mission of the Order as we embrace each other in this call to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” commented Sr. Margaret. “May God bring to fruition the good work that has begun.”
More information about the Dominican Sisters of Peace can be found at www.oppeace.org.