Monday, August 27, 2012

Introducing the 2012-13 Dominican Novices

Adela-Iuliana Langa
Dominican Sisters of Adrian, MI

Place of Birth: Romania
Education: Bachelor of Arts in French and English; Master of Arts in English
Previous Ministry: Working with women coming out of prison

After meeting one of our sisters on a Megabus ride, I continued visiting Adrian for a couple of years before I decided to explore religious life. At first I was intrigued by how much I had in common with these women, especially in their commitment to social justice and prayerful living. But as an immigrant it was not easy to enter the process of discernment. While I had been in the U.S. for several years and had started to feel at home, the call to religious life was another invitation to leave the familiar and trust that the journey would bring me to a life-giving place. I now think of discernment itself as a source of nourishment, one that continues to enrich my life and draws me deeper in my commitment to follow Jesus Christ.  My hope for the year is that we will grow roots in God and stay open to that which unfolds as our calling.

Alexa Chipman
Dominican Sisters of San Rafael

Place of Birth: California
Education: Bachelor of Fine Art
Previous Ministry: Web Editor at San Domenico School

While there were many factors that led me to consider religious life, what actively started my research into practically pursuing it came through reading a history book by W.H. Lewis (C.S. Lewis’ brother). As a side note while discussing education, he mentioned a convent of nuns that had a belief which clashed with the prevailing theology of the king of France. Together their voice was so powerful that he felt threatened enough to send the army in to disband the convent at arrow point. The only way the king could silence the women was to separate them, and that impressed me—I remember crying out, “Oh! If only we had that today!” It did not take long before I realized we do still have that in the religious women of modern times. I began several years of researching different ways of living in community and after talking with nuns and sisters from all over the world I realized the cloister was not a good fit for me. I wanted to find women who were compassionate yet strong and willing to stand up for the truth while being open to preaching in keeping with our era. I found them in the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael.

Jennifer (Jenn) Schaaf
Sisters of St. Dominic, Blauvelt, NY

Place of Birth: Washington State
Education: Bachelor of Music Education;
Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry
Previous Ministry: Director of Communications,
Sisters of St. Dominic, Blauvelt, NY

I first encountered the Dominicans at the University of Portland. My undergraduate dean and two of my graduate professors were Dominican Sisters—all from different Congregations in the East. At the time, religious life wasn’t something I was considering.  I was focused on teaching and school work, singing in my church choir, shopping and spending time with friends. The closest I had come to religious life was singing songs from the soundtrack of The Sound of Music with my roommates. Who didn’t want to be Fraulein Maria? However, what I saw in the women at the University of Portland resonated with my own life. These were bright women, fully engaged in Church life, but not afraid to question the Church either. They were passionate about bringing about peace and justice in a way that was both gentle and strong. In doing volunteer work with Dominicans in Chicago, then working in Campus Ministry at Ohio Dominican, I continued to find the same qualities in other Dominican women from across the country. I am grateful for finding a home among the Dominican Sisters in Blauvelt and look forward to continuing the Dominican journey with my sisters.


  1. Great to meet all of you! Know we are holding you in prayer!
    Blessings of peace, joy and our love.
    Chris McManus
    Michelle Sherliza
    Dominican Sisters of Peace
    Watertown, MA

    1. Ann Schmid Dominican Sisters of Peace, Columbus, OHFriday, August 31, 2012

      Reading about the ritual as you became our Domincan Family at the CDN brought tears to my eyes as I became "involved" with all of it. ( Good I was not there!)
      Blessings on each of you Novices along with your Directors Megan and Joye. Hope to meet you sometime.( I do know Jenn from when she was here at Ohio Dominican.)
      Thank you for continuing the CDN blog as I will check with it frequently.

    2. Hi Ann,

      Great to hear from you. And, even though you weren't here physically, you were part of our prayer as we acknowledged all of our sending communities. Will you be in Chicago for the DSC Convocation?


  2. I just love modern technology! Thank you for sharing with us a little glimpse into your journey. Know you are being remembered and prayed for. Happy growing! Chris- Dominican Sisters of Sparkill.

    1. Chris,

      Blessings as you prepare for your first vows -- only a few days away!

  3. It is so nice to hear about each of you. I hope you will have a wonderful year filled with God's blessings. I have already met Jenn and hope to met all of you.
    My prayers go to each of you.

    Judy Rudolph OP - Caldwell Dominicans

  4. Congratulations to you all - know that many in your Dominican Family are holding you in prayer!
    Karen Clay, OPA (Peace)