Saturday, February 1, 2014

Your community's charism

This week we are being asked to reflect deeply on the religious 
community we have chosen and its charism. In our recent workshop presented by Lynn Levo we were challenged by the statement "You are in most need of your own charism."  So what is it about the Dominican Sisters of Peace that I am attracted toward?

  •       These women are strong
  •       These women are courageous
  •      These women are joyful

As I pondered these qualities I wondered why they would attract me so? Do I need strength, courage and joy? And the answer of course, is yes. I need to be with others who are strong because it helps me be stronger. I need to be with others who are courageous because it helps me to find my own courage. I need to be around others who are joyful because it helps me to learn to allow God’s joy to bubble up within me.

But these qualities can probably be applied to almost any Dominican women’s congregation in the world. What is it about this specific congregation that attracts me? I believe our chapter commitments have captured the intent of this community at this time and it is these commitments that I feel an affinity toward:
  • To study, ponder and live God’s revelation
  • Promote non-violence
  • Transform oppressive systems, especially against women and children
  • Create a community where all are welcome

Each of these commitments stretches me outward, calling forth strength, courage and joy. They call me to be a more loving person. And I think that is what I need most, to express and receive strong, deep love, courageously and joyfully.

So I invite you to ponder, what is it about the charism of your community that you most need?


  1. Hi, Anne,
    Thanks for your blog and for asking the question...I think what called me to be a Dominican over 50 years ago were: their joyful spirit, their search for truth, the Dominican mottoes (which expressed the OP spirituality) and a welcoming community that called me to mission in Christ. That really hasn't changed much but grown wider and deeper. The mission or charism of the Dominican Sisters and Associates of Peace for me is about Preaching the Peace of the Risen Christ, especially expressed in our chapter commitments just what I need as I continue the Christian and Dominican adventure.
    Amy OP

  2. Called to be a Dominican Sister of Peace has truly been gift. Thank you, Anne, for challenging each one of us to reflect on the particular charism of our own Communities. As our name PEACE so aptly implies I pray daily to be peace, live peace and preach peace to those who are so in need of this good news! Blessings of peace, joy and much love to you!
    Michelle Sherliza, OP - Dominican Sister of Peace - Watertown, MA

  3. Anne, Thank you for your blog on the attraction of our charism, especially inviting each of us to specifically name which aspect of the charism draws us personally. It was the joy of the sisters that first drew me. Then in the novitiate as we studied more deeply the various saints, I was impressed with their uniqueness. We were called to be our unique selves; we were not formed into a certain mold as were the other congregations around us. The call to be truth and to live the truth of the Gospel through our particular gifts still roots me deeply in the Order. Blessings on your continued growth in this beautiful charism of ours. Love, Mary Ann Wiesemann-Mills

  4. Anne, after reading your reflection, I began an interior search why I was attracted to the Dominican Sisters. Anne, I had fallen in love with a man and God said, "what about me?" I had no pious thoughts other than God kept putting signs in my path that lead to the Dominicans. The one thing I kept saying to myself, "God has been so good to me and I want to give back by offering myself in service." I think what I have received and continue to need is love that I may give more love.
    Peace, Rose Mary Stein