Friday, September 16, 2016

Getting In Touch with Our Roots

Blog by Ana Gonzalez
I begin this week’s blog with celebration! September 15 marked the start of the month long celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and on September 16 Mexico is celebrates its Independence Day.  As a Mexican-American, these celebrations invite me to get in touch with my roots. I am invited to think of my ancestors; their diverse cultures, heritage and traditions and how they all came together. Their stories were driven by hopes for a better future, were founded in love and sacrifice, and it all culminates with me.

Site of the first foundation of Dominican Women in the U.S. 
We all have a rich personal story which was built on the love, sacrifice and hopes of our ancestors. The same is said about our Dominican Heritage. Last week the Dominican novices and directors traveled to Kentucky and explored the historical site of the first foundation of Dominican Women in the United States. In 1822, nine women from Baltimore, Maryland answered the call to minister and educate the children of pioneers in Kentucky.  Against all odds, the women ventured to minister in the unknown.

The original community planted their seeds and they blossomed in members called to religious life and ministries in the Blue Grass State and beyond. Members of the original American community branched out to other states like Nebraska, Ohio and Illinois and tended to the diverse needs of the church.  In 1904 the first foundation of Dominican Sisters was threatened by a fire.  After building a beautiful mother house, the community lost it all and was asked to send their women in formation back home and consider shutting down. Instead, the Dominican Sisters came together as a community, prayed and decided to trust in God and once again venture into the unknown future.

As a woman in religious formation, I was inspired by our visit and the story of the brave women who in 1822 took a leap of faith and walked into the unknown guided by God. Their bravery continued in 1904, when the community of Dominican Sisters trusted in God and rebuilt from the ashes of a fire that threatened their existence. Moved by God, the early American Dominican Sisters were aware that their ministry was needed.  Our Pioneer Dominican Sisters heard the call, planted fertile seeds and provided us a rich heritage, which still fuels our ministries and serves as inspiration.

Today I rejoice in my roots! I carry my heritage with pride and I am inspired by the brave American Pioneer Dominican Women who embraced a full reliance on God and took a journey into the unknown.  As I continue my Novitiate journey with my CDN companions, I pray that we can have the strength in God to pursue the call into the unknown and continue to build on the foundation of love and courage.

As a last note, I close this blog with one more celebration! 
Today, we are also rejoicing in Joye’s Birthday! 
Happy Birthday Joye!!!!


  1. I'm so glad you were able to visit our Kentucky roots. The story of these early pioneer women has always encouraged and challenged me. I love their their courage and their refusal to admit defeat.
    And I thought of you yesterday, Ana, en el Dia de Independencia! Que viva Mexio!

  2. And so we are all continually called to trust in our Beloved God as we move forward into the adventures of an unknown future that is sometimes glimpsed in hopes and in the dreamtime. I give thanks for the grace and courage of our early founding sisters. I give thanks for the grace and courage of all of you at our CDN. You are a blessing!

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  4. Querida Ana,

    I am so glad you and the CDN community were able to visit Kentucky and learn about our Dominican roots in the US. Your sharing makes me want to go out and visit it all again! (And I will, when I get there! Holding you all in prayer as you continue your novitiate journey!

    And Happy Birthday to Joye!


    Pat Mood, OP

  5. Blessings and thank you, Ana, for your excellent summary of your visit to our beloved Saint Catharine's. It brought back many wonderful memories of our days of formation on the green hills of Kentucky. Know that you all continue to be in our hearts and prayers.
    Michelle and Chris

  6. Thank you, Ana, for writing such nice blog about our Dominican roots. You wrote toward the end: "I pray that we can have the strength in God to pursue the call into the unknown and continue to build on the foundation of love and courage." You got my prayers as well. :-)