A few weeks ago I was privileged to visit Athabasca Glacier in Banff National Park, Canada.  It was an amazing experience to walk on the Icefields, to be face to face with God’s magnificence, to reaffirm the urgency to take necessary steps to preserve our environment.

Descending the glacier, I continued the tour inside learning more about the formation and recession of glaciers. I came across a quote by Archbishop Desmond Tutu carved on the wall “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite the darkness.” Wow! Is that not true? There is much darkness in our world today and the challenge to find the light, despite the darkness, seems ever more difficult.

This led me to reflect on Jesus’ interaction with those who were in need of acceptance, welcoming, and healing, giving hope and light to them in the midst of their darkness, pain, and suffering. Think of Jesus with Thomas after Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus encounters Thomas, lets Thomas touch his wounds, and accepts Thomas as he is. Thomas believes! The adulterous woman, broken and ashamed, is forgiven by Jesus, and her accusers are sent away to reflect on their own lives. She feels love and freedom. Alleluia!

These life stories from Scripture prompted me to remember, recall, and name those within our Congregation, past and present, as well as those throughout my ministry who have been hope and light despite the darkness of fears, illness, loss, disappointment, and tragedy.  Faith- filled, courageous, bearers of HOPE.

I felt immense gratitude and challenge as the day came to a close. Gratitude for those who have been blessings. The challenge is to continue my life journey as a hope-bearer, extending ordinary gestures of kindness, generosity, support, and truthfulness every day.

My Dominican Sisters of Hope, the world needs us more than ever before.

BE HOPE DESPITE THE DARKNESS!
BE “GOD’S SPARK OF DIVINE LIGHT IN OUR WORLD TODAY” -Pope Francis

At 3 pm on July 20, 1995 the Dominican Sisters of Hope were founded. On July 20, 2019, we began our 25th year since our founding. We declare a YEAR OF HOPE! In celebration, we will share a reflection on the 20th of every month. This is the second reflection in this series. Read all reflections here.


Sister Ann Daniel Belmonte, OP

This post was written by Dominican Sister of Hope Ann Daniel, OP. Sister Ann Daniel served as a teacher, pastoral associate, and parish minister throughout New York, West Virginia, and Virginia. She earned her MA in elementary education and Early Childhood Education and her MS in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in New Orleans. In 1985, Sister received the overtone award given by the Salvation Army for community service. She received this award because of her collaboration with the Salvation Army to open a soup kitchen at St. John’s in Waynesboro.