In honor of Saint Dominic’s Feast Day, we asked our sisters, associates, and fellow Dominican sisters in other congregations what they most love about being Dominican. We were shocked at the breadth of the answers! Here’s what they said:

It Means Itinerancy

“Itinerancy for the mission has always been a gift of Dominican life for me. This gift gives the fluidity to preach in the pulpit, in the marketplace with the poor, in lives of service.” – Veronica Miller, OP

It’s an Exciting Challenge

“I am challenged to respond to the signs of the time. I find this life-giving and exciting.” – Jeanette Redmond, OP

It means ‘Hope’

“To be a Dominican Sister of Hope means taking the paradox of Christ’s life and ministry seriously. HOPE means that things are not always as they appear: life does come from death; the end is really the beginning; failure just might be success.  As a Dominican Sister of Hope, I feel it is important to live and act on this belief: HOPE is contagious.” – Peggy Devlin, OP

It means Individuality

Dominicans keep their individuality. I liked that. You want to strive to be a better person, but you don’t want to lose your personality.” – Joseph Marie Levesque, OP

It means Family

“I love being part of a worldwide family anchored by the four pillars of Dominican life. Whether I am with members of my own community or with Dominicans from other congregations, I always feel at home.” – Mary Jane Bookstaver, OP (Sparkill)

It’s Progressive

“When I was in the novitiate in the early 60s, I learned that Dominic was somewhat of a progressive thinker for his time. He believed in a democratic form of governance. He was not afraid to adapt to changing times and needs. He was a dispenser of wisdom and a promoter of common sense. It is evident to me that he had a great love of nature and saw God’s presence everywhere. This gives me an ever deeper appreciation for my Dominican vocation.” – Donna Brunell, OP

It means Freedom

“What I love most about being a Dominican is the freedom to be myself. The freedom to be able to use my God given talents and gifts to preach the way I feel God has called me to do so. Saint Dominic never insisted that Dominicans all pray the same way, act the same way, or preach the same way. He only hoped that his followers would live the four pillars of prayer, study, preaching, and the common life.” – Janet Marchesani, OP

It means Inclusivity

“The Dominican charism of preaching the Gospel can be integrated and applied to all walks of life and ministries. Our inclusivity is the strongest social justice stance to make!” – Diane Trotta, OP

It’s a Faith Community

“I love being part of a community of faith. It’s nice that I’m able to reflect on scripture, really ponder it, and grow in wisdom and in my spiritual journey alongside others.” – Neil Burke, Hope associate

It means Heritage

“In this age when there’s so much about heritage, our heritage is so rich, and it’s international. The preaching. The saints. The whole international aspect. We are all connected to this wonderful order.” -Mary Ann Clausson, OP

It’s a Beautiful Tradition

“When I was in college, I did not want to be a nun; the nuns I had (Felicians, Josephites and Mercies) all wore black. Who wanted all those black pleats and heavy belts!? Once I read the Dominican brochure, I fell in love with the white habits and the new veil in the 1950’s. Now, I am proud to belong to this great order founded in the 13th Century with a long procession of great saints.” – Monica Socinski, OP, Diamond Jubilarian, ’56  

It’s Real

“Looking back on my experience of being first introduced to the Dominican Sisters in grammar school, I would say they were very human women. They enjoyed being with the students as they showed great love and compassion. As a Dominican Sister, I have come to share in the richness of Dominican women “alive” in the Spirit of the Gospel. May all Dominican women continue to a sign of HOPE in a suffering world!”

– Margaret Foster, OP

It’s Dynamic

“What I love most about being a Dominican (tradition and charism) is “her compassionate response to needs of the people of God in every age and everywhere.” I started appreciating this as I listened to the stories of the humble beginnings of many Dominican Congregations. The foundation of the Order is not left out as St. Dominic himself took a lead in this by responding to the needs of his time. As such, our mission is dynamic and always relevant because it moves with the signs of the times.” – Emmanuela Chioma Okafor, OP (Dominican Sisters Of St. Catherine Of Siena, Gusau, Nigeria)

It means Truth

“What I love most about being Dominican is that our Mission is truth: we preach with our lives, have family in Iraq and wherever people and planet seek, suffer, grieve and love. Together we discover the light of hope, God in our midst, and the ripples go out!” – Bette Ann Jaster, OP

It’s Values

I value our Dominican motto, Veritas (truth), and each of the four pillars of Dominican life. I love, too, being part of the worldwide Dominican family.” –Eileen O’Connell, OP (Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of the Rosary and Saint Catherine of Siena, Cabra, Ireland)

It Spans Centuries

“I love being part of an international joyful family dedicated to truth and justice from the 13th century to the 21st century and beyond.” – Linda Rivers, OP

It’s knowing that

Actions Speak Louder than Words

“What I love most about being a Dominican is being part of an international family of women and men who choose to live truth by their words and actions while spreading the joy of God’s love for all.” – Connie Kelly, OP

Happy Saint Dominic’s Day!

photo c/o Felix Hernandez, OP

Interested in the Dominican Heritage?