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JUST Words

Lectio Divina, Visio Divina: A Way of Prayer

Note: This post accompanies content in the January 2022 issue of JUST Words. For more context, read the magazine here. For generations, people of faith have sought ways of prayer to guide their hearts toward the wisdom of God. One of those methods, lectio divina—or “holy reading—has withstood the test of time. By quieting oneself …

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Elizabeth Garnier-Little, right, with her sister Wanda Garnier and Sister Barbara Ann Bogenschutz, OP, at Our Lady of the Sioux Parish, Oglala, S.D., in 2017

Lakota Wisdom: An Interview with Elizabeth Garnier-Little

Elizabeth Garnier-Little, right, with her sister Wanda Garnier and Sister Barbara Ann Bogenschutz, OP, at Our Lady of the Sioux Parish, Oglala, S.D., in 2017. Elizabeth Garnier-Little is an 80 years-wise Lakota woman born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Oglala, South Dakota. A teacher of all grades K-12 for 52 years, …

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Holy Listening, Sacred Compassion: Paths to a Healing Communion

The seemingly unending pandemic, climate change, natural disasters, discrimination, inequality, injustices, and violence of every kind—all the “-isms” we can think of (racism, ageism, sexism, etc.), ideological, political, and religious conflicts—impact and shape our lives in ways we might never imagine. They can spawn deep-seated, contagious anger, embed themselves in the lives of family, friends, …

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How St. Catherine of Siena Healed the World

Catherine Benincasa was born in mid-14th century Tuscany, a plague-ridden, economically and politically unstable time—much like our own. She and her twin sister were the 23rd and 24th children in a prosperous family of 25 children of Lapa and Jacopo di Benincasa, wool dealers. By the time Catherine died at the age of 33 in …

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Trial & Grace: Loss, Grief and Hope in a Time of the Pandemic

This article originally appeared in the July 2021 Issue of JUST Words.  I measure every Grief I meet With narrow, probing, eyes – I wonder if it weights like Mine – or has an Easier size.[i] –Emily Dickinson From the beginning of the pandemic, up to the time of this writing, fourteen of our sisters, …

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panoramic view of the green meadows at Jubilee Farm

Call & Response: The Ecological Crisis and Changing Your Heart

This article originally appeared in the JUST Words Summer Edition. Call by Tommy Walsh In recent years, debate over the environment has become a major factor in modern society. Between environmental recovery plans and seemingly never-ending arguments over climate change, some Americans have taken steps to do their part in the fight to save our …

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Sisters Anita Cleary, Judi Hilbing, and Pat Stark

Life at the Border: Simple Toys, New Shoes, and Solidarity

Disturbing images of children at the border were flooding the daily news. During the height of the immigration crisis, an invitation went out for volunteers to minister to those arriving in Texas to be processed through Catholic Charities of Laredo. In collaboration with a larger initiative of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the …

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The Becker Family: Cathy, Josh, Clare, Leah, and Elizabeth

The Becker Family’s Epic Journey: Reconnecting Family in a Post-Pandemic Season

In March 2020 the world suddenly became very small for all of us. My family was no exception. The girls, Leah and Clare, stayed home every day and accessed school via video conference. Josh and I still worked but had limited contact with co-workers and no contact with anyone else. Elisabeth, who lives in Chicago, …

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Reality through Another’s Eyes: Poems for Peacemaking

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2020-2021 Edition of JUST Words. Interested in receiving your own copy of JUST Words? Sign-up here for the print or digital versions.  By: Sister Patricia Stark, OP Sister Patricia lives at Sacred Heart Convent and participated in Sister Mila’s course on the prophets. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Recently, Springfield Dominican Sister …

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32 Ways to Live Less Violently

This article was originally published in the Winter 2020-2021 Edition of JUST Words. Recognizing our interconnectedness in the cosmos, we have embraced the common call toward communion with God and all creation. Non-violence is an integral part of that journey—a journey which is both inward and outward. Awareness motivates behavior; behavior strengthens one’s internal orientation. …

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handwritten notes from anti-racism workshop

Active Nonviolence: To Celebrate, Contemplate, and Live

This article was originally published in the Winter 2020-2021 Edition of JUST Words. Susan M. Hickman is a Springfield Dominican associate and a member of the sisters’ Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Committee. Recently I was privileged to participate in a Pax Christi United Kingdom workshop on nonviolence. The sessions took place over five …

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collage of people attending a zoom meeting

The Blessings of 2020: Sister Kathleen Anne Tait Looks Back—and Forward

This article was originally published in the Winter 2020-2021 Edition of JUST Words. January is a month to reflect back and look forward. Far from pulling us in opposite directions, this two-way vision provides a valuable perspective on the experience we are now enduring. Much to my delight, my reflection has revealed three precious gifts …

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image of building on fire during looting

“What Happened Here?” Understanding the Survival Trauma Response as a Step Toward Healing

This article was originally published in the Winter 2020-2021 Edition of JUST Words. Sister Judine Hilbing reflects: It was the feast of the Visitation, a day to remember Mary as she ran with joyful news to her cousin Elizabeth. It was also the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend and COVID-19 had cancelled all hope of …

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Pete Little portrait

COVID-19 at Our Lady of the Sioux Parish

This morning, November 20, 2020, Sister Barbara Ann Bogenschutz communicated to us the sad news of the death from COVID-19 of Mr. Paul Little, a parishioner of Sister Barbara’s at Our Lady of the Sioux Parish, Oglala, SD, and a friend to many of our sisters who’ve had the privilege of knowing him. Read a …

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Building a Bridge is the Greatest Reward

In 45 years as a respiratory therapist I’ve never seen anything like this. Not AIDS. Not SARS. Nothing.” After “hello,” these were Howard Derrick’s first words to me on a May 1st video call from his office at St. Dominic Hospital, Jackson, Miss. “This” was coronavirus. Howard, a Springfield Dominican associate, and I have served …

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