Dominican Sisters Welcome Associate Class of 2019

Sixteen Illinoisans Promise Collaboration
With the Dominican Preaching Mission

Springfield, Ill.—Sixteen Illinois residents made formal commitment as associates of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield during a ceremony at Sacred Heart Convent on May 5, 2019.

Use the tabs below to learn more about the new associates.


Dave Sanders, parishioner at St. Joseph the Worker, Chatham, Ill., retired Illinois State Trooper. He and his wife Mary have two daughters and a son. His commitment includes serving as eucharistic minister at St. Joseph the Worker Church and as a visitor to those who are elderly or in residential care facilities or hospitals and living his faith by leading by example for his family and friends. He and his wife Mary have two daughters and a son


They recently completed a nine-month program of formation in Dominican life, history, spirituality and mission provided by the Dominican Sisters for Christian women and men since 1990.

“This class of associates is alive with the Spirit and eager to walk with our Dominican Sisters in preaching the gospel with their lives,” said Sister M. Joan Sorge, director of the associate program. “Their gifts shared reflect God’s loving and risen presence in our world.”

Preaching on John’s gospel resurrection story about the risen Christ appearing to the apostles after a failed night of fishing, Sister Kathleen Gallagher, a member of the sisters’ leadership team, invited the new associates to think about what it means to heed Jesus’ request to cast nets on the other side of the boat. “When Jesus calls the disciples to cast their net over the right side of the boat, he tells them, ‘You will find something,’” she said. What the associates find, like the 153 fish mentioned in the Gospel, may be “new inspirations, new friends, new graces to go on if troubles haunt you, new paths drawing you closer to your God.”

New associate Maurice Tierney
New associate Maurice Tierney

Dominican Associates are increasingly active in collaboration with the Springfield Dominican Sisters. Three members of this year’s class work in ministries sponsored by the sisters. Three are related to one of the sisters; others have been taught by them or are active in parishes where the sisters minister. Associates need not be Catholic, but it is important that they be baptized in some Christian tradition and already actively living their faith.

After the 9-month period of formation, associates meet regularly for study, prayer, and socializing with associates in their geographic region who’ve made commitment in the past.

Each associate fulfills the promises they’ve made on commitment day and are encouraged in that by frequent communication with the sisters and each other. The sisters provide regular opportunities for spiritual enrichment for the associates. Frequently throughout the year there are days for prayer and study, and opportunities for service and actions of social justice supported by the sisters.

New associate Jen Graves
New associate Jen Graves

Applications are currently being accepted for the next associate class, which meets monthly from August to May each year. Learn how you can become a Springfield Dominican Associate or call 217-787-0481 to speak with associate program director, Sister M. Joan Sorge, OP.

Ella Gerloff gets a blessing.
Ella Gerloff gets a blessing.

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