“Not Alone in the Boat.” Sister Karina’s Story Part III

Sister Karina, left, and her novitiate classmate Sister Linda Mary DeLonais, process into chapel for their first profession of vows, 1997.

This is the last in a series of three stories about Sister Susan Karina Dickey, OP, who currently serves as the Vice President for Mission Integration at St. Dominic's Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. Follow along to be inspired by the impact of Sister Karina's ministry on hundreds of lives in one of the most challenging of Catholic healthcare ministries. Read the series here.

The state of Mississippi is challenged to provide care for the increasing number of state residents who have COVID-19. It’s a stressful time for Sister Karina and her colleagues at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, Miss., where she is is vice-president for mission integration. How does she manage?

“There is a way to call on Gentle First Truth,” she says, “to be that gentle voice to guide people."

“Truth is a synonym for Christ,” Sister Karina says. It is that Truth which grounds her during difficult times. “There are troubles, but one is able to walk through those. You are not alone. I think of the story of Jesus in the boat on the stormy sea of Galilee. The disciples ask Jesus ‘Why are you sleeping? We are perishing here!’

Greeting Sister Kelly Moline on her profession day.

“In my life as a sister, and in health care administration, I know I am not alone. The sea is stormy, the boat is rocking, I’m certainly fearful at times that the boat is going to capsize. I also know I am not alone in the boat.”

Most of all, Sister Karina relies on the bedrock of her Dominican Life to carry her across the stormy seas: Prayer, Study and Common Life are the pillars that support the mission of preaching that has been the Dominican mission for more than 800 years.

An abundance of love, compassion, care.

“There is a way to call on Gentle First Truth,” she says, “to be that gentle voice to guide

Enjoying a walk with Sister Rebecca Ann Gemma, OP.

people to make decisions that are in their own best interest or in the interest of those for whom they are responsible.”

Antiracism training has helped her see the world through a lens of abundance. “It can sound Pollyanna when you think of scarcity of resources, but there is still an abundance of love, of compassion, of care expressed,” she says.  “Abundance helps me

look for the opportunity to improve a situation.”

How to Help

Sister Karina’s story of listening for truth in her life is unique to her, and not that much different than the experience of call and response that is the story of every Springfield Dominican Sister.

Your gift to the Dominican Sisters of Springfield is a contribution to the abundance Sister Karina and all our sister have to share with those among whom they minister. A gift from you will:

Strengthen efforts to listen to and journey with those who are marginalized

Seed opportunities for authentic transformation so needed for hope at this time

Support training for coworkers in our sponsored high schools and at Sacred Heart Convent

Shape our work toward racial equity.

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