What an amazing year 2018 was. Looking back there were so many ups and downs it is hard to believe that some of the events happened only in 2018. Here is a list of our top ten stories in order of engagement by you over the entire year.
Sister Mary Jo Acquires Fame on the Internet for her First Pitch at a Major League Game
“My goal is to just inspire young people to do their best and let God do the rest. It’s a question of giving your all, being resilient, part of a team.” ~ Sister Mary Jo Sobieck, OP
Sister Mary Jo, a theology teacher at Marian Catholic High School, was the talk of the country on Saturday, August 18, after she wowed baseball fans with her flawless first pitch from the mound at the Chicago White Sox game. By morning, the image of her bouncing a baseball off her bicep and pointing to the sky was being shared on social media at a viral pace. By Monday the energy and enthusiasm grew to a sensational rate as she accepted invitations to talk shows, radio shows, television morning shows, and interviews of every size imaginable. Watch her internationally acclaimed first pitch and read more about Sister Mary Jo here.
Springfield Celebrates The 50th Anniversary of Sacred Heart Convent Chapel
Springfield Dominican Sisters welcomed the public on Sunday, October 7 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the chapel in Sacred Heart Convent. Sisters led tours of the chapel in the morning and afternoon, and welcomed guests for refreshments and other activities. In the evening, Anthony Rubano, project director at the Illinois Historic Preservation Office, provided fascinating insight into the mid-century modern art and architecture of the chapel and convent with his presentation "Reading Light." The highlight of the day was a celebration of Solemn Evening Prayer and preaching by Sister Rebecca Ann Gemma, OP, prioress general of the Springfield Dominicans. Hundreds of people met the sisters for the first time or renewed their relationship with old friends and mentors, and caught a rare glimpse of Dominican life from the inside.
Sisters Minister to Refugees, Homeless, and Economically Deprived
Sister Kathlyn Witnesses Turbulence in Honduras
Sister Kathlyn Mulcahy, OP, a member of the Springfield Dominican Sisters' leadership team, joined a delegation to Honduras January 24-30, 2018, to experience first-hand the difficult economic and political realities that have a direct effect on hundreds of families fleeing violence in that country and seeking asylum in the U.S. Read about the visit here.
Sisters Help Asylum Seekers in Texas
Sister Marcelline Koch and Sister Anita Cleary traveled with two friends to the border at El Paso, Texas, where the four women volunteered at Annunciation House [link] and saw first hand the impact of global climate change, economic globalization, and U.S. foreign and domestic policy on the lives of women, children and men fleeing danger in their own countries. Listen to the NPR radio interview here and read Sister Marcelline's reflection here.
Violent Weather Doesn’t Detour Sister Barbara
Sister Barbara Ann's ministry is over eight hundred miles away from Springfield, Illinois. At the tail end of the summer a destructive hailstorm did an extraordinary amount of damage to the area and the church where she is Parish Life Coordinator. Read about the amazing community she serves and how your gifts made a difference here.
Solar Panel Energy Produced at Jubilee Farm
In the first full year of operation, solar panels at Jubilee Farm offset the same amount of CO2 emissions as would planting 352 trees. The panels produced 8.24 megawatts of energy, reduced Jubilee Farm's production of CO2 emissions by 13,955 kg, and lighted the equivalent of 27,369 light bulbs for a day.
The Cor Unum House
Early in May, with the help of benefactor Fletcher Farrar, the sisters began a massive renovation project in the Enos Park neighborhood of Springfield. The 110-year-old house on N. Fifth Street will help the sisters meet their mission of providing support for young women who are ready to change the world.
“What is the difference between a nun and a sister”?
During National Catholic Sisters Week 2018 student journalists Logan Evans and Max Hartwig made a short film asking Sacred Heart-Griffin students, “What is the difference between a nun and a sister?” Dominican Sisters Phillip Neri Crawford, Rosemary McGuire, Martha Carmody, Mary Brendan Gibbons and Mary Clare Fichtner share the answer. Sister Kelly Moline shared her inspiring words about sisters and spirituality as part of a video series produced by Communicators for Women Religious.
Bonus social media highlights of 2018:
Did you know...
- Springfield Dominican Sisters have been educating children and adults in the faith since 1873.
- We sponsor three Catholic high schools and minister in a fourth. Fifteen of our sisters ministry in these schools.
- Sixteen of our sisters minister in 14 Catholic elementary schools in Illinois.
- Eight Catholic institutes of higher learning in the US and Peru are served by seven Springfield Dominican Sisters, including two programs preparing future priests.
Sr Anita Cleary, OP directed a retreat titled #Weaving Your Story… An Integrative Retreat Experience for three associates & four sisters at Sacred Heart Convent. The small #contemplative group wove in their own story into the cloth to create beautifully complex #tapestries. pic.twitter.com/dNMCpWWOYh— Springfield OP (@springfieldop) July 19, 2018