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About 130 Dominican Sisters from 17 different U.S.-based congregations and an additional 12 on Zoom gathered in Columbus at Ohio Dominican University July 27-30 to pray, converse, and dream around the question “What role can you play in EVOLVING Dominican life and mission to meet the needs of the future?”

The group included women from the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and the United States. The Sisters, all under 70 years of age, ranged from those beginning their novitiate to those who have been members for decades. Clearly evident among all was a passion to preach the Gospel message that brings life to the world through their lives and actions.

There was a deep awareness that the gathering of this cohort had to be different from other in-person and virtual gatherings, that our previous conversations had brought us to this moment where our preferred and probable future could lead us to our possible future, that our dreaming had to take us to a deeper place that allowed us to imagine beyond collaboration to transformation. After considering the demographic data of our congregations, we engaged one another in multiple small-group conversations that invited us to consider “What can we do better together than alone?” Some of the things we can do together center around spirituality and theological formation, creation/climate, vocations, cross cultural/inter-cultural competency skills, youth, and forming a new and evolving container/pathway for Dominican life and mission.

Next steps include calling on volunteers to plan and implement actions, establishing a timeline for unifying models of organization, refining the recommendations with sub-committees, sharing them with the whole cohort in the fall zoom session, and presenting progress in motion to the DSC in October. Though no decisions were made at this time, there was a recognition that time is of the essence.