Dominicans belong to the worldwide family of sisters, friars, nuns, and laity which comprise the Order of Preachers. Founded in 1216 by St. Dominic de Guzman, the Order of Preachers was created in response to a desperate need for inspired and informed preaching.
In January of this year, the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids began a cross painting project to recognize the 800th Anniversary of the Dominican Order of Preachers and to extend blessings to the lay people and Sisters who are cared for at the rehabilitation center on Marywood Campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The Dominican Cross reflects the long white Dominican habit and black cloak. The black and white also represents TRUTH over heresy. In addition, the white reflects the joy of Christ; the black reflects the life of service.
“All 50 crosses are finished, each to be hung in a room at Marywood Health Center,” said Lucianne Siers, OP, one of the project planners. “The crosses will be a sign of welcome and the healing power of prayer which we want to convey to all of the visitors at Marywood Health Center, be they patient or their family and friends.”
“Finishing the crosses was intricate, precise work,” described Peter Mary Korson, OP about the steps that include sanding, priming, and painting. “The multi-dimensional crosses have cut-outs, also called fretwork in the woodworking world, and are being painted black and white, which signifies them as Dominican.”
Mary Louise Stauder, OP acquired art supplies for the Sisters who sanded and painted the crosses including Sisters Catherine Anderson, Mary Pat Beatty, Chela Gonzalez, Lynne Hansen, David Therese Korson, Peter Mary Korson, Paula Mierle, Phyllis Mrozinski, and Lorraine Rajewski.
The Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids are a community of vowed women religious who follow the Roman Catholic Traditions of St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena. Since
1877 we have taught children and ministered to the orphaned, partnered with nonprofit agencies and served in school, hospital, hospice and social services.
Cross Blessing Ceremony
Thank you to all who assisted this morning as we blessed the Dominican Crosses which will hang in each of the patient rooms at Marywood Health Center. Thank you to all who helped paint the crosses. It is beautiful work and deeply appreciated.
Merciful, loving God, the tree has become the cross of our redemption and life. May all your people who see this cross find in it protection and strength; may they shoulder their own crosses in the spirit of the Gospel until their journey ends. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.