“Today you help us say goodbye to this building, an old friend that has helped us do great mission work. We now bless and release it to its new life and new mission.” ~ Sr. Sandra Delgado, O.P.
Sunday’s heat and humidity threatened to dampen spirits, but in true Dominican fashion a breeze swept in hospitably to refresh and restore us. Our Forward in Faith open house, held here on our Marywood campus, brought more than 200 guests and Sisters together for a first gathering in over a year.
Congregation Prioress, Sr. Sandra Delgado, brought our focus to the meaning of this moment: “God is leading us where we must go, guiding us to be in communion with all our brothers and sisters, helping us work toward the common good. We are closing one door but opening another.”
A prayer service under the tent was a highlight of the day. We sang together: “We are Many Parts,” and we prayed together: for the Motherhouse, for our new home, and for one another.
Friends like Marywood Academy alum Mary Geller were filled with gratitude for this chance to join us in saying goodbye to the Motherhouse. “You could feel the love and fellowship in the air… Quite a day!”
Sisters felt the same. As Sr. Sandra expressed during the prayer service, “It touches our hearts to know that this space is so special for all of you as well.”
Though Forward in Faith was an outdoor event, there were three opportunities to (safely) come inside and reminisce a bit. In one, alumnae guests browsed mementos from their school days and strolled through the space where the Marywood Academy once was. A second spot was the Chapel, where guests paused in the quiet stillness to offer personal prayer or to just sit and reflect. Finally, on the main floor of Dominican Center artwork lined the walls, all created by Sisters and offered for sale. Many friends found a special piece to take home.
Acknowledging the bittersweet nature of the moment, Sr. Sandra also encouraged us to remember important truths about who we are. “Our mission continues. We are preachers of the Good News and we preach in many and varied ways, from wherever we live and until the day we die.”
After the event, Dominican Associate Yvonne Hebert commented, “The Sisters are so inspiring, the way they live out their charism, and so welcoming and gracious, in their love for everyone. I just wish we could bottle what they have learned and how they live. We could change the world.”
Truly, we can learn much from the way our Sisters look toward the future—full of hope. Sisters don’t simply face transition; they embark on it. The journey is part of the mission itself. As Sr. Sandra reminded us, “This is not the first motherhouse that we have left. The others also had memories and meaning; and those memories have not been forgotten, they have been passed on to us and to you.”
Forward in Faith Photo Gallery, part 2 https://www.grdominicans.org/forward-in-faith-photo-gallery-part-2/
Forward in Faith Photo Gallery, part 3 https://www.grdominicans.org/forward-in-faith-photo-gallery-part-3/