“You get up at sunrise, take what life gives you, and keep your hair combed!”

60th Jubilee Reflection

Eucharist is an act of remembrance and thanksgiving: such movement expresses my sense of a jubilee season. Remembrance for God breaking in through all the love and laughter and sorrow is part of keeping one’s hair combed! Eucharist also is being together in family and community and friendship—loving and being loved in ways that spill out to my countless sisters and brothers.

I give thanks for my beloved family and my call to Dominican life and mission. My ministries have included healthcare, initial and ongoing formation, and the Parable Conference for Dominican Life and Mission with its consciousness of belonging to the global Dominican family. Congregational leadership followed, and then LEAD, Inc., a ministry to religious and nonprofits doing future planning and so much more, with the happy realization of God present in countless people of goodwill and awareness of God’s Spirit in our world. For all this abundance—along with Earth beauty of national parks, Lake Michigan, and the landscapes and cities of our planet—how does one express gratitude? As Alice Walker writes, “Dear God Everything!” is my jubilee response!

Life Story

Born to Catherine and Miles Murphy, Sr. Carmelita is one of five children. Her elementary education was at Marywood Academy and St. Stephens School and she then returned to Marywood Academy for high school. She entered the congregation in 1960.

Sr. Carmelita worked as a registered nurse in her first ministry and then earned an MA degree in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University of Chicago and a Doctorate of Ministry from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis. She worked in initial and ongoing formation ministry in the congregation and developed collaborative programs with other congregations and the Dominican Family to support women entering religious life.

During 1979-1984, Sr. Carmelita ministered as Co-Director with the Parable Conference for Dominican Life and Mission, a national renewal endeavor located in Chicago. She was elected to the Leadership Team in 1984 and to Prioress in 1988-94.

In 1995, Sr. Carmelita founded LEAD, Inc. She continues in this consulting practice and is a much sought after consultant throughout the United States and Canada.