Story and Photos By Peter Finney Jr., Clarion Herald
The Dominican Sisters of Peace celebrated their 10th anniversary as a congregation formed in 2009 through the merger of eight congregations of Dominican sisters and lay associates from across the U.S.
Many of the 14 Dominican Sisters of Peace who serve in the Archdiocese of New Orleans joined associates and friends Oct. 13 at St. Mary’s Dominican High School to rejoice in their new life or service together.
Sister Jeanne Moore said she was amazed by the “ego-free” transition that has been the hallmark of the new congregation.
“These were high-caliber, gifted women, and we could put aside the way ‘our’ community always did it for the greater good, which was an awesome experience,” said Sister Jeanne, a former member of the Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Dominic.
Sister Mary Ann Culotta, who was a member of the St. Mary’s Dominican congregation, said there was “real delight of becoming part of a larger group.”
There are 15 Dominican Sisters of Peace serving in south Louisiana. Six are from the original St. Mary’s Dominicans, four from the Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Dominic and one each from the Columbus, Ohio, Dominicans; the Kentucky Dominicans; and the de Ricci Dominicans in Philadelphia.
Two women joined the Dominican Sisters of Peace after it was founded in 2009 – Sister Margaret Uche, a native of Nigeria, and Sister Phuong Vu, a native of Vietnam.
The Dominican Sisters of Peace serve in south Louisiana in a variety of ministries.
In education, they serve at St. Mary’s Dominican High School: Sister Dominic Savio Estorge, office assistant; Sister Angeline Magro, librarian; and Sister Phuon Vu, guidance assistant. Also, Sister Ruth Angelette is vice president for mission and ministry and the director of the St. Anthony of Padua preschool program.
Three members serve at The Peace Center in Gert Town, which provides after-school and summer programs for children, computer classes, resume assistance and a host of senior activities. They are Sister Suzanne Brauer, Sister Pat Thomas and Sister Ceal Warner.
They are also involved in spiritual direction. Sister Dot Trosclair is director of the Archdiocesan Spirituality Center, and Sister Mary Ann Culotta and Sister Jeanne Moore are spiritual directors at various sites.
Sister June Engelbrecht is a hospice chaplain and beareavement coordinator at North Oaks Health System in Hammond in the Diocese of Baton Rouge.
Serving in the health field are Sister Binh Thanh Nguyen, a nurse at adult day health care and group home communities, and Sister Margaret Uche, a home health nurse.
Sister Michaeline Green is pastoral coordinator at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Kenner, and Sister Kathy Broussard is a specialist in death penalty mitigation.
“My experience of being a Dominican Sister of Peace is that we have come together in trust that God would multiply our efforts to be a word of peace to our world, to the cosmos,” Sister Dot said.
The Dominican Sisters of Peace were formed in 2009 as a coming together of eight congregations of Dominican sisters and lay associates. They gathered Oct. 13 at St. Mary’s Dominican High School to rejoice in their new life together. Clockwise, from upper left, Dominican sisters, priests and lay associates bless the gathering; Sister Mary Ann Culotta talks about the “real delight of becoming part of a larger group”; Sister Dominic Savio Estorge prays with the gathering; and Sister Jeanne Moore reflects on the amazingly “ego-free” transition. “These were high-caliber, gifted women, and we could put aside the way ‘our’ community always did it for the greater good, which was an awesome experience,” she said.