For the first time since 2019, the commitment ceremony for a Springfield Dominican Associate class was held in-person at Sacred Heart Convent Chapel last May.
The new associates prepared for commitment by participation in nine monthly sessions of prayer and study about the history of the Order of Preachers and the Springfield Dominican congregation, about the theology of mission and ministry, Catholic Social Teaching, and liturgy and prayer. Each candidate was accompanied by a sponsor — a sister or an associate — who answered their questions and offered encouragement during their period of discernment before commitment.
Dominican associates embrace the Dominican traditions of prayer, study, community, and ministry. They respond to God's call to share the Gospel by preaching it through the witness of their lives.
Each associate was called forward by the associate program director, Sister M. Joan Sorge, OP. They stated publicly their commitment to “preach the Word and witness Gospel values,” and received an associate pin from Sister Rebecca Ann Gemma, OP, prioress general of the congregation.
The new associates include:
- Lisa Barnett, parishioner at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, whose commitments include volunteering for the homeless and at Jubilee Farm.
- Keith Buescher, parishioner at St. Joseph Church, Springfield, whose commitments include study of the Bible and using his voice to speak against injustice.
- Lucinda Buescher, parishioner at St. Joseph Church, Springfield, whose commitments include sharing her faith with her family and helping at Jubilee Farm.
- Jan Montgomery, parishioner at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Springfield, whose commitments include serving in RCIA ministry at Cathedral, fighting racial injustice and human trafficking, and working for the right to life for all.
- Ann Moroff, parishioner at Christ the King, Springfield, whose commitments include being a compassionate presence in her work, supporting members of the Cor Unum community with her prayer, and engaging in study and spiritual reading.
- Molly Murphy, parishioner at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Springfield, whose commitments include continuing study of the Gospel and of Catholic teaching, and witnessing to her students through acts of service and discipleship.
- Charlene Vollmer, member of the Church of the Little Flower, Springfield, whose commitments include serving as a volunteer and eucharistic minister at Springfield hospitals and volunteering at St. Martin De Porres Center.
- Margaret Greco, parishioner at St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Chatham, whose commitments include co-chairing the Right to Life ministry at her parish and studying her faith.
The first Springfield Dominican associates made commitments in 1991. Since then, hundreds of women and men, baptized Christians in the United States and Peru, have become associates.
Dominican associates undertake individual volunteer ministries in their own parishes and communities. They may also join the sisters on committees and boards, work side-by-side with the sisters in their ministries, or provide logistical support for the congregation’s public events. To learn more about becoming a Springfield Dominican Associate and other ways you can participate in their mission visit Springfieldop.org/dominican-mission or call Sister M. Joan Sorge, OP, at (217) 787-0481.
Photo courtesy of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield