As we look at the number of religious orders and societies that are dwindling, we’re confronted with others that are booming. For instance, my Franciscan Order is just about holding its own; there are about 900 of us worldwide. Most of us are in India, Sri Lancia, Europe and in the USA, Loretto, Pennsylvania to be exact.

With the trials and tribulations of the growing number of retired men and women religious we must do something. Sometimes I think that the Sisters/Nuns make the best decisions regarding preparation for the future.

Take the Dominican Sisters of Peace. These Sisters are members of a religious congregation formed on Easter Sunday, April 22, 2009. It’s composed of seven foundations (groups) who decided to join together: Dominican Sisters of St Catherine, Kentucky; Dominican Sisters of Akron, Ohio; Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs, Columbus, Ohio; Dominican Sisters of Great Bend, Kansas; Dominican Sisters of Oxford, Michigan; Dominican Sisters of St. Mary’s, and the Eucharistic Missionaries St. Dominic; both from New Orleans, Louisiana.

The communities began discussing a possible merger in 2002 in order to combine resources and continue their ministries/apostolates. A petition was sent to the Vatican five years later, and the new congregation received permission that Fall for the merger.

In the Spring of 2009, the official decree authorized the establishment of the Dominican Sister of Peace. In 2012, the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine de Ricci, located in Upper Darby, Pa, joined the Dominican Sisters of Peace.

The mission of the Dominican Sisters of Peace is to live lives of peacemaking “where ever we are and in everything we do.” It took foresight and grace to accomplish this Herculean task. But the Sisters always said that, “Almost anything prayed for- placed between two Hail Mary’s- is always a sure thing.

**Senior Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests ministered for years for little to no pay. Their sacrifices now leave their religious communities without adequate retirement savings. Your gift to the Retirement Fund for Religious helps to provide nursing care, medications, and more to tens of thousands of elderly religious.

Fr. Andrew, T.O.R.