An earth-worshiping Dominican nun (and ESH uses the term loosely) showed up on the campus of Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, OH last week. She had nothing but the highest praise and affection….for dirt. Not for the revealed Triune Godhead, the Redeemer of all mankind, not the Creator, not the Holy Ghost, the lifegiver and author of life.
No, just “mother Earth”, the ground, dirt, which more often than not is pantheistic and pagan, and devolves eventually into self worship and then devil worship. Harsh? Maybe, but the Truth always seems like that to those whose eyes, ears, hearts and minds are closed to revealed Truth and the Natural Law written on all men’s hearts (oops, sorry about that Sis).
From 1830, when they arrived in Ohio, until 1864, these Dominican Sisters (who now call themselves the Dominican Sisters of Peace) were under the direction of the Dominican Father Provincial who resided at St Joseph’s Church in Somerset, OH, the first established Catholic church in the state.
For 4 years, they were under the direction of the Bishop of Cincinnati, whose Diocese included all of Ohio at the time, until the suffragette Diocese of Columbus was formed in 1868. In 1895, Mother Vincentia Erskine exercised the ancient Dominican privilege of requesting a pontifical designation for the community, rather than being under the direction of the local Bishop, and the congregation became a Pontifical Institute of right.
Little is known about the first lay Dominicans in the United States. Among their sparse records from the early 19th century is that of the reception of one Betsy Wells by the Dominican friars at St Rose in 1826. Another, in 1829, records the reception of two men, George Shockand John Roi, into the Third Order. In 1833 Bishop Flaget of Bardstown praised the Dominican women and men who nursed the cholera victims, including sisters, friars, and “virtuous lay women,” presumably tertiaries, at St. Rose Priory. The lay Dominicans at Somerset, OH included two named Fanny and Theresa Naughton who served St Joseph Convent all their adult lives. The early records pertained only to individuals. No references to early chapters or meetings of tertiaries have been discovered.
Back to the present. Some of what speaker Sr Sharon Zayak, OP, Director of Jubilee Farm, had to say at ODU:
Reflections on Earth Justice: That We Might Live
In the words of Sr Sharon: “We cannot save what we do not love. We cannot love what we do not know. And what do we know about Earth and the Universe of which it is part? Our brother (Saint) Thomas’ lifework was spent writing theology from the context of Aristotle’s cosmology, which had replaced that of Plato. We live in similar times… To live in right relationship with the whole of Creation, we must begin to grasp the emerging implications this new cosmology teaches us about Holy Mystery and about Who and Where we are in the Divine Unfolding.”
An ESH colleague, a physician, researched Jubilee Farm on their website:
“They are in Washington State. The have a huge acreage of over 200 acres, yet farm only 7 acres. They don’t believe in super markets. The couple who own it seem to talk about the farm as if it were a person. They say that the earth has dignity which needs to be respected. When I heard that statement, I wondered how they consider the dignity of human persons such as newborns and the aged and infirm. I’d bet the people who eat that food that costs a lot to grow don’t live any longer than other people. Massive farms are responsible for relieving hunger around the world. Countries like ours produce a superabundance of food using modern agricultural methods. We can then ship that excess food all over the world to help the poor. I bet the poor people in Africa are better off eating our food even if it’s not always produced ‘organically’.”
Is this why Columbus Bishop Frederick Campbell (and his predecessor retired native Clevelander James Griffin) never does anything about halting ODU’s ongoing scandalous speakers, including the latest one last week? ESH can only wonder. But it seems par for the course, with allowing at least two known very public abortionists continue to have privileges at Mt Carmel Hospitals in Columbus, OH, something over which the local ordinary DOES have some say.
Another factoid: in 2012, Columbus had three new priests ordained for a 22 county diocese spread over central and southern OH. All 3 chose the Tridentine Latin Mass as their first Mass after ordination. What does that say for the conciliar ways of the Novus Ordo local ordinary?