Dominican-backed Hope House grows new life in a Detroit neighborhood

Patty Gillis, a one-time pastoral associate at a Detroit parish who now is the executive director of Voices for Earth Justice, founded the organization with Dominican Sr. Janet Stankowski in 2002. Amid Detroit's many needs, it focuses on environmental education. By 2011 the organization evolved enough to consider purchasing property in Brightmoor to help connect people with the environment. That property turned into Hope House. Hope House and its parent program, Voices for Earth Justice, an interfaith ministry with strong Catholic roots supported by the Dominican sisters of Adrian, 70 miles southwest of the city.

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Clap it up

See for Yourself - One of the tough things about being an MC who needs to introduce several individuals is how to do that efficiently by not taking forever and how to give directions about the applause. We’ve all attended programs in which the instructions are to “hold your applause until everyone has been introduced.” So far, so good.

Bold, bright, revolutionary: Sr. Corita Kent's work takes its place in art history

Sr. Corita Kent joined the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary shortly after high school, following in the footsteps of family members, and taught art as the chair of the department at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles in the 1960s. The first full retrospective of her pop-art era prints and other work has made its way back to Los Angeles. Her work stood apart as different from other religious artwork even from the very beginning. Co-curator Ian Berry says one of the main goals of the show is to introduce her work to new generations of artists and viewers. “She doesn’t come up enough in art history,” he says, “but those of us who organized the show think she is a critical part of American art history and contemporary art of the 1960s.”

Mourning Sandra Bland

GSR Today - A lot has happened since last week when I first wrote about Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old woman who died in jail — by hanging herself with a trash bag in her cell, according to law enforcement — after being arrested during a traffic stop. Discrepancies in Bland’s intake forms have fueled rumors that she was murdered and the county is trying to cover it up, as have questions about Bland’s mugshot and the prosecution’s emphasis on Bland’s use of marijuana. 

Q & A with Sr. Kristin Hokanson

On Dec. 11, 2001, Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Sr. Kristin Hokanson was on sabbatical after serving nine years as principal of Pope John XXIII High School in Everett, Massachusetts. Hokanson had been in education for more than 28 years at that point, but as she was reading the thought for the day from the Sisters of Notre Dame St. Julie Billiart, she had an idea about a new way to do school.

Q & A with Sr. Sue Gardner

Dominican Sr. Sue Gardner is not Native American, but she has had a love for native people since she was a child, and has worked closely with them for the past eight years. Now she is the director of the Native American Apostolate for the diocese of Gaylord, Michigan, and the pastoral administrator of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Suttons Bay, Michigan, about 20 miles northwest of Traverse City.

Six California hospitals to cease being Catholic

The struggling Daughters of Charity Health System, which owns six hospitals in California, has accepted a proposal by BlueMountain Capital Management to provide over $250 million to “recapitalize” the hospital chain. In doing so, DCHS will transfer control of the hospitals to an independent board of directors and to Integrity Healthcare, which BlueMountain has formed to manage and operate the facilities.

Salesian college in Dilla, Ethiopia . . . and false assumptions

Notes from the Field - Sr. Netsanet Asfaw is dean of the Mary Help College. One of the most rewarding things for her, she says, is to see students pass the Certificate of Competency exams. She knows that, if they pass them, they will be able to get jobs, because most of the students have been able to get jobs after graduating from Mary Help College.

Uneasy alliance: A look back at American sisters and clerical authority

Commentary - The LCWR experience is a 21st-century story and the latest version of this “uneasy alliance” that American sisters have negotiated and finessed, both within the church and in secular society where male, hierarchical authority and gendered politics have usually defined the terms and set the parameters of power, status and leadership.