Walking in His Footsteps

Shore of Green Bay
During my retreat this year, I had the immense privilege of walking in the footsteps of our founder, Father Samuel Mazzuchelli, a 19th-century Italian Dominican Friar, whose first mission as an ordained priest was in the Upper Midwest territory of the U.S.  In 1831, he traveled to Green Bay.  As a missionary, Fr Samuel lived among the people.  He learned their cultures, including their languages.  He listened to those he served.  While in Green Bay, he opened a school for the Native American population.  He wrote spiritual works in the Winnebago and Chippewa languages.  He continually wrote to Congress and President Andrew Jackson about the treatment of the Native peoples.

Today, my sisters and I are still trying to walk in the footsteps of this remarkable, joyful Dominican.  We try to be one with those with whom we share mission by sharing in their daily lives.  We open ourselves up to new cultures and languages.  We struggle alongside our neighbors to cry out for justice. 

I only made it to Green Bay for a short visit, yet every single day Father Samuel and I walk together to preach and teach God’s Word! 

What about you?  In whose footsteps have you walked lately?

Peggy Ryan, OP

Waukegan, IL


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