What’s a “Cornerstone”?

These February days in Wisconsin are pretty cold!  I imagine it was just as cold during February nearly 170 years ago when a small group of young women made a decision with significant implications.  They decided to remain together in their small, fledgling community. They were all novices: Sisters who had not yet made vows. They were young: the oldest was 32 years of age; the youngest, 17 years.  Seven months after their fateful decision, four of this group remained to make their first vows together.

These four young women, Margaret, Mary, Judith and Ellen, took new names and became our “cornerstone” Sisters: Clara, Ignatia, Josephine and Rachel. The word, “cornerstone”, means a feature on which a particular thing depends or is based.  Together with the Dominican priest who founded our Sinsinawa Congregation, Samuel Mazzuchelli OP, these women launched a project that continues today.  

The qualities that we recognize in these Cornerstones are these: an abundance of hope; courage in adversity; commitment to a shared mission; deep faith in the Providence of God.  Do you see these qualities today in people in your life?  In what circumstances do you recognize them in yourself?

Toni Harris OP
Madison, WI


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