The Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine de' Ricci became members of the Dominican Sisters of Peace at a ceremony Dec. 15 in Columbus, Ohio.
"We take this step out of a conviction that we have reached a moment when our critical resources of leadership and essential supportive structures can no longer sustain us on our own," outgoing de' Ricci president Sr. Anne Lythgoe said in a news release. "At the same time, we believe that we possess gifts for ministry in the Church that can make a significant contribution to God's people as we place our mission in a larger context within the Dominican Order."
In 2001, the de' Ricci sisters initiated an exploration process for deeper collaboration in Dominican life, according to their website. In 2011, after a few years discerning, they requested to merge with the Dominican Sisters of Peace.
The Vatican's Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life gave approval for the merger in July of this year, according to the news release.
The Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine de' Ricci -- headquartered in Upper Darby, Pa. -- have 60 vowed sisters and 64 lay associates. The congregation was founded in 1880 as a pontifical institute in Albany, N.Y.
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The de' Ricci sisters operate -- and will continue to operate -- two retreat centers and serve in ministries such as spiritual directors, counselors and parish faith formation directors.
The Dominican Sisters of Peace congregation itself was formed by mergers. In 2009, seven Dominican congregations united to become the Dominican Sisters of Peace. Today, they number more than 600 sisters and 500 associates in 37 states and nine countries.
"The Dominican Sisters of Peace are humbled and honored by the decision of the de' Ricci Sisters to join with us in our mission of preaching the Gospel to the people in our times," Dominican Sisters of Peace prioress Sr. Margaret Ormond said in a news release. "These Sisters and Associates bring so many gifts and we are eager to share with them and to learn from them."