All posts by Caroline

We Have Family in Iraq: Letters from Dominican Sisters in Iraq during ISIS offensive, 2014

It has been just over a year since ISIS took hold of Mosul, Iraq and surrounding cities, forcing thousands, including The Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena – Iraq, to flee to neighboring cities.  In a series of letters to the greater Dominican family, Sister Maria Hanna, O.P. describes the fighting, the exodus, ISIS’s takeover of the convents, the plight of the refugees, and the conditions in the displaced persons camps one year later.

You can read the letters in Constellation, our online repository of scholarship.  They were first published online by Sinsinawa Dominicans, Inc.  We present them as a reminder of the hardships the Sisters, Christians, other minorities, and all Iraqi citizens endured during the ISIS offensive, as a celebration of the charity and love shown by the Sisters, and as a call to always keep our Sisters and those they serve in our thoughts.

Below are excerpts from the letters, and a movie of the Sisters talking about the ISIS takeover.

“Some parts of Iraq are controlled by the government and others are not. We are – like the rest of our people – unable to understand what is really happening. But we know for sure that this situation is not leading to any common good. There are many political groups and sects, however peace and prosperity of the country as a whole is not in their agenda.”   June 23, 2014, as ISIS began its offensive

“Our exodus started at 11:30 pm, and before that we decided to pray and have the Holy Communion so that if the ISIS entered the house, it will not be defiled. But on the last minute, we decided to leave one piece in the tabernacle praying it will protect the house and the town.
When we arrived to the intersession of Mosul-Erbil, we were shocked to see a huge mess of cars driving very chaotically to Erbil. The view was beyond describing, as words cannot fully capture it. Men, pregnant women, children, handicaps and elderly were moving toward Erbil. There were Christians, Muslims Shiites, Yezeds and Shabak; some people were on foot, some were riding trunks of pick-up, lorry trunks, and motorcycles.”  August 8, 2014, as the Sisters were forced to flee to Erbil

“Despite the loss and pain our community is experiencing, we rejoice in the reality that our sisters have decisively chosen to live life, never letting despair extinguish the light within them, and in the midst of overwhelming hardship, two sisters renewed their vows yesterday evening and two postulants received the habit, becoming novices.
It was a day where the contradictions of life and death converged; we witnessed simultaneously death and resurrection. This was a sign of hope and God’s presence among us, and it gave us courage to continue our journey with our people who are still displaced, weakened, and impoverished.”  September 9, 2014, as the Sisters were reunited in Erbil and Ankawa

Constellation Is Back and It’s Better

ConstellationLogo
Constellation
, Dominican’s online repository of scholarship, is back.  And, it’s better.  Though it never really went away, it has received a facelift, has more functionality and includes many new items.  The previous instance of Constellation has been decommissioned and all content migrated.

New items include the masters’ theses from students who, in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, studied at Villa Schifanoia, an Italian estate, and publications on the history of the Dominican order from the Mary Nona McGreal OP Center for Dominican Historical Studies.

Constellation is still a consortial repository, allowing Dominican to partner with other institutions in LIBRAS to share knowledge and resources and ensure that the great research done at our liberal arts schools is preserved and shared.

This revitalization of Constellation comes in conjunction with a change in title and responsibilities for me.  I am now the Scholarly Communication and Digital Initiatives Librarian and will devote most of my time to Constellation and other online collections, and to working with faculty, students and staff on publishing, copyright and open access.

Look for more posts about the repository and scholarly communication, and feel free to ask me any questions:
Caroline Sietmann
csietmann@dom.edu

One Earth Film Festival and E-waste Drive Today

From http://www.greencommunityconnections.org/one-earth-film-festival-2015-schedule/
From http://www.greencommunityconnections.org/one-earth-film-festival-2015-schedule/

Tonight, Tuesday, February 24, Dominican University will show the film “Ground Operations” as part of the One Earth Film Festival.  The film begins at 7pm in the Lund Auditorium, Fine Arts Building, and is free with a Dominican University ID.

“Ground Operations” is a new documentary about veterans returning home and finding peace and employment in sustainable agriculture.  A Q & A with veterans and those who work in Veterans Affairs will follow the film.

Bring with you broken or unwanted electronics for Vet Tech, a local nonprofit that trains returning veterans in the IT field and manages a responsible e-waste recycling program.  The collection box is available all day on the 24th in the lobby outside the Auditorium.  See the list of accepted electronics: ElectronicsRecyclingAcceptedItems

Books Made Into Movies

The library brings you its Readbox, featuring books that were made into movies.  See, and check out, The Great Gatsby and the 2013 movie version starring Leonardo DiCaprio.  Perhaps a less obvious pairing is Hamlet and The Lion King.  Look for these, and other books made into movies, on our 1st floor display shelves.  Bring the book and/or DVD case to the circulation desk for checkout.  They’re free!

readbox

Spring Break Library Hours

It’s never too early to think spring.  Dominican’s spring break is March 8 – 14.  The library is open at the following times that week:

Sunday March 8: 8:00am – 8:00pm
Monday March 9: 8:00am – 8:00pm
Tuesday March 10: 8:00am – 8:00pm
Wednesday March 11: 8:00am – 8:00pm
Thursday March 12: 8:00am – 8:00pm
Friday March 13: 8:00am – 8:00pm
Saturday March 14: CLOSED (Benefit Concert)

Our regular hours will resume Sunday, March 15.

Happy Earth Day

PlanetEarth
Planet Earth image from Wikipedia.

Today is Earth Day and there are a number of things going on around campus:

1:00 p.m. – Free Yoga in the Quad

Bring your mats, blankets or towels for a mid day yoga session outdoors hearing the birds chirping and feeling the breeze on your face as you stretch your body and mediate for some personal wellness.

6:30 p.m. – The New Moo in the Founder’s Court

Enjoy free cookies and celebration on Earth Day with Eco Club who will have information on hand regarding GMO foods and how it affects our environment and our bodies. Nutrition Club will be hosting an alternative milk tasting. Try some of those new milks you have been hearing about, such as almond, coconut, rice, hemp, and the old standard soy. If it is raining, the alternative location is the Parmer Silveri Atrium.

7:00 p.m. – Film Screening of Food Patriots

Join us in watching this moving and inspiring documentary about food and how food can better our bodies and our planet when we grow it/purchase it with Sustainable and Social Justice awareness.