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U.S. Oakfords Celebrate 2019 Jubilees

Back row: Sisters Anna, Gemma, Mary de Crus, Rosalia, Lynn. Middle: Sisters Nicolina, Karolina,  Carolina, Jodi, Gabriella, Gladys. Front: Sisters Dominic Marie, Sophie, Marianne.

On Sunday, May 5th, 2019, we celebrated the joyful celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Sister Nicolina Kőhler and the Silver Jubilee of Sister Jodi Cecilia Min. Father Michael Dodds, OP, long-time friend of all of us, was the celebrant and preacher on the Easter Gospel of John:  “Lord, you know all things, you know I love you!” Congratulations to them both!

“The Oakford Dominican:

We would have her distinguished by a radiating Joy in the service of the Master …”  

CLICK HERE for pictures from the Event



Sr. Gladys Echenique Honored by Jordan Ministries

The Jordan Ministry Team honored Sr. Esther Calderon, O.P. (Dominican Sister of Peace), and Sr. Gladys Echenique, O.P. (Dominican Sister of Oakford), on March 3rd, as the recipients of the 2019 Alive in the Savior Award, in recognition of their tremendous service to the faith-lives of generations of Catholics in Southern Arizona.

Sr. Esther was born in Klondike, Arizona, trained as a nurse, served in the formation of catechists and is currently volunteering in prison ministry and at Casa Alitas in Tucson, Arizona.

Sr. Gladys, a native of Argentina, has been the Coordinator of Hispanic Ministry for the Diocese of Tucson for the past six years and has inspired many people to pursue formation as catechists and leaders in order to serve the Spanish speaking members of the diocesan community.

We congratulate both Sisters on this tremendous honor recognizing their dedicated service to the Diocese of Tucson.


Farewell to Kensington

Oakford Dominican Sisters have lived in Johannesburg since 1931, and in the suburb of Kensington since 1949.  Our house “Emmanuel” in Kensington closed its doors in December 2018 after thirty years, bringing to an end our presence on the “Marymount Hill” where Sisters had lived for 69 years.

The last community, Sisters Josephine, Angela, Clarina and Hildegunde, had established wide networks of friends among the parishioners of Holy Angels parish who had a hard time understanding that the time had come for change.  Many farewell lunches and teas with different families nearly disrupted the necessary sorting out and packing of personal effects! In November the Local Gauteng Community celebrated the lives of the Sisters and remembered stories from the past, and towards the end of Advent nine Sisters came together at Emmanuel for a closing ritual and a final celebratory meal.

Sr Josephine’s new home is St Dominic’s retreat Centre at the Bluff in Durban, Srs Clarina and Hildegunde will live at Villa Assumpta in Pietermaritzburg ministering to the elderly and to our own Sisters, and Sr Angela in Magaliesburg will continue her ministry at Radio veritas.



Sr. Gladys Expands Hispanic Leadership Formation in Tucson

When the 80-member delegation heads to Phoenix Feb. 23-25 for the regional V Encuentro, they may be the least known trailblazers ever to emerge from the Diocese of Tucson. Dominican Sister Gladys Echenique said Jan. 9 that she sees the upcoming meeting as the fruit of many of the Diocese’s Hispanic Ministry efforts.

Hired in 2012, Sister Gladys proposed and wrote a pastoral plan for Hispanic Ministry, which led to an expansion of faith formation among Hispanic leaders. Prior to 2015, when the plan was implemented, there were 178 Hispanic leaders at Level I certification – a catechist level – and none at Level II. Since then, the number of ministers certified at Level I has swelled to nearly 400, with another 110 now at Level II.

Click HERE to learn more


Oakfords Mourn the Tragic Loss of Sr. Astrid Puke

On December 30, 2017, we received the tragic news that Sr. Astrid Puke, Prioress of our community at Neustadt am Main, Germany, was killed in a tragic car accident.  The shock of Sr. Astrid's sudden death will live with us for some time.

She was born on 04th of August 1940 in Glandorf/Lower Saxony as the ninth child in a family of eleven children. Her parents were August and Theresia Puke-Riesenbeck. In this big family, Sr Astrid received the basics of her faith, her humour, her serenity, her generosity and everything that belongs to a fulfilled life.  She passed these gifts on generously throughout her life.  Despite the war, she had a happy childhood.  Every now and then, she would tell us anecdotes from her childhood, especially those about winter and the escapades on the horse-drawn sleigh, to cheer us up or to encourage us.  The generosity of her parents, who took many displaced persons into their home after the war, probably shaped her for her entire later life.

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