Interview with Janice McLaughlin, M.M.

Sr. Janice McLaughlin, M.M., president of the Maryknoll Sisters, delivered the St. Albert the Great Lecture, “Can You Carry an Elephant?” in the St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture Series on Wednesday evening, November 13, 2013.  As part of her visit to campus, Sr. Janice also gave a luncheon presentation to faculty, staff and some members of the Alumni Association; she also spoke with students in the class “Human Rights and Religions Witness in Latin America”, taught by Professor Robert Bourgeois.

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Sr. Janice was also part of an interview with Sr. Anne Kilbride, O.P. from the Office of Dominican Mission.  Below are some highlights of that interview.

  1. How has being part of the Dominican family and a Maryknoll Sister impacted your presentation at Albertus Magnus College?

Sr. Janice – My Dominican education with the Dominican Sisters of Peace from grades 1-12 and my first year of college at Ohio Dominican University influenced my selection of Maryknoll as the place for my religious life and ministry.  The full name of my congregation is the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, and so we share with all of you at Albertus the vision and mission of the Dominicans.

As you know, the Dominican family is on every continent and as a Maryknoll Sister I have ministered and visited in many countries. These international experiences influenced my world view over many years.  Having an international perspective has influenced me to do cultural analysis, develop different viewpoints, and work from a global rather than a national perspective.

  1. What do you think is essential for a Dominican College to promote in today’s world?

Sr. Janice – As always, a Dominican College should promote the pursuit of the truth (VERITAS) with a special emphasis on truth in the service of transforming society, so students become advocates of justice and the common good.  I would like to see academic and service programs in our Dominican Colleges and Universities that promote service, peace building and the common good.

  1. As a member of the Dominican family, what is your hope for the future of our students?

Sr. Janice – I hope the students dedicate their lives to something meaningful and their careers will include service to the wider community, regardless of their field of study.  In addition, I hope they will set goals for the greater good and not just from their own self-interest.  I truly believe students imbued with a generous spirit will find greater happiness and live a fuller life.

  1. Is there any other comment you want to make?

Sr. Janice – I have learned to be a person of hope from the African people.  From the people I ministered with I learned that God is here with you and will sustain you in joy and sorrow.  Obstacles are not so daunting when you sense you are not alone.  Coming from a Dominican college, I hope you can all grow to appreciate the Dominican values of contemplation and action.  It is difficult to do one without the other because they ground both the person and the reality of one’s lived situation.  I believe the inward contemplation and outward actions will provide a full and balanced life.

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Sr. Janice McLaughlin, M.M., earned her bachelor of arts degree magna cum laude in theology, anthropology and sociology from Marquette University in 1969, and a doctorate in religious studies from the University of Zimbabwe in 1992.

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