In Memoriam


(1936-2019)

“We knew Ellen as a Renaissance woman and a leader, who was always ready to build community and to take on any challenge that was given her. She had many talents stuffed in that little tool box of hers. … Ellen led in elegant ways and in simple ways.”

These words began the remarks by Mary “Pidge” Newbauer at Sister Ellen Murphy’s wake service on April 16, 2019. Mary and her husband, John, were longtime friends of Sister Ellen’s.

Sister Ellen Murphy was born on May 26, 1936, in Detroit to Joseph and Cecilia (Kenney) Murphy. Joseph and Cecilia were both born and raised in Springfield, Ohio, to Irish-immigrant parents, and came to Detroit during the Great Depression in search of work.

Early in their married life, the couple discovered they would likely never be able to have children, due to an injury Cecilia had suffered in childhood. “At first she was devastated, but she had a secret weapon unknown to the medical community: strong, lifelong devotion to the Blessed Mother under the title of ‘Mother of Perpetual Help,’” Sister Ellen wrote in her autobiography.

One week after Joseph and Cecilia’s tenth wedding anniversary, and six days after Cecilia’s fortieth birthday, Ellen Patricia Murphy came into the world at Detroit’s St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital. Because of complications during the birth, she was immediately baptized in the delivery room. She was the couple’s only child.

Read more about Sister Ellen (pdf)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.

Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link).


(1926-2019)

The very small town of Springerville, Arizona, in the east-central part of the state just 17 miles from the border with New Mexico, gave the Adrian Dominican Sisters the twenty-four-year-old Ida Mae Herbella.

Ida Mae was the seventh of ten children born to Dario and Eladia (Dominquez) Herbella after the couple moved to Arizona from the Galacian Province of their native Spain. The three “middle children” died in infancy before Ida Mae came into the family, leading age-wise to a set of three older children, a gap of several years, and then the younger four beginning with Ida Mae. It was almost like having two families merged into one, she wrote in her autobiography. She was twelve years old when the youngest sibling, Jaqueline, age four, died of diphtheria.

Dario had been conscripted into the Spanish army as a young man and served until being medically discharged due to a hernia. He then went to work in a mine, where he earned 25 cents a day in addition to having his room and board provided, and eventually he saved up enough money to book passage on a ship to Cuba. There, he worked in the sugar cane fields until he had the money to go by ship to San Francisco, where he worked as a longshoreman. Working hard and continuing to save gave him the means to return to Spain as a successful man.

Read more about Sister Mary Daria (pdf)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.

Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link).


(1929-2019)

“Something good is to come for these two babies!”

According to Sister Grace Flowers’ twin sister Dorothy, those were the words spoken by a Sister of St. Francis who had cared for the two babies and their mother when the girls were born at St. Francis Hospital in Miami, Florida. The nun had placed the twins on the hospital chapel’s altar when they and their mother were ready to be discharged, and made that fateful prediction.

Dolores, the future Sister Grace, and Dorothy were born on December 16, 1929, to John and Mary (Hatton) Flowers. They were the youngest of John and Mary’s four children; first came Catherine, then Margaret, then the twins. Only three years separated all the girls, and with them being so close in age they did many things together. Sadly, however, Catherine died in 1937 just before her eleventh birthday.

The Great Depression was just getting under way when the twins were born, but “we were not poor because we always owned our own home and had a car,” Grace said in her autobiography, “but we did not have unnecessary things. Mother worked as a registered nurse and my father always had a job.” In Grace’s application to enter the Congregation, she listed John’s job as supervisor for the Miami Transit Company.

Dorothy and Dolores attended public school from grades one through four, until the parish, St. Mary’s, opened its school, and both girls completed their elementary and secondary schooling there. Dolores then enrolled at Barry College (University), which is how she first came into contact with the Adrian Dominican Sisters. She had thought about religious life off and on already, but when she observed the way the Dominicans lived their community life, she knew it was the Congregation for her.

Read more about Sister Grace (pdf)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. 

 

Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link).


(1931-2018)

When he was in his early twenties, James McKillop of Coalridge, Scotland, left his homeland for Australia to find work. Five years later, restless, he sailed to New Zealand for a new adventure and took up residence at a boarding house there. As it so happened, at about the same time a young lass from Wishaw, Scotland, Catherine Buchanan, came to New Zealand to find work to help support her mother, and rented a room at the same boarding house.

Three years later, James and Catherine got married, and a year after that the young couple moved to the U.S. and settled in Detroit, where James worked as a maintenance man. When Catherine became pregnant with their first child, she returned to her hometown so that her mother could help with the birth, and so it came to be that their oldest daughter, whom they also named Catherine, was born in Wishaw on September 10, 1931.

Mother and daughter returned to Detroit when little Catherine was about eight months old. Over time, five more children were born: Marguerite, Patricia, James, John, and Joseph. The family lived in St. Rose of Lima Parish until 1942 and then moved to nearby Grosse Pointe, where Catherine finished grade school and high school at St. Paul’s.

Read more about Sister Catherine (pdf)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. 

 

Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link).


Cemetery of the Adrian Dominican Sisters

Our Adrian Dominican cemetery with its circular headstones is a beautiful place of rest for women who gave their lives in service to God—and a peaceful place for contemplation and remembrance. 


We will post memorial reflections on our faithfully departed Sisters and Associates. If you would like to reflect on a Sister or Associate who has gone before us, please send your reflections – no more than 500 to 600 words – to Sister Barb Kelley (bkelley@adriandominicans.org).


We invite you to meet some of the wonderful women who have recently crossed into eternity.

2019

Recent Posts

Read More »

Previous Years

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014