The familiar story ... of the two disciples who met the risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus was selected by Sister Betty Jenkins as the Gospel reading for her funeral Mass, and appeared on her memorial card and the cover of the worship aid as well. According to Sister Joan Delaplane, who preached the homily that day, there were many reasons why that particular reading resonated with Sister Betty.
An eye infection very early in Sister Betty’s childhood left her with almost no sight in that eye, and that poor vision contributed to her difficulties in reading and learning. As a result, Sister Joan noted, Sister Betty had been bullied by other children, one factor in her becoming a shy woman who struggled with a negative self-image.
Some of us are aware that the first half at least of Betty’s life was a Jerusalem experience – a lot of pain, questions, discouragement. … In light of all that, isn’t it “Amazing Grace” when we consider the words we heard last [Friday] during our remembrances of our experience of dear, dear Betty? We heard she was kind, fun, compassionate, [had] an aura about her that made one feel good about oneself, always encouraging her students, a pleasant person to be with. How did she ever make the leap from the self-defeating youth experience to the outgoing, compassionate individual that we came to know and love?
Read more about Sister Betty (pdf).
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Helen Ann Masuga was born on July 13, 1923, into the cultural melting pot that was Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in that era. Both sets of grandparents were born in the part of Austria that became part of Poland, and her father, Paul, came to the United States at the age of 17 and made his way first to Cleveland and then to the iron mines of the Upper Peninsula, while her mother, Frances Rucinski, arrived in New York at age 16 and became a seamstress.
Of her parents, Sister Maureen Therese, as she became known in religious life, wrote in her autobiography: “How I marvel at their courage and determination!” Besides the fact that they were just teenagers when they emigrated, “it had to be very difficult to journey to an unknown country, uncertain of the future, relying only on relatives and friends to help them adjust to a new culture and a new language.”
Sister Maureen Therese attended the public school in Caspian until eighth grade, at which point she went to St. Ignace, on the other side of the U.P., to be taught by the Ursuline Sisters at their academy for that year. She already knew the Ursulines of St. Ignace from the three weeks each summer that the pastor would bring some of them in to provide sacramental preparation, and even at the early age of seven she had dreamed of joining their community some day.
Read more about Sister Maureen Therese (pdf).
Although she had been educated by Adrian Dominicans throughout 12 years of schooling at St. Mary’s in Royal Oak, Michigan, it took a chance visit to Adrian for Barbara Hubbard to realize her call to religious life.
During Barbara’s senior year, she was invited to a fashion show at Siena Heights College (now University), and prior to the event was introduced to Sister Mary Edmund Harrison, the Mistress of Novices. As it turned out, Barbara never went over to the show; when her companions headed over to the college, she stayed behind, deep in conversation with Sister Edmund, and by the time the others returned to collect her for the drive home, she had decided to enter the Congregation..
Read more about Sister Barbara (PDF).
“I am not worried because I know that my God will walk with me through this as He has all my life. We will take this one day at a time.”
Those words, written by Sister Rose Celeste O’Connell in her autobiography the day after she was diagnosed with cancer, sum up her attitude about not only her battle with the disease but toward the rest of her life’s challenges as well.
Sister Rose Celeste was born Mary Ann Theresa O’Connell on January 10, 1939, in Chicago, Illinois, to Thomas Eugene and Edna Bernadette (Dion) O’Connell. Three children came into the family: a son, Thomas, who died soon after birth; Mary Ann; and Elinor, born when Mary Ann was eight years old.
The extended family on both Thomas’s and especially Edna’s sides were quite close, and gatherings with relatives were commonplace. But both Thomas and Edna worked as Mary Ann was growing up, and as a result she spent much of her time either with older adults, especially her paternal grandmother, or alone.
Read more about Sister Rose (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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.
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