In Memoriam


(1936-2016)

Helen Michels was one of 14 children born to Anton and Lucille (Owens) Michels. She was born in 1936 in Palm Bay, Florida, but moved around Florida as her father was a carpenter involved in various building projects. The family settled in Sanford, Florida, where many of her siblings remained.

Helen was educated in public schools, and was given a strong foundation of faith from her parents, who emphasized consideration and sacrifice. Helen attended Barry College (University), Miami, Florida, where she says she “was overcome by the joy and exuberance of the Adrian Dominicans.”

In June 1955, Helen entered the Congregation. Known then as Sister Paul Anton, she was missioned in Puerto Rico to teach at the Colegio San Antonio. Helen was also drawn to the public school students who had no one to minister to them. Her attention was divided between the Catholic school and the public school students, and it was challenging.  

Helen worked on a steering committee for a drug treatment program and began working there full-time in spiritual orientation, striving to find solutions for the myriad of problems in Puerto Rico.

In time, Helen discerned that she needed to address some of her own issues, and made a decision to leave religious life in 1980. After moving to Florida, she returned to Puerto Rico to direct a special project for federal prisoners in a privately contracted halfway house. She married Jacinto Betancourt, and they were happily married for nine years until his sudden and unexpected death at age 51.

“Sisters Joyce Caulfield and Elisa Doherty connected with me at Jacinto’s wake and were a source of consolation many times in the years that followed,” Helen wrote. She stayed in close contact with them until she retired in 2002. She moved to Sanford, Florida, and ministered through her presence to her siblings and their children.

A very Spirit-filled woman, Helen described spirituality as “a movement toward wholeness and the power of love. My prayer is an attitude of the mind and heart to praise and thank the Creator and Life Giver in the smallest things to the largest of creation.”

Helen was mentored by Sisters Clarice Moyle, OP, and Ann Englert, OP, and made the commitment to Associate Life in 2006. She attended Mission Group meetings and Chapter gatherings and submitted her Annals, describing her life of prayer.

Although her health was fragile for the last few years, Helen continued to send cards, pray, and to be present to others. She died at home on December 28, 2016.

A memorial Mass was celebrated for Helen on January 14 at All Souls Historic Chapel in Sanford, Florida. Many Sisters and Associates attended this celebration, including Associate Denise Dudley who shares the following about Helen.

“A woman of faith who lived her faith. Helen’s hunger and thirst for righteousness was evident. She fought for justice and lived her life for God. God was definitely present over her and God was ready to meet her. The best of Helen, to her, was her family. She was ninth of 14 children and moved to Sanford, Florida at the age of 6 and attended All Souls Catholic Church.” We thank God for the blessing that Helen was to her family, to our Congregation and to those who needed an advocate.

A memorial Mass was celebrated for Helen on January 14 at All Souls Historic Chapel in Sanford, Florida. Many Sisters and Associates attended this celebration, including Associate Denise Dudley who shares the following about Helen.

“A woman of faith who lived her faith. Helen’s hunger and thirst for righteousness was evident. She fought for justice and lived her life for God. God was definitely present over her and God was ready to meet her. The best of Helen, to her, was her family. She was ninth of 14 children and moved to Sanford, Florida at the age of 6 and attended All Souls Catholic Church.” We thank God for the blessing that Helen was to her family, to our Congregation and to those who needed an advocate.

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).

 


Sister Marianne (David Frances) O'Neill

(1936-2017)

Sister Marianne O’Neill was born on May 28, 1936, in Chicago, the youngest of three children born to David and Frances (Whitty) O’Neill. Her two older brothers were Whitney and David. The family lived on the South side of Chicago, just one block from St. Laurence Church. 

In her autobiography, Sister Marianne wrote the following about her family and her early life.

My mom and dad were both born in Chicago. My oldest brother Whitney was born in 1927 and David, my other brother, was born in 1932. My dad worked at Carnegie Steel in South Chicago for thirty years. My mother did not work but when all of us were grown, she worked for Children’s Activities in downtown Chicago at Christmas time.

I loved all my teachers at St Laurence School. I went to Aquinas High School and graduated from there in 1954. Again, I had just wonderful teachers. At that time we had all nuns except for the drama and gym teachers. As you can see the only influence I had were the Dominican Sisters. I did have cousins who were BVMs and I saw them every summer but I never had the idea to enter their congregation. 

Read more about Sister Marianne (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).

 


(1929-2016)

Sheila Nadine Flynn was born on January 29, 1929, in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. She was the second child and only girl born to Edward Patrick and Marie Agnes (Aeno) Flynn. Her mother was injured during the birthing process and had to wear a body cast for one year. According to Sister Sheila, this injury did not slow her mother down because, “she was a woman not easily overwhelmed by trials.” 

In her autobiography, Sister Sheila wrote the following about her parents:

Mom’s parents were poor French Canadian farmers who migrated to Northern Michigan with their seven children in search of better lands and a better life. The harshness of farm life soon challenged my mother to leave home and seek an education and a different life for herself. During this time she obtained an education and became a convert to Roman Catholicism. Dad was an Ohioan. He was the youngest child of a family of ten children. Dad never spoke a great deal about his parents. By profession he was a salesman. He spent thirty-five years of faithful service to Prudential Life Insurance and moved up the ladder of success through this business. 

Read more about Sister Sheila (pdf)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Anderson Funeral Home, Adrian.

 

 

Vigil for Sister Sheila (John Damian):


Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.

 

Funeral for Sister Sheila (John Damian):


Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.


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


Monica Charles Stankus

(1936-2016)

Sister Monica Charles, baptized Donna Mae Stankus, was born at St. Bernard Hospital in Chicago on July 6, 1936. She was the only child of Charles C. and Mercedes (Fair) Stankus. Her mother expected the baby to be a boy and had chosen a boy’s name and even a blue layette. Her parents finally decided to name their baby girl Donna. 

In her autobiography, Sister Monica shared the following about her early life and the reason her family moved to Henderson, Nevada. 

When I was five, mother decided that I was too little to go to kindergarten so I began first grade at St. Ethelreda School with the Mercy Sisters. When I was in the sixth grade, the doctor told my mother that she was a prime candidate for TB and the family should consider moving to a warmer climate. I left the 6th grade during Easter break and we started driving west, finally ending up in Las Vegas. Because Dad was a vet we could get temporary housing in Victory Village in Henderson, diagonally across Boulder Highway from St. Rose de Lima Hospital. This was in 1948. The hospital opened in 1947. In a few weeks we bought a home in Las Vegas and Dad got a job as an electrician.

Read more about Sister Monica Charles (pdf)

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

 

 

Vigil for Sister Monica Charles:


Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.

 

Funeral for Sister Monica Charles:


Download video.Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.

 

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 .


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

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