Sister Anne Cenci, formerly known as Sister Rose Imelda Cenci, died on Thursday, September 10, 2020, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 86 years of age and in the 67th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.
Sister was born in Detroit to Charles and Melvina (Murray) Cenci. She graduated from St. Theresa High School in Detroit and received a bachelor’s degree in applied music from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian, a master’s degree in applied music from Michigan State University in East Lansing, and a master’s degree in religious studies from St. Michael College in Winooski, Vermont.
Sister Ann served as an elementary music teacher for 18 years in Paw Paw, Ypsilanti, and Caro, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois. She ministered for 36 years as Religious Education Coordinator in Caro, Midland, and Saginaw, Michigan, which includes her service of 30 years at St. Andrew Parish in Saginaw from 1978 to 2008.
Sister became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian in 2016. She is survived by a sister, Marion Cenci of Commerce Township, Michigan.
Due to COVID-19 mitigation protocols, the Dominican Life Center is closed until further notice to all guests or visitors. All are welcome to participate in Sister’s wake and funeral via live stream.
Rite of Committal (burial) for Sister Anne will be held on Friday, September 11, 2020, at 3:30 p.m. in the Congregation Cemetery. Dates for the Memorial Mass and the Ritual of Remembering are yet to be determined.
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Anderson-Marry Funeral Home, Adrian.
Prayer Card (PDF)
Worship Aid (PDF)
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A childhood spent on Chicago’s North Side, with a large and loving family and under the tutelage of the Adrian Dominican Sisters at Queen of Angels School, gave Sister Sally Ann Fergus the perfect early grounding in life.
Sarah Ann, as she was baptized although she was always known as Sally, was born on September 21, 1937, to Rosaleen (Stratton) and William Fergus, a Chicago tavern owner. She was the fifth of seven children, with three brothers (William, Patrick and Thomas) and three sisters (Rosemary, Eileen, and Maureen). “We often speak of our family as the first five and the second two,” she wrote in her autobiography, because there was a five-year gap between her arrival and that of Maureen, and then another two years before Patrick came into the family.
“It made a big difference in our lives,” she wrote, because the two younger children “got to do so much more than we did – like travel to Ireland with my parents.”
Sally Ann and her siblings enjoyed a wonderful childhood with plenty of playmates in the neighborhood and activities including roller-skating around the block and trips to the library, the beach, the local park and, as they got older, Riverview Park to enjoy the rides. During the World War II years, her mother not only tended a garden plot in the backyard but also had a Victory Garden in “the prairie” (the Chicago term for an empty lot).
Read more about Sister Sally Ann (pdf)
Vigil for Sister Sally Ann Fergus:
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Funeral for Sister Sally Ann Fergus
Her seeming endless energy, intense love of the Dominican charism and the Congregation were an inspiration. She mentored many along the way who have not forgotten her wisdom and goodness.
These words from Sister Rosemary Asaro, Holy Rosary Chapter Assistant, were part of her eulogy for Sister Margaret (Marge) Mehigan, who spent many years teaching others about the mission and vision of the Congregation and helping them integrate it into their everyday lives and work.
Margaret Mary Mehigan was born on August 31, 1926, in Chicago to John and Hannah (Doherty) Mehigan. John and Hannah had both come to Chicago from Ireland, John from County Cork and Hannah from County Donegal, and met at St. Sabina Parish, one of Chicago’s traditionally Irish parishes.
After they married, the young couple settled in St. Kilian Parish, another home for Chicago’s Irish community. In time, four children arrived; in addition to Marge, there was John, Owen, and Anna Marie, who in time became a Springfield Dominican Sister.
Read more about Sister Marge (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
One interesting coincidence brought Sister Pauline Richter’s parents together in New Mexico. A second interesting coincidence brought her to the Adrian Dominicans twenty years later.
Mary Pauline Richter, Sister Pauline’s mother, had moved to Albuquerque from Nebraska, when Mary was about nine years old. Otto, Sister Pauline’s father, had a sister who had come to New Mexico from their native southern Illinois to be treated for tuberculosis, and a couple of the brothers had moved there with her. When one of those brothers got married, Otto came to Albuquerque for the wedding. He was the best man – and Mary was one of the bridesmaids.
The couple married in February 1933 and Pauline was born on December 10 of that year. She was baptized Anna Pauline because both of her grandmothers were named Anna, and Pauline for her mother’s middle name, but she was always known as Pauline. Three other girls – Nadine, Maxine, and Norma – followed over the course of the next fourteen years. In August 1947, two months before Norma was born, Otto died of a heart attack. He was just thirty-nine years old.
Read more about Sister Pauline (pdf)
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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