Even as a child, she loved playing school and being the teacher.
She wanted to be like the Dominicans who taught her in school.
This line from Sister Mary Adelaide’s life story, written down in 2004 by Sister Jodie Screes, illustrates exactly why Sister Adelaide’s entry into the Congregation came when she was just sixteen years old. Her sister Rita, two years older than she, entered along with her.
Sister Adelaide was born October 11, 1918, in Detroit to Henry and Mary Agnes (Hickey) Eiden. Henry worked in the “dead letter” office at the Post Office, while Mary Agnes, who was affectionately referred to as Mae, took care of the home and the couple’s four children. Besides Rita and Adelaide, there were James, the eldest, and Ann Dolores, the youngest. In her biography, Sister Adelaide remembered her father as an “exceptionally peaceful man” and her mother as “a good, kind and very organized woman who handled the business affairs of the household.”
The family attended St. Theresa’s, where the children were taught by the Adrian Dominicans in the parish school. When Adelaide was a junior, she asked her mother if she would care if Adelaide entered the convent — at which point Rita added that she wished to do the same thing. Mae took the question to Henry, whose response was that the two were quite young but if this was what they wanted, it was all right with him.
Read more about Sister Adelaide (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.
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.