Mary Honora Hemmen was born in Detroit on December 8, 1936, to Raymond and Ada (Noon) Hemmen. Raymond was born and raised in Detroit and Ada came from Jackson, Michigan. They married when they were older and had two children, Mary and Lawrence. Raymond was a clerk at the Michigan Central railroad terminal in southeast Detroit for fifty-three years.
According to Sister Mary’s autobiography, her parents named her Mary because she was born on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception; it was easy for her to remember her birthday, she said, and she always had the day off from school.
The family lived on the east side of the city, on McKinney Street, and was part of St. Matthew Parish, where the children attended grade school. Ada died of cancer when Mary was nine and Lawrence was seven. Aunts and other helpers were present throughout Ada’s illness, and a maternal aunt especially helped in the children’s care after their mother’s passing; she lived on a farm near Jackson, and the children often spent their summers on Aunt Mary’s farm where they were surrounded by numerous cousins from around the area.
Read more about Sister Mary (pdf)
Memorial 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 Mary was a wonderful mentor and teacher. She shared her knowledge and experiences with grace and dignity. She was a sweet, kind and caring woman.her work in adult education has touched the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of people in the greater Detroit area.
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.