Sister Rosemary Ferguson, formerly known as Mother Laurence Edward Ferguson, died on April 17, 2018, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 92 years of age and in the 74th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation. Sister Rosemary served as Prioress of the Congregation during the pivotal post-Vatican II years, from 1968 to 1978, when religious life in the United States underwent a transformative renewal.
Sister Rosemary was born in Spalding, Nebraska, to William and Mary (Sullivan) Ferguson. She graduated from Aquinas High School in Chicago, Illinois, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Barry College (University) in Miami Shores, Florida; a Master of Arts degree in English from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois, and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Ministry from Aquinas Theological Institute in Dubuque, Iowa. She also was licensed as a hospital chaplain by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.
Sister Rosemary spent 17 years ministering in education in Detroit, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; and West Palm Beach, Florida. She was Principal at St. Kilian School in Chicago for six years. She served the Congregation for 17 years: four years as Assistant Director of Postulants; three years as Director of Novices, and 10 years as Prioress of the Congregation. She was Director of the Center for Pastoral Care in Kansas City for three years. Sister Rosemary then moved to Duluth, Minnesota, where she was Staff Chaplain at St. Luke Hospital for three years. She was Chaplain for one year and then CPE Coordinator and Supervisor for 13 years at St. Mary Medical Health Center in Duluth, Minnesota. She became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan, in 1999.
Sister Rosemary was preceded in death by her parents and nine older siblings: Loretto, William, John, Leo, Margaret, Ann, Laurence, Edward, and Michael. She is survived by loving nieces and nephews.
Welcome of Sister Rosemary will be on Sunday, April 22, 2018, at 4:00 p.m. in the Dominican Life Center Lobby; the Wake will follow from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. in the Rose Room of the Dominican Life Center. The Reception of the Body and Vigil Prayer will be at 7:00 p.m. in St. Catherine Chapel. The Funeral Mass will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel on Monday, April 23, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. The Rite of Committal will be in the Congregation cemetery. The Wake, Vigil Prayer and Funeral Mass will be live streamed.
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.
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Left: Generalate Officers elected at the 1968 General Chapter are: front row, from left: Sister Thomas Raymond (Jeanne) Burns, Mother Laurence Edward (Rosemary) Ferguson, and Sister Mary Paul (Noreen) McKeough, and back row, from left, Sisters James Therese (Arthemise) Cassanova, Sister Julita Marie Williams, Sister Christopher (Kathryn) Noonan, Sister John Bride (Mary Catherine) Jordan, and Sister Margaret Michaella (Dorothy) Folliard.
Left: Sister Rosemary’s graduation photo from Aquinas High School, Chicago. Right: Sister Rosemary, right, speaks with other members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious during a gathering in August 1976.
Left: Sisters Mary Philip Ryan, left, and Rosemary Ferguson
Left: Members of the 1974-78 General Council are, from left, Sisters Rosemary Ferguson, Cathryn Deutsch, Jeanne Burns, Nadine Foley, and Jeanne O’Laughlin. Right: Sister Rosemary at St. Mary’s CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) Center, Duluth, Minnesota, 1993
Former Prioresses gathered for a group shot during the 2016 General Chapter, during which Sister Patricia Siemen was elected Prioress. The former Prioresses are, from left, Sisters Rosemary Ferguson, Carol Johannes, Nadine Foley, Patricia Walter, Janet Capone, Donna Markham, and Attracta Kelly.
Members of the Diamond Jubilee Class of 2013 are, back row, from left: Sisters Anne Wasco, Mary Jo O’Hanlon, Attracta Kelly (Prioress), Rosemary Ferguson, and Elaine Lederer, and front row, from left, Sisters Ann de Lourdes Plourde, Mary Scheibel, Mary Arnold Benedetto, and Mary Irene Wischmeyer.
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Sr. Laurence Edward's St. Kilian's Family will be watching her wake and funeral from this Facebook page. We loved and have very fond memories of her time as principal of our school. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1569872636584344/?ref=bookmarks
May Rosemary rest in the peace of the Lord and be a guiding light from Heaven as the Adrian Dominicans continue in the work of the Lord, guided by the light of the Holy Spirit! She is a light in my life that will shine on as an example before me all the days of my life!
Dear Sisters:Please accept the condolences of friends from San Antonio, Texas where Sister Rosemary Ferguson's impact was felt through the lives of our dear friends Carol Coston and Elise Garcia. We had the pleasure of meeting her in some years ago when we visited your convent in Adrian. We know the story of Sister Rosemary's influence during the critical times of Vatican II. Sister Rosemary was not only influential in her congregation and in the lives of religious women in our country and beyond, she was also an example of faith, courage and grace that all people can follow. !Sister Rosemary Ferguson, Presente!Manuel and Maria Antonietta Berriozabal
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.