Sister Susanne Hofweber, formerly known as Elizabeth Hofweber, died on August 27, 2017 at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 97 years of age and in the 80th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.
Sister Susanne was born in Detroit to August and Emily (Campbell) Hofweber. She graduated from St. Joseph Academy in Adrian and received a bachelor’s degree in history from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian; a licentiate in philosophy from Santo Domingo University in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; and a master’s degree in theology from Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
Sister Susanne spent 43 years ministering in elementary, secondary, and adult levels of education in Rockwood, Clawson, and Saginaw, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Toledo and Assumption (Swanton), Ohio; Miami Shores, Florida; Santurce and San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Santo Domingo and Las Matas, Dominican Republic.
Sister was Executive Director of the National Conference of Diocesan Directors of Religious Education-Confraternity of Christian Doctrine for six years, and for two years was the National Program Director for St. Vincent Center of Apostolic Development, both located in Washington, D.C. She also was an administrative assistant for the Nokomis Chapter Office in Dearborn Heights for three years.
Sister Susanne became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in 2012. She is survived by a sister, Marian Zeleznik, of Clare, and a brother, August J. (Jack) Hofweber, of Bloomfield Hills, both in Michigan. She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Bill Hofweber; and a sister, Dorothy Gatchell.
Welcome of Sister Susanne will be on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Dominican Life Center lobby; the Wake will follow from 6:15 to 7:00 p.m. in the Rose Room. The Reception of the Body and Vigil Prayer will be at 7:00 pm in St. Catherine Chapel. The Funeral Mass will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel on Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. Both the Vigil Prayer and the Funeral Mass will be live streamed. The Rite of Committal will be in the Congregation cemetery.
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.
Top: Sister Susanne (second from left) stands with other members of the Spanish-speaking delegates to Vatican II, working on documents and the General Catechetical Directory, 1971. Bottom left: Sister Susanne receives the NCDD (National Conference of Diocesan Directors) Award during the April 1990 meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.
Left: Sister Susanne in Las Matas, Dominican Republic. Right: Sister Susanne’s siblings, Dorothy Gatchell and Jack Hofweber
Top right: Sister Susanne and Father Bernard Markthaler, OSFConv., at the 1989 National Conference of Diocesan Directors meeting in Tempe, Arizona. Bottom right: With Archbishop Luis Aponte, Ponce, Puerto Rico.
Members of the 1987 Diamond Jubilee Crowd are: front row, from left, Sisters Ann Seraphim Schenk, Rita Noeker, Esther Sitzmann, Margaret Moran, Elizabeth Kreiner, Mary Roche, Jane Edward Schutz, and Marie Elizabeth Doherty; and back row, from left, Sisters Agnes Helen Rabe, Marie Jutte, Rita Anne Moceri, Susanne Hofweber, Merici Valgoi, Cathryn Deutsch, and Michael Mary Madden.
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Sister Helen Walsh, known also as Sister Rose Michaeleen, was born in Chicago on June 15, 1920. She was the second oldest of six children born to William and Rosemary (O’Sullivan) Walsh.
Her parents were married at St. Bride Church on Thanksgiving Day in 1917. Because her dad was serving in the army, the couple walked out of church beneath an arch of soldier’s swords in military style. When the war ended, her father returned to his law practice.
In her autobiography, Sister Helen described the arrival of her five siblings and the gifts of her parents.
The first child, Rosemary, was born on November 1, 1918, in a military hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan. Soon the war ended and the family moved to Port Huron, my father’s birthplace. When I was expected, my father took my mother back to Chicago, where he felt the best doctors could be had. However because of the speed of my arrival, a hospital intern was in charge and I arrived late on Sunday night June 15, 1920, at South Shore Hospital. When I was four, my brother Billie was born and the story was later told that I asked my mother if she could return him get a baby that didn’t cry so much. My last three siblings, Nan, Mary Jo and Joe, were born in Port Huron and all were surrounded by doting relatives.
Read more about Sister Helen (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
Sister Helen Sorich, known also as Sister John Christine, was born on September 26, 1921, in Preko, Yugoslavia. She was the second of five children born to John and Christina Sorich. Preko was also the birthplace of her parents. It is one of several small settlements on a Croatian island that makes up the Zadar Archipelago along the Dalmatian Coastline.
Two years after she was born, Sister Helen and her older sister, Elizabeth, traveled with their mother to the U.S. to join their father, who had found work and a home for them in Chicago. In her autobiography, she wrote:
In 1923 my mom, my older sister Elizabeth, who was four years old, and I, age two, left this land for America. We traveled to the United States on the Martha Washington for twenty-three days. When we landed on Ellis Island, my mom must have shown extreme bewilderment because my dad wasn’t there to meet us. As luck, or fate, would have it, a gentleman, who was on the same ship, came over and asked my mom where she was headed. When she told him Chicago, he proceeded to take us to the train headed for Chicago. What a thrilling moment it must have been for Pa and Ma and us to be re-united here in the U.S.A. What brave people our parents were to venture on to a new land.
My dad had a job in a sausage factory and we lived in the flat above the factory. It was there that another sister, Therese, and my two brothers, Nick and Tony, were born. We attended Nativity School where we received our elementary education from the Sisters of St. Joseph.
As for mom, she was always there for us. She was always there usually in the kitchen. I can’t imagine what I would have ever done, if she didn’t respond. Many is the time we hurried home in order to get the crust of her homemade bread with a bit of sugar sprinkled over it.
When I was in the seventh grade, my Pa suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in July 1935 and died. As I watched and observed the grief of my mom at the loss of her husband and our father, I realized how our God supplies His lasting love, strength, and courage. My mom exemplified that valiant woman who through this great loss raised her children.
Sister Anne Marie Snyder was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on February 25, 1923. She was one of nine children born to Frank and Mary (Sadar) Snyder.
Sister Anne’s father was born in Slovenia, in Yugoslavia. When he was an infant, his mother died and he was brought to the United States by his godmother. Sister Anne’s mother was born in Cleveland and had three sisters. Her oldest sister entered our Congregation and was known as Sister Regina Clare Sadar. Her younger sister entered the St. Joseph Sisters in Euclid, Ohio, and was known as Sister Ann Joseph.
Read more about Sister Anne Marie (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.
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.