“When I entered religious life in 1938, it was, as it were, a transferring or a joining of one grand big family with another.”
Those words from Sister Dorothy Jeanne Burns’ life story sum up the way she went from one experience of community – as the youngest of fifteen children (nine boys and six girls) born to James and Josephine (Rano) Burns. Thirteen lived to adulthood; Daniel died at birth and Michael died of diphtheria at age three.
James Burns was born in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, to an Irish-immigrant father who with his brother had fled their homeland at the time of the Great Famine. At a young age, James worked with his father on the Union Railroad, and as an adult he continued to do similar work, eventually ending up in Detroit working for the Department of Street Railways as supervisor of the laying and maintenance of the streetcar tracks in and around the city.
Josephine was a native of St. Clair, Michigan, and just as her future husband had worked in the same place as his father, when she was a teenager Josephine and her father worked together at the Diamond Crystal Salt Company located in St. Clair.
Read more about Sister Dorothy (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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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
Sister Barb Kelley (email@example.com).
We invite you to meet some of the wonderful women who have recently crossed into eternity.