August 31, 2018, Adrian, Michigan – When students begin the academic year at Dominican high schools, some will have much to say about the Dominican heritage. More than 100 students representing 19 schools left the 20th Annual Dominican High Schools Preaching Conference in Adrian with a greater understanding of the Order of Preachers – and with specific action plans for expanding their classmates’ awareness of the Dominican family and spirituality.
The 2018 conference was in late June at Siena Heights University in Adrian included many events and activities that made tangible the spirit of the Dominican order.
“The conference is a wonderful place to learn how you can involve yourselves and your schools more in the Dominican faith,” said Lucia Wileman, a student at Rosary High School in Aurora, Illinois.
Her classmate, Abby Homer, added, “I can’t wait to bring this knowledge back to my school.” Rosary High School is sponsored by the Springfield Dominican Sisters.
Sister Mary Soher, OP, an Adrian Dominican Sister and Director of the Conference called the event a wonderful success, thanks to the quality of the presenters, welcoming hospitality at the Siena Heights University and Adrian Dominican Motherhouse campuses.
Along with Adrian Dominican Sisters, sponsoring Dominican congregations and provinces were Dominican Sisters of Amityville, New York; Caldwell, New Jersey; Houston, Texas; Mission San Jose, California; Peace in Columbus, Ohio; Racine, Wisconsin; Sinsinawa, Wisconsin; Sparkill, New York; Springfield, Illinois; and the Friars from the Province of St. Albert the Great.
The young preachers first learned about some of the better-known Dominican saints from Patrick Spedale, campus minister at St. Pius X High School in Houston, Texas, who portrayed St. Dominic; Sister Nancy Murray, OP, Adrian, as St. Catherine of Siena, a 13th Century mystic, reformer, and Doctor of the Church; and Sister Marilín Llanes, OP, Adrian, as St. Antonio Montesinos, noted for speaking out on behalf of the indigenous people of Hispaniola who were exploited by the Spanish conquistadors. Brother Joseph Kilikevice, OP, of the St. Albert the Great Province, spoke on the interfaith mission of the Order.
Throughout the conference, students learned various ways to preach the Word of God, in addition to the more traditional preaching at the pulpit. “Dominican life isn’t just about words,” noted Madison Schomer, a student of Rosary High School. “Your actions are really the game changers.”
During the session on Preaching the Signs of the Times, the students learned about various social justice issues, including immigration, interconnectedness of life on Earth, women’s pay equity, and justice issues.
Representatives of various branches of the Dominican family were on hand to introduce the students to the diversity of Dominicans – Associates, Dominican Laity, Friars, Sisters, and Nuns.
Students also had the opportunity to spend time with Adrian Dominican Sisters and meet their Sister prayer partners during a social.
A part of one day of the conference was spent in preaching through action as participants served local charities.
Finally, Sister Barbara Schwarz, OP, Amityville, former President of the Dominican Institute for the Arts (DIA), gave a keynote address on Preaching through the Arts. Participants experienced preaching through specific arts during breakout sessions that included liturgical dance, preaching, and visual arts.
During the closing banquet, Sister Mary recalled the history of the Dominican High Schools Preaching Conference. Sister Gina Fleming, OP, Amityville, who started the National College Preaching in Action Conference in 2002 for Dominican colleges and universities, received the Sister Pat Brady Award for her involvement in spreading the Dominican charism to young people.
During the closing Commissioning Mass, Dominican high school students took their place as young Dominicans, preparing to deepen the Dominican heritage in their classmates back home through specific action plans.
“You opened your hearts and minds to the presentations and to each other,” Sister Mary told the young Dominican preachers. “You took seriously the invitation to contemplate and then act. You generously shared your gift of yourself to every person around you. … Each of you opened yourself to the grace of God. And that’s all that God asks.”
The fruits of the conference and of the young preachers’ learning will be seen in the coming school year, as the students enact their plans to deepen the Dominican heritage at their high schools.
Feature photo (top): Students from a Dominican high school present an action plan for bringing the Dominican spirit to the school this year.
Clockwise from left: Students practice their preaching skills during a Liturgical Preaching workshop presented by Sister Sara Fairbanks, OP. High school preachers participate in a rosary procession through Holy Rosary Chapel. Sister Aneesah McNamee, OP, demonstrates the art of folding paper cranes.
August 6, 2018, Adrian, Michigan – In an atmosphere of great joy and celebration, Sister Katherine Frazier, OP, made her First Profession of Vows August 5, 2018, in St. Catherine Chapel, which was packed with Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates, Dominican Sisters from other Congregations, family members, and friends.
| NOTE: The video of the First Profession is at the very bottom of this article. |
During the Rite of Profession, Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress of the Congregation, formally examined Sister Katherine on her willingness and readiness to “unite [herself] more closely to God by a bond of religious profession.” Sister Katherine then stated her intent to profess vows with the Adrian Dominican Sisters to answer God’s call in her life.
“I desire to share faith and life with my Sisters and to carry into the world alongside them the mission of Jesus,” Sister Katherine said. “Having started this adventure three years ago as a candidate and then as a novice, I want to see where God is leading us next, trusting that God’s plans for the future are always good.”
After lying prostrate during the Litany of the Saints, Sister Katherine professed her vow, promising obedience to God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Dominic, Sister Patricia and her lawful successors. The Rite continued with the presentation of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ logo to Sister Katherine and signing the profession documents by Sister Katherine; Sister Patricia; Father Greg Heille, OP, presider; and Sister Katherine’s two witnesses, Sister Joan Delaplane, OP, and Sister Mary Soher, OP.
“I am awed to have been called to the Adrian Dominican Sisters, and I am grateful for each Sister who has come into my life for being an example of loving and faithful service,” Sister Katherine wrote to members of the assembly. “I look forward to seeing what adventures God will lead us on in the future.”
Sister Katherine entered the Adrian Dominican Congregation in 2015 and spent her first year as a candidate, coming to know the Adrian Dominican Sisters better; studying the Congregation’s Constitution, history and identity; and ministering in Adrian and Detroit, Michigan, and in New Orleans, Louisiana. Sister Katherine spent the next year, her canonical novitiate year, at the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate in St. Louis, Missouri. In the past year, as a second-year novice, Sister Katherine studied at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.
Sister Patricia Walter, OP, preached during the liturgy and focused on the message of the Gospel as an alternative vision to that of the dominant culture – and the role of preachers as “subversives,” people who preach a vision deeper than the message of popular culture. Basing her message on that of theologian Walter Brueggermann, Sister Patricia said when a culture understands the world without any reference to God, “what the preacher, what the faith community is called to do, is to help people to see, to notice, to name, to re-imagine the world as if God’s will counted, as if God is an actor in it. This is our good news, our truth, which is seen as fake and certainly as alternate. Preaching this is subversion.”
Just as the Israelites became people on a mission, and the disciples, in response to Jesus, became a people on a mission, Sister Patricia said, Sister Katherine’s call is to join a community on a mission, the Adrian Dominican Sisters, a community of the holy preaching, the Order of Preachers.
“The good news is that alternative reality, that alternative subversion, that vision of God’s reign and what the world would really be like if God’s will were done on Earth as it is in Heaven,” Sister Patricia said.
Sister Patricia added that St. Paul’s vision – that we are all part of one another – is also an alternative vision in our world today. “[This is] good news, the joy of living in mutual affection, with deep respect, with giving and receiving, with mutuality, with trying to discern the will of God: to rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. This is a joyful invitation Paul gives us, a joyful imagining – so much better than being polarized.”
The older of the two daughters of Lee and Lynne (McKenna) Frazier, Sister Katherine hails from Fort Wayne, Indiana. At the time of her entrance, she had ministered as the coordinator of the Bishop Donald Trautman Catholic House at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Sister Katherine will minister in the area of Mission Integration at Regina Dominican High School, an all-girls school sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters and located in Wilmette, Illinois. Her role will be to keep members of the Regina Dominican Community aware of and help them live out the Mission of the Congregation.
Sister Katherine begins her new life as a vowed Adrian Dominican Sister with a sense of optimism and hope. The Adrian Dominican Sisters “give me the gift of the example of their lives lived in the mission of God,” she said. “Their example of trusting in God’s provident care is a continual reminder that God’s plan for us is larger than we can imagine.”
As Sister Katherine looks to the future of religious life, she said, “I am confident in the foundations and work that has been done before me by Adrian Dominican Sisters and women religious from other congregations. Having met and had conversations with other younger women religious, I find hope because God continues to call us to work in the mission and that young men and women are still open to hearing this call.”
For more information on how you or a single Catholic woman in your life can become an Adrian Dominican Sister, please contact Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, at 517-266-3532 or email@example.com or Sister Mariane Fahlman, OP, at 517-266-3537 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Information is also available at http://adriandominicans.org/BecomeaSister/EnteringtheLife.