By Cara Hansen
April 19, 2016, West Palm Beach, Florida – Rosarian Academy hosted an awards ceremony and induction of new members into the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) on April 11, 2016. During the assembly, 14 students were inducted into NJHS based on their scholarship, leadership, character, service, and citizenship. The inductees are seventh-grade students Sailor Kate Ashley, Gemma Conroy, Hope Diffenderfer, Devyn Dyett, Gabriela Faber, Isabella Fiorentino, Marlowe Flom, Alana Marchese, Sofia Mendez, Drew O’Brien, Mia Sabol, Max Sanderson, Jack Shepherd, and Lacey Steele.
Rosarian NJHS members, led by moderator and teacher Patrick Hansen, participate in a number of community service activities throughout the year, including leading holiday-themed parties and activities for the disadvantaged children at The Lord’s Place Family Campus; decorating cookies with the children at Opportunity Inc. Learning Center; reading books and playing games with the elderly residents of the Lourdes-Noreen McKeen Retirement Community; organizing a water station for the Race for the Cure; participating in the St. Jude’s Walk; painting a home through the sponsorship of the Solid Waste Authority’s Paint Your Heart Out; making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to be distributed to vulnerable populations at St. Ann Place; joining beach clean-up efforts at local beaches; volunteering with the Special Olympics; and gleaning crops with C.R.O.S. Ministries to benefit The Palm Beach County Food Bank.
Rosarian Academy, founded in 1925, educates students from early childhood through eighth grade and offers an exceptionally strong 21st-century academic program enriched by athletics, visual and performing arts, and community service opportunities. The independent, Catholic school is located in downtown West Palm Beach and is sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Rosarian is celebrating its 90th anniversary this school year. For more information, visit www.rosarian.org or call 561-345-3106.
April 14, 2016, Covington, Washington – A humorous performance reminiscent of old-fashioned Catholic schools in brought forth an evening’s of entertainment for some 250 people in Covington, Washington – and more than $1,000 to benefit retired Adrian Dominican Sisters.
Sister’s Easter Catechism: Will my Bunny Go to Heaven, one of seven distinct plays devised by the national theater group, Late Night Catechism, was performed on the evening of April 1 at the Kentwood High School Performing Arts Center in Covington, Washington. The performance was supported by the efforts of Ronda Billerbeck, cultural programs manager with the City of Kent (Washington) Arts Commission.
Among the evening’s special guests were four Adrian Dominican Sisters: Sister Lorene Heck, OP, Chapter Prioress of the Dominican West Chapter, and Sisters Francine Barber, Cele Gorman, and Iva Gregory. Actress Kimberly Richards, of Late Night Catechism, issued the invitation by phone to Sister Cele at Assumption Convent on March 30. While the Sisters were not excited by this last-minute invitation, Sister Lorene said, they enjoyed the performance, in which Kimberly, dressed in habit, conducted her class and corrected audience members who came in late or chewed gum in “class.”
But the evening also gave Kimberly and the Adrian Dominican Sisters a special opportunity to educate the audience about the situation facing today’s Sisters: fewer new members entering religious life, many Sisters retiring, and the merger of many congregations – such as the local Edmonds Dominican Sisters with the Adrian Dominican Sisters. When the audience had the opportunity to make donations for Sisters, Sister Lorene said, Kimberly asked them to be generous – and the audience contributed a total of $1,173.15 to benefit retired Adrian Dominican Sisters.
“At the mention of your order, the audience responded with overwhelming respect and gratitude,” Kimberly wrote in a letter to Sister Cele. “The Dominican Sisters are deservedly well loved by the community!” Sister Lorene explained that many of the audience members spoke of their experiences with the Tacoma Dominican Sisters. Also serving in the Seattle area were the Edmonds Dominican Sisters, who merged with the Adrian Dominicans in 2003.
Kimberly herself was a product of Catholic education, having been educated by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary at Holy Names High School in Oakland, California.