By Sister Mary Jean Williams, OP
September 14, 2016, Wilmette, Illinois – During the Back to School Liturgy on September 1, the Regina Dominican High School community commissioned student Dominican Preachers.
Father Peter Wojcik asked the assembly to extend their hands toward the Dominican Preachers, who offer reflections during school liturgies and prayer services and take leadership in promoting the Dominican heritage and spirituality to the school community. as he read the prayer of blessing:
“Loving God, source of all wisdom and knowledge, we ask you to bless and guide these young women as they offer themselves in a special service to the school community as Dominican Preachers,” Father Wojcik prayed. “Strengthen them with your gifts, that they may preach by word and example the truth that comes from you. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ and through the intercession of St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena.”
The Dominican Preachers promised with the help of God, St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena to live the Dominican pillars of prayer, study, and community in their words and actions.
Rachel Lucas, Olivia Janickas, Lauren Murphy, and Kirby Weiland had attended the Annual Dominican High Schools Preaching Conference, held June 24-29, 2016, at Siena Heights University in Adrian. The conference focuses on teaching students from more than 30 Dominican high schools various ways to preach through their lives. The new student preachers were amazed that so many Adrian Dominican Sisters whom they met at the conference had either attended or ministered at Regina Dominican.
Emma Dunderdale, Kaitlin Clancy, Grace Tamisiea, and Margaret McNaughton had attended the 2015 Dominican High Schools Preaching Conference and continue their role as student Dominican preachers.
July 11, 2016, Detroit, Michigan – All are invited to a special celebration of St. Mary of Magdala, Apostle to the Apostles and Patron of the Order of Preachers, the Dominicans. The special event will take place from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 24, 2016, at St. Suzanne Our Lady Gate of Heaven Church, 9357 Westwood, Detroit.
The formal celebration will be followed by a strolling reception among displays of Dominican ministries and the Dominican family. All are invited to bring a finger food to pass.
This year’s celebration coincides with the 800th Jubilee of the Founding of the Dominicans. St. Dominic organized the order of Friars in 1216 – years after he had founded convents of contemplative women. The Order was part of a broad reform movement which saw traces of God in the simple message of the Gospel and in the everyday lives of men and women. St. Mary of Magdala was named the official patron of the Dominicans early in the Order’s history, in 1297.
This year’s celebration – sponsored by the Dominican Center for Religious Development – will include song, prayer, and the presentation of a short, original play, “The Women Came First,” giving voice to the first women of the Dominican family. Featured in the play will be Deb Carter, Adrian Dominican Associate and Dean Emerita of the College for Professional Studies, Siena Heights University, Adrian; Trudy McSorley, Adrian Dominican Associate and retired Dean for Students at Siena Heights; and Adrian Dominican Sister Anneliese Sinnott, OP, recently retired Professor of Systematic Theology and former Dean at Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit.
The playwright, Adrian Dominican Sister Cheryl Liske, OP, is a community organizer in the Gamaliel national network. For years, she has also been involved in researching the stories of the first Dominican women, whose lives have been largely unknown in history.