Associate’s Article on Sister Ann Joachim Published in Michigan History Magazine

April 27, 2017, Adrian, Michigan – History fans in Michigan are now familiar with Sister Ann Joachim Joachim, OP (1901-1981), a particularly colorful and prominent Adrian Dominican Sister, thanks to an article written by an Adrian Dominican Associate. 

Arlene Bachanov’s article, “‘Sister Cannonball’: The Nun Who Shook Up Adrian,” was published in the May/June issue of Michigan History. The article details the amazing life of Sister Ann Joachim before and after she entered the Congregation and her influence on society.

“She led such a colorful life,” Arlene said of Sister Ann Joachim in an interview. She was a pilot; a boxer; a lawyer who waged a two-year court battle to keep the Wabash Cannon Ball train running (which earned her the moniker “Sister Cannonball”); the first woman attorney to be admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court; and a one-term Commissioner for the City of Adrian. Because of her involvement, Sister Ann Joachim was “very important to the history of southeastern Michigan,” Arlene said.

Researcher and writer for the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ History Department since September 2010, Arlene said she was impressed with Sister Ann Joachim’s decision to enter the Congregation. “She struggled greatly about the idea of joining the Congregation,” Arlene said. “It came down to making a bargain with God. If she won a certain difficult case, she would join up. I really respected the fact that she was willing to give up everything she had. She gave up the treasures of the world. It was not enough for her.” 

Sister Ann Joachim had been a socialite before she entered the Adrian Dominicans, Arlene noted. She knew a number of prominent people, including Michigan Governors Frank Murphy (1937-1939), one of her law professors, and G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams (1949-1951), as well as Detroit Mayor Jerome Cavanagh (1962-1970). 

Arlene first encountered Sister Ann Joachim while writing archival profiles of a number of Adrian Dominican Sisters. Sister Nadine Foley, OP, Congregation Historian, had suggested that she write about Sister Ann Joachim. 

Arlene had wanted to write about Sister Ann Joachim for a long time after first encountering her. She submitted a proposal to the Historical Society of Michigan in August 2016 and later that month received a request for a manuscript for the Society’s approval. She submitted the manuscript on October 25 and received the approval the next day. 

Arlene conducted her research in the Congregation’s archives, the Siena Heights University archives, and at the Lenawee County Historical Society, the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the State Library of Michigan, and state archives. In addition, she received help from the reference librarian at Michigan State University. 

Arlene relishes the work of historians. “I’ve always liked history,” she said. “I like to hear stories about people and events and to put them in the context of our times. History lets me be a puzzle-solver, putting together the bits and pieces that I uncover.” 

She hopes that readers of her article will take away is the idea that “Sister Ann Joachim was an amazing person. She exploded the stereotypes of women religious. … She was a go-getter and deeply committed, never doing anything half-heartedly.”

The current issue of Michigan History can be found at Meijer and Barnes & Noble stores in addition to a variety of Michigan bookstores. To order online, click here.

 Hundreds of Faith Leaders Protest Federal Budget Proposal

April 27, 2017, Washington, D.C. – Sister Kathleen Nolan, OP, Director of the Adrian Dominican Sisters Office of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation, along with Dominican Volunteer Holly Sammons, were among hundreds of clergy and lay leaders who took part in the April 24 Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) in Washington, D.C. 

The faith leaders gathered for a prayer vigil in front of the United Methodist Building at noon to urge Congress to reject President Donald Trump’s federal budget proposal, which makes drastic cuts to programs that address human needs in order to increase the Pentagon’s defense spending.

During the vigil, participants marched to the Hart Senate Building, where they knelt and prayed in the atrium to draw attention to the magnitude of the harm the budget will cause vulnerable populations in our nation.

In the Christian tradition of fasting to petition God in dire circumstances, EAD participants fasted from sunup to sundown on April 24.

“The theme for this conference is ‘Confronting Chaos, Forging Community: Challenging Racism, Materialism, and Militarism,” Sister Kathy said. “Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of these three ‘isms’ as the principle challenges of the time. We are still being confronted by these ‘giant triplets.’ ”

In the advocacy portion of the event, Sister Kathy and Holly were among many of the participants who visited the Capitol “to ask our legislators to make budget decisions that advance the common good,” Sister Kathy said. “We urged them to reject increased military spending and instead preserve robust funding for programs that support people living in poverty and other vulnerable persons in America and abroad, address systemic racism, and exercise responsible care for Earth.”

Douglas Grace, director of EAD said, “It’s important for us to send a strong message to Congress and the President that this budget is immoral, and we will do all we can to oppose it. We will not be silent or stand idly by while those most in need are harmed. We will not watch as families are ripped apart through mass deportations and our air and water are polluted because of corporate greed and deregulation.”

EAD is a movement of the ecumenical Christian community and its more than 50 recognized partners and allies, grounded in biblical witness and shared traditions of justice, peace, and the integrity of creation. Through worship, theological reflection, and opportunities for learning and witness, EAD’s goal is to strengthen Christians’ voice and to mobilize for advocacy on a wide variety of U.S. domestic and international policy issues.

Feature photo: Holly Sammons, left, Dominican Volunteer, stands with Springfield Dominican Sister Marcelline Koch, OP, North American Dominican Co-promoter of Justice, Peace, and Care of Creation, during a walk to the Pentagon April 23.



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