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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Sister Mariane Fahlman, OP, at 517-266-3537 or email@example.com. Information is also available at http://adriandominicans.org/BecomeaSister/EnteringtheLife.
August 2, 2018, Adrian, Michigan – Sister Janet Capone, OP, who served as Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Sisters from 1998 to 2004, died July 29, 2018, at the age of 80.
Sister Janet, whose religious name was Sister Mary Leonard, led the Congregation through a merger process with the Dominican Sisters of Edmonds, Washington, that culminated in their becoming part of the Adrian Dominican Sisters 15 years ago. The two congregations trace a common history to four Dominican nuns who came to the United States in 1853 from a monastery in Regensburg, Germany, to teach immigrant children. Both became independent religious congregations in 1923.
On June 14, 2003, Sister Janet and her counterpart, the late Sister Michele Kopp, OP, then Prioress of the Edmonds Dominican Sisters, co-led a ritual at a Eucharistic liturgy that united 55 Edmonds Dominicans with 980 Adrian Dominicans in a Congregation that numbered 1,035 members.
“Sister Janet’s great gifts of sensitivity, loving care, creativity, and good humor were brought to bear in the coming together of our Dominican communities,” said Adrian Dominican Prioress Sister Patricia Siemen, OP. “Her love of beauty and gentleness complemented an inner strength and determination to make difficult decisions throughout her life.”
Sister Joanne McCauley, OP, a member of the former Edmonds Dominican community who served on the Merger Committee, said of the merger, “It was a time of real deep searching, and Janet was with us all the way through it. Janet and her Council were so welcoming and attentive to our every need. … At one point she said she considered the merger one of her greatest accomplishments. That meant a great deal to us.”
Sister Joanne noted that Sister Janet’s concern for the members of the former Edmonds community continued after the merger. “She made sure we were welcomed as much as possible. We admired Janet’s vision and her acceptance of us – every single one of us.”
In 2002, prior to the merger, Sister Janet and the General Council hosted a Congregation-wide gathering of more than 1,000 Sisters, Associates, and guests – including members of the Edmonds Dominicans community. The weeklong gathering, held at the Adrian Motherhouse campus, included time for renewal and celebration, as well as workshops on issues of justice and peace.
During Sister Janet’s term in office, the General Council initiated several major renovations at the Motherhouse campus. In 2000, Holy Rosary Chapel, then nearly 100 years old, was closed for restoration and re-dedicated in 2003. That same year, St. Catherine Chapel was built to replace a smaller chapel that had served Sisters living in the Maria health care facility. The third major building project involved renovating the Weber Retreat and Conference Center.
Sister Janet’s six-year term encompassed the millennial celebrations; the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center; and the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. During this time, the Congregation continued its engagement in social justice issues, including, among other initiatives, joining in the “Jubilee” call to cancel the debts of developing countries and in efforts to halt the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Sister Maureen Comer, OP, who served on the General Council with Sister Janet, described her as “wise, insightful of persons, accepting of others, and holy,” and a person with a great sense of humor and a broad range of interests. “She called others to know and live their best selves” and helped them to nurture their life with God, Sister Maureen recalled.
Sister Janet began her ministry with the Adrian Dominican Sisters as a teacher in elementary and high schools in Florida and Marymount College in New York. She ministered as counselor for Adult Protective Services in Orlando, Florida, from 1981 to 1983.
Sister Janet then spent 13 years, 1983 to 1996, as director of Emmaus Community in St. Louis, Missouri, a residential program of personal growth and development for women religious. Prior to her election as Prioress, 1996 to 1998, she served as Administrator of the Dominican Life Center, a continuum of care residence for elder Adrian Dominican Sisters, whom she described as “models of people aging gracefully.”
Following her service to the Congregation as Prioress, Sister Janet became Vice President of Sponsorship for Dignity Health Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, California, from 2005 to 2011. In this role, she educated hospital employees on the Mission and Vision of the Adrian Dominican Sisters and helped them integrate those values in their health care work. Sister Janet subsequently served as Chair of the Dominican Hospital Community Board, from 2012 until last year.
“Sister Janet was an amazing, kind, brilliant, wise woman who changed Dominican Hospital in so many ways,” said Nanette Mickiewicz, MD, President and CEO of Dignity Health Dominican Hospital. “Her artistic and impeccable taste was instrumental in the remodel of our lobby and selection of the colors for the entire hospital. Her wisdom and guidance to the Administrative team was deeply missed when she transitioned off the Board. My heart is heavy as I process the loss of this incredible woman.”
Born in New York, N.Y., to Veronica (Hall) and Leonard Capone, Sister Janet graduated in 1955 from the Adrian Dominican-sponsored Rosarian Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, and entered the Congregation on September 2 that year. She professed her first vows on August 5, 1957, and final vows on August 5, 1962. Sister Janet earned a bachelor’s degree in French in 1963 from Barry College (University), Miami, Florida, and a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Siena Heights College (University), Adrian. Both universities are sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. She completed graduate studies at St. Louis University from 1972 to 1973.
During the 1998 Transfer of Leadership ceremony, the new General Council takes office: from left, Sisters Barbara Rund, Kathleen McGrail, Maureen Comer, Molly Giller, and Janet Capone.
Sister Carol Johannes, OP, former Prioress of the Congregation, had known Sister Janet for years, but first noticed her intense spirituality when Sister Janet was Administrator of the Dominican Life Center. “She was so successful in working with the Sisters who were ill: the quality of her presence and her communication to them that they mattered to the Congregation and that their health was important,” Sister Carol recalled. “She was so strong in her convictions, and they were all loving convictions.”
Sister Carol described Sister Janet as “prayerful and contemplative,” noting that someone once driving past her house at 5:30 a.m. saw her lights on. “We knew that Janet was praying,” Sister Carol said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that she got through the challenges of being Prioress because of her relationship with God and deep faith.”
Sister Janet is survived by a sister, Carole (Terrance) Frechette of Weston, Massachusetts, and six nephews and nieces.
A Vigil Service will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 5, 2018 in St. Catherine Chapel on the campus of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian. The Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, August 6, 2018 in St. Catherine Chapel. The Rite of Committal (burial) will be in the Congregation Cemetery.
Click here to read Sister Janet's obituary.
Rod Davis, CEO of St. Rose Dominican Hospitals, with, from left, Sisters Rosemary Ferguson, Janet Capone, and Patricia Walter, during the dedication of the Siena Campus, June 23, 2000.
Former Prioresses in 2016 at the conclusion of General Chapter, from left: Sisters Rosemary Ferguson, Carol Johannes, Nadine Foley, Patricia Walter, Janet Capone, Donna Markham, and Attracta Kelly.