March 24, 2019, Adrian, Michigan – The Adrian Dominican Sisters Motherhouse Campus celebrated National Catholic Sisters Week (NCSW) by reaching out March 14 to local Partners in Mission – Motherhouse Co-workers, Siena Heights University Torchbearers (faculty and staff members who are specially trained in the Mission of the Adrian Dominican Sisters), and tutors of Adrian Rea Literacy Center.
Begun in 2014, NCSW is recognized March 8-14 to shine a spotlight on the commitment and ministries of U.S. Catholic Sisters. Adrian Dominican Sister Mary Soher, OP, was instrumental in this initiative.
In recent years, the Adrian Dominican Sisters marked the week with special outreach programs to the Adrian area community. “This year we decided to bring [the NCSW celebration] closer to home with all of us on Siena Heights Drive,” said Sister Rosemary Abramovich, OP, Co-chair of the Campus NCSW Committee.
The Committee invited Torchbearers, tutors, and Sisters to the March 14 Mission Retreat, a program presented four times throughout the year to help the Congregation’s new Co-workers become more steeped in the Mission of the Adrian Dominican Sisters. “The Mission Retreat is all about what our partnership means,” explained Erin Dress, Director of Human Resources.
Sister Esther Kennedy, OP, traced the Congregation’s history from St. Dominic’s original mission in 13th century Spain to combat the heresy that creation is evil and only the spirit is good. He founded the first convent of Dominican cloistered nuns in 1206 in southern France, which, in turn, ultimately founded 11 other convents for women. The Adrian Dominican Sisters trace their history to one of those convents: Holy Cross in Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany, which sent four Sisters to the Americas.
“The seeds of St. Dominic scattered across the ocean, landed in New York, and soon spread to Michigan,” Sister Esther said. The foundation of Sisters who originally came to Adrian to serve at St. Mary and St. Joseph Parishes eventually grew. In 1885, the community became a province of the original New York foundation, and in 1923 became a separate Congregation of Dominican Sisters.
“You are bringing forth the seed in this time,” Sister Esther told the participants. “It is a new moment in time for collaboration with people and for working with others in really profound ways.”
Sisters Peg O’Flynn, OP, and Carleen Maly, OP, shared their own call to the Mission as Adrian Dominican Sisters. Sister Peg said that many of her family members served in religious life and that she was pleased to enter the Adrian Dominican Congregation. She currently serves as the Congregation Fleet Coordinator in the Finance Office and as interviewer for a series of videos, Our Dominican Lives: A Sister’s Story. Sister Carleen, Director of the Adrian Rea Literacy Center, recalls hearing a message from God, “Be for more people,” and entering the Congregation in response.
Jennifer Hunter, Executive Director of Campus Services and the daughter of a Lutheran Minister, also shared her story. While working at ProMedica Health Systems, Jennifer received a call from a friend, informing her of an opening for Executive Director of Campus Services for the Adrian Dominican Sisters. She began in that ministry in October 2012. “I feel like this is my call,” Jennifer said. “God knows what he’s doing and leads you to serve those who need you. I’m a Partner in Mission, learning from the Sisters, serving alongside them.”
Several participants in the NCSW program recognized their own call to the Mission.
Tina Adams sees her role as tutor at Adrian Rea Literacy Center as “giving back. I see tutoring as part of the mission, making the adult learners more comfortable and familiar with our language.” She said she appreciates the many opportunities that the Sisters give to the adult learners and others in need.
Tim Tracy, who works in the Technology Department for the Congregation, said, he sees the Mission in action as he assists Sisters, listens and shares his own knowledge of technology.
Melissa Tsuji, Career Services Specialist at Siena Heights University, graduated from there in 1990. “One of the reasons I was excited to be a Torchbearer is that many of my role models as a student were Adrian Dominicans,” she said. “Every day I get to walk with our students and help them figure out their story. … The work that I do with our students helps them to understand their multifaceted role in the fabric of the Siena community but also the greater community and the world as a whole.”
Read more about how you can become a Partner in Mission as an Adrian Dominican Sister, Associate, or Co-worker.
Feature photo (top) Sister Patricia Harvat, OP, General Councilor, welcomes the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Partners in Mission to a special program for National Catholic Sisters Week.
March 14, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – The Adrian Dominican Sisters opened their doors to Lenawee County community members, donors, Co-workers and their families, staff members of Siena Heights University, and other interested guests March 9. An Evening with the Adrian Dominican Sisters, a special event for National Catholic Sisters Week, gave Sisters, Associates, Co-workers and guests a unique opportunity to get to know one another.
In her opening address early in the evening, Sister Attracta Kelly, OP, Prioress of the Congregation, presented a brief history and background of the Adrian Dominican Congregation. She also emphasized the special relationship the Congregation has to their local neighbors.
“While we as Adrian Dominican Sisters value relationships and collaboration with people across the globe, since 1884 we have known and been part of Lenawee County,” Sister Attracta noted. “We are proud to call Lenawee County and the City of Adrian home.” In turn, she invited her guests to feel at home on the campus of the Congregation’s Motherhouse. “You are welcome to join us at any time,” she said. Our doors are open. We have no gates, so feel free please to come and join us at any time.”
Adrian Mayor Jim Berryman presented a proclamation for National Catholic Sisters Week, reiterating the strong relationship between the Adrian Dominican Sisters and their home town, Adrian, Michigan. “Adrian and the Dominican Sisters have a 137-year history together,” Mayor Berryman noted. “The City of Adrian is a stronger community because of the Dominican Sisters.”
Before the two-hour event began, Sara Bingham, of WLEN Radio, offered a remote broadcast from the Adrian Room of Madden Hall, where the refreshments and information tables were set up. She invited community members to attend the open house and conducted brief interviews with a number of representatives of Adrian Dominican programs: Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP, Formation Director; Sister Maria Goretti Browne, OP, on the Sisters; Associate Arlene Bachanov on the Congregation’s history; Erin Dress, Human Resources Director, on employment opportunities; Sister Peg O’Flynn, OP, on Weber Center; Sister Carleen Maly, OP, on the Adrian Rea Literacy Center; Jennifer Hunter and Ashley LaVigne on the campus; Sister Carol Coston, OP, on permaculture; and Amy Palmer on development.
Throughout the evening, guests were invited to meet the Sisters and learn about their lives, browse the various information tables, take part in a guided tour of the Motherhouse, and enjoy refreshments and companionship with others.
An Evening with the Adrian Dominican Sisters was funded by a grant from National Catholic Sisters Week to enable local community members to come to know the Congregation and the presence of the Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates among them. Held March 8-14 every year, the week gives people throughout the United States the opportunity to become more aware of Catholic Sisters and the role they play in Church and in society.
Read a related article by Lonnie Huhman in the Daily Telegram.