Hundreds Gather to Bid Farewell to Former Prioress Sister Nadine Foley

May 19, 2017, Adrian, Michigan – Several hundred people gathered in St. Catherine Chapel at the Adrian Dominican Sisters Motherhouse May 18-19 to bid farewell to Sister Nadine Foley, OP. Sister Nadine was Prioress of the Congregation from 1986 to 1992 and was an influential figure in religious life.

Attending the Vigil Service and Funeral Liturgy were Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates, nearly 40 family members, representatives of other religious orders, and Sister Nadine’s former students and colleagues.

The Vigil Service on May 18 gave the assembly the opportunity to welcome Sister Nadine’s body, reflect on Scripture passages, to share personal stories about Sister Nadine, and commend her to God. 

“This is a poignant moment for us as a congregation,” Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress, noted in her welcome to members of the assembly. Even with the sadness of the loss, she said, “we know she is indeed looking down upon us and bestowing on us her love, wisdom, and insights.”

After the Scriptures were proclaimed, Sister Mary Jane Lubinski, Chapter Prioress, led off a period of personal sharing with a summary of Sister Nadine’s life and influence. “It is no easy task to tell the story of this accomplished woman – author, preacher, teacher, vocalist, leader, advocate for women’s rights – the list goes on,” she said.

Sister Mary Jane shared Sister Nadine’s life story through the framework of two instructions by St. Catherine of Siena, great Dominican mystic and reformer: “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire” and “Proclaim the truth and do not be silent through fear.” Sister Nadine found her voice through her years as educator, leader of the Adrian Dominican Congregation, leader in religious life throughout the nation, and advocate for women’s rights, Sister Mary Jane said.

“Nadine, you were all that God meant you to be and you did, indeed, set the world on fire,” Sister Mary Jane said.

Members of the 1986-1992 General Council who served with Sister Nadine spoke in turn on Sister Nadine’s influence on their lives and in their leadership. 

Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, now President of Barry University, was a student of Sister Nadine’s. “I have often said that I am because of my parents love,” Sister Linda said. “But I am Adrian Dominican because of Nadine.”

Sisters Sharon Weber, OP, and Donna Markham, OP, described Sister Nadine’s as trusting the Holy Spirit and being an extraordinary mentor of leadership. 

Other speakers recalled their own special memories of Sister Nadine, sharing them through touching and humorous stories. Tricia Foley and Michael Foley – among the youngest of Sister Nadine’s seven siblings – shared stories of experiencing her as an older sister who had already left home before they were born, and learning through the years to relate to her as a beloved sister.

The Funeral Liturgy on May 19 gave Sisters and guests another opportunity to celebrate the life of Sister Nadine and to rejoice in the eternal life that she gained through her death. 

During her preaching, Sister Attracta Kelly described Mary Magdalen and St. Catherine of Siena as examples of women sent by Jesus on apostolic missions. Sister Nadine, influenced by both of those women, “believed we were summoned to express our charism of preaching,” Sister Attracta said. “She thought of us as called to be peacemakers and reconcilers, to share our charism with others … with the whole world.” 

Noting that Sister Nadine “was never very elaborate in her praise,” Sister Attracta added, “We always knew that [Sister Nadine’s] constant challenge to us, as well as to the entire congregation, was the same challenge that Catherine left to us: ‘Be all that you can be and you will set the world on fire.’ ” 

Just as music was a major component of Sister Nadine’s life, so it played a key role in the final celebration of her life. Her niece, Maura, sang a prelude. The Chapel Choir, made up of Sisters and Associates, added to the atmosphere of reverence, hope, and joy as they sang O Sacrum Convivium for their long-time member. 

Finally, members of the assembly processed with Sister Nadine to her final resting place in the Congregation’s cemetery, a “circle of friendship and discipleship” for Adrian Dominican Sisters who joined the Communion of Saints in Heaven.

Read Come Wisdom: Remembering Sr. Nadine Foley, written by Sister Elise D. García, published by Global Sisters Report:
http://globalsistersreport.org/news/ministry/come-wisdom-remembering-sr-nadine-foley-46786

Read more about Sister Nadine’s life and contributions: 
www.adriandominicans.org/News/TabId/341/PostId/1313/adrian-dominican-sisters-mourn-loss-of-extraordinary-religious-leader.aspx

Read Sister Nadine’s obituary and watch her Vigil Service, Funeral, and an interview:
www.adriandominicans.org/MeetDominicans/InMemoriam/TabId/319/PostId/1314/sister-nadine-foley-op.aspx

photo from wake     photo from wake
LEFT: Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress, places Sister Nadine Foley’s vows in her hands during the May 18 Vigil Service, while Sister Elise D. García, OP, General Councilor, looks on. RIGHT: From left, Sisters Linda Bevilacqua, OP, Donna Markham, OP, Sharon Weber, OP, and Attracta Kelly, share their experiences of serving on the General Council with Sister Nadine.

photo from funeral     photo from funeral
LEFT: Sister Nadine’s niece Maura sings a prelude. Shown with her, from left, are Sisters Ann Fallon, OP, Christa Marsik, OP, Carleen Maly, OP and Theresia Scheuer, OP (in back). RIGHT: Sister Attacta Kelly, OP, offers a reflection during Sister Nadine’s funeral.

photo from funeral     photo from commital
LEFT: Members of Sister Nadine’s family present the offering. Father Roland Calvert, OSFS, stands at the altar. RIGHT: Mourners pray at the commital ceremony in the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ cemetery.

 


Regina Dominican High School Names Stage in Honor of Sister Nancy Murray

May 16, 2017, Wilmette, Illinois – Sister Nancy Murray, OP, known for her one-woman performances of the life of St. Catherine of Siena, received a fitting and unexpected honor for her Golden Jubilee. Regina Dominican High School – her alma mater and former scene of her ministry as a teacher and campus minister – named the stage in their newly renovated theater the S. Nancy Murray, OP, ’65 Stage. 

The surprise revelation of the new stage – and a special tribute to Sister Nancy – took place May 1 after a dinner in her honor and in the middle of her own performance as St. Catherine of Siena. 

“It was a big surprise,” Sister Nancy said in an interview back in Adrian, Michigan. “I didn’t know this was coming.”

About 400 people attended the event, which raised more than $100,000 for the school’s theater renovation and fine arts program. The program included dinner and a special presentation by Sister Ann Romayne Fallon, OP, who had been President of Regina Dominican when Sister Nancy was on the faculty.

“Students loved her, and why shouldn’t they?” Sister Ann Romayne noted. “Joy and excitement were two ingredients that were present in every class she taught.”

Sister Nancy Murray, OP, portrays St. Catherine of Siena on Regina Dominican High School’s stage. | Photo Courtesy of Regina Dominican High School

Sister Nancy’s performance of St. Catherine of Siena was interrupted by a special surprise: a performance of her favorite songs from “The Sound of Music” by a choir of Regina Dominican alumnae. She was taken backstage afterward for the final surprise: the naming of the new Sister Nancy Murray, OP, ’65 Stage.

“I looked out at the former students,” Sister Nancy recalled. “They were doctors and lawyers, special education teachers, social workers, a CPA, a judge, mothers who cared for their special needs children. This was such a great joy. This was over the top incredible. It was a step back in time that made us all move forward with great joy.”

Watch a video of the tribute to Sister Nancy.

 

Feature photo (above): Sister Ann Romayne Fallon, OP, former President of Regina Dominican High School, presents an award to Sister Nancy Murray, OP, still in costume as St. Catherine of Siena. | Photo Courtesy of Regina Dominican High School


 

 

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