August 1, 2020, West Palm Beach, Florida – Suzanne Sink was formally welcomed as an Adrian Dominican Associate on July 25, 2020, in the garden of Casa, the residence of Adrian Dominican Sisters in West Palm Beach. Gathered around her to celebrate were not only family members, Associates and Sisters from the local area but – through Zoom – Associates and Sisters from around the United States.
Suzanne’s Ritual of Acceptance was the first virtual acceptance as Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life, took part in the ceremony from Michigan.
Associates are women and men, at least 18 years of age – married, single, widowed, or divorced – who make a non-vowed commitment to partner with the Adrian Dominican Sisters. While maintaining their own lifestyle and remaining financially independent, they participate in various spiritual, social, and ministerial experiences with the Sisters and live out the Dominican charism, or spirit, in their daily lives.
Associate Nancy Medina offered words of welcome to Suzanne and those gathered for the ceremony. “Suzanne has a sweet personality,” she said. “This past year we have seen her grow in her faith. She has demonstrated a desire to help others without self-interest.”
Sister Margarita Ruíz, OP, Suzanne’s mentor, spoke of her own joy in formally introducing her. “She is a committed follower of Jesus and is ready to do all that she can to share in the Dominican charism.” Among Suzanne’s joys, Sister Margarita said, is sharing her gifts with her students at Florida Atlantic University, where she is an instructor in the English Department.
Born and raised in Rhode Island, Suzanne moved to North Carolina for her college education, studying English and education. After graduation, she met her husband, Daniel, and began a family that includes John, 13, and Francesca Marie, 6. Suzanne taught at local universities while earning her Ph.D. “I was proud to present my dissertation, which focused on how immigrant women from the Azores – my maternal heritage – help preserve and share culture, history, and anchor spirituality.”
Suzanne described the faith that had been passed on from her grandmother, aunt, and mother. “I see today as being directly connected to those women, and I have begun to grow in my connection to God,” she said.
Suzanne also spoke of how she grew spiritually from her connection to the Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates. “I have grown in my faith and spiritual understanding, and I have drawn comfort and inspiration from my Adrian brother and sisters,” she said. “The friendships and mentoring have sustained me through challenges, and I look forward to carrying these gifts forward and outward to others.”
The Ritual of Acceptance included the presentation of the Adrian Dominican Associate logo to Suzanne and the signing of the Agreement of Association, which signifies Suzanne’s formal commitment to the Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates.
The ritual concluded with words of gratitude to Sister Margarita – who will be moving to the Motherhouse in Adrian, Michigan – for her involvement in mentoring Associates in both the Dominican Republic and Florida. “I can’t thank you enough on behalf of all Associates for all you have done,” Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life, told Sister Margarita.
If you feel called to be an Adrian Dominican Associate, contact Mary Lach at 517-266-3531 or email@example.com. If you are a single Catholic woman interested in vowed life as an Adrian Dominican Sister, contact Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, at 517-266-3532 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feature photo (top): Associate Nancy Medina pins the Associate Life logo on new Associate Suzanne Sink.