March 8, 2019, Adrian, Michigan – Kathleen Woods, Chair of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB), was formally accepted as an Adrian Dominican Associate March 1, 2019, during a festive afternoon. The Ritual of Acceptance was preceded by a 45-minute concert by pianist Timothy Hollinsead, husband of PAB member Leslie Watson-Hollinsead. The event was sponsored by the PAB.
Initiated by the Adrian Dominican Sisters more than 40 years ago, the PAB helps the Congregation to live out its social justice commitment through its use of funds.
Acknowledging the blessing of the concert, Associate Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life, welcomed the assembly of PAB members, Adrian Dominican Associates and Sisters, and friends to Holy Rosary Chapel on the Congregation’s Motherhouse Campus.
“Kathy believes that she has Dominican in her DNA,” said Associate Dee Joyner, who with PAB member Rosemary Martin mentored Kathleen Woods. Rosemary was unable to attend the event. “We suggested that the ‘D’ in DNA stands for Dominican,” Dee added.
An Adrian Dominican Sister from 1962 to 1977, Kathy first became a member of the PAB in 1975. “With a master’s degree in social work, Kathy has brought to the PAB her vast experience as a clinical social worker and significant leadership experience,” Dee said. “It was the Dominican in Kathy that reached out years ago” to meet the needs of the dying and their families in Chicago. As Director of Home Health and Hospice for Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago, Kathleen was responsible for developing the first inpatient hospice facility in Illinois, Dee said.
In accepting the invitation to be named and known as an Adrian Dominican Associate, Kathleen said she had always felt welcomed by the Adrian Dominican Sisters after she formally left the Congregation. She said she nurtured “deep relationships which resulted from a shared purpose, meaning, and commitment. … After the last six years on the PAB, it seems to me to be a very natural extension to continue to be involved … and to join in shaping the future of Dominican life.”
The Ritual of Acceptance continued with the signing of the Agreement of Association, a formal document that states the new Associate’s willingness to enter into a relationship with the Adrian Dominican Sisters and to support and participate in the Congregation’s Mission. Dee then presented Kathy with the Associate Life Logo, and the assembly proclaimed the Vision of the Adrian Dominican Sisters.
The commitment of Kathy and all Associates continues until the 2022 General Chapter of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, after which the Associates can choose to renew their commitment.
Associates – women and men at least 18 years of age – make a non-vowed commitment to partner with the Adrian Dominican Sisters, living out the Congregation’s Mission and Vision in their independent lives and sharing in the Sisters’ spiritual, ministerial, and social experiences.
For more information on becoming an Associate, contact Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life, at 517-266-3531 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a single Catholic woman interested in religious life – or know of a young Catholic woman who is – contact Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, at 517-266-3532 or email@example.com or Sister Mariane Fahlman, OP, a 517-266-3537 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feature photo (top): Associates Dee Joyner, left, and Kathleen Woods are all smiles after Kathleen was formally accepted into Associate Life March 1, 2019.
Associate Dee Joyner pins the Associate logo on the shirt of Kathleen Woods.
November 2, 2018, Chicago – Sherrie Ashley, a retired special education teacher and current teacher’s aide living in Manteno, Illinois, became the newest Adrian Dominican Associate during the annual Fall Chapter Assembly of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Dominican Midwest Mission Chapter, based in Chicago. The assembly was held October 27 at the Mercy Center.
The ritual included a brief introduction by Sister Norine Burns, OP, Sherrie’s mentor; Sherrie’s formal acceptance of the call to be known as an Adrian Dominican Associate; the signing of the formal documents of commitment; and Sherrie’s reception of the Adrian Dominican Associates logo.
“I am inspired but also blessed to have learned and to be learning about living simply and praying deeply; studying and preaching; and being a voice of justice, especially for those who have no voice,” Sherrie said. She added that her formation as an Adrian Dominican Associate “has affected me in all areas of my life, especially in my chosen ministries and in my paying job for men with developmental disabilities.”
In her application, Sherrie stated that she hoped, as an Adrian Dominican Associate, to receive “partnership in a community of faithful believers in Jesus and in his mission for each of us, support and guidance in deepening my own walk with Jesus.”
While familiar with the Racine Dominican Sisters, Sherrie first became aware of the Adrian Dominican Sisters when one conducted a mission appeal at her parish. She felt the call to live simply and to be compassionate to “those who are disabled, suffering, poor, or dying,” she said.
Sherrie is active at her parish, St. Joseph Catholic Church in Manteno, as a catechist, lector, and Eucharistic minister and has been training to be a hospice volunteer. She is also in discernment about becoming a chaplain. A “life-long learner, always studying and reading,” Sherrie holds two master’s degrees: in curriculum/special education and in educational leadership.
Sherrie and her husband have two adult children and two grandchildren. They also devote time and energy to a rescue for great danes, and care for the massive dogs when their owners can no longer care for them.
Associates are women and men, at least 18 years of age, who make a non-vowed commitment to share in the Mission and Vision of the Adrian Dominican Sisters. While maintaining their independent lifestyle, they participate in ministries and activities of the Adrian Dominican Sisters. For more information on becoming an Associate, contact Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life, at 517-266-3531 or email@example.com. If you are a single Catholic woman interested in religious life – or know of a young Catholic woman who is – contact Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, at 517-266-3532 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Sister Mariane Fahlman, OP, a 517-266-3537 or email@example.com.
Feature photo: Sherrie Ashley, a new Associate, signs her document of commitment in front of her mentor, Sister Norine Burns, OP. Photos by Sister Jane Zimmerman, OP