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.
March 4, 2019, Adrian, Michigan – The City of Adrian and Lenawee County face a number of challenges. But given the community’s assets – such as caring people and about 800 nonprofit organizations – the community can face those challenges, particularly by building on collaboration already in place among service agencies.
That was the gist of an update by the Adrian Resilient Communities Committee, formed in response to the Adrian Dominican Congregation’s 2016 General Chapter Enactment on Resilient Communities. The Enactment calls on the Adrian Dominican Congregation to “facilitate and participate in creating resilient communities with people who are relegated to the margins, valuing their faith, wisdom, and integrity.”
The Congregation spent a year studying resilient communities and shared some of the findings during a public symposium in March 2018 and an educational forum in August 2018. Committees have been formed in Adrian and in the Congregation’s Dominican Midwest, Dominican West, Florida, and Great Lakes Mission Chapters to explore opportunities to build resilience in their regions.
Jennifer Hunter and Sister Sharon Weber, OP, Co-Chairs of the Adrian Resilient Communities Committee, focused their February 25 update on the results of the Committee’s year of research and next steps in collaborating with people of Lenawee County.
Jennifer, Campus Administrator, reported on the statistics that the committee had unearthed: Adrian’s population of 20,000 in a county of 98,000 residents; the median wage of Adrian households, almost $34,000, compared to a national average of $59,000; and a poverty rate of 27 percent compared to a national average of 14 percent.
Sister Sharon, Vice President for Academic Affairs for Siena Heights University in Adrian, spoke of lessons the committee learned from their own involvement in the local area, as well as from listening to Co-workers, local community members, and Sisters. One of the greatest assets of the area is the attitude of the people, she said. “This is a caring community, willing to help each other.”
But, Sister Sharon said, people in the community also identified a number of challenges: the lack of accessibility to mental health services, reliable public transportation, food security, jobs with living wages, services for youth, affordable and accessible day care, and affordable housing.
The Committee’s research also focused on effective approaches the Committee and the Sisters, Associates, and Co-workers in the area can take in working with the community to address the challenges. “It helps to start where you’re wanted,” Jennifer said. “Don’t call [people] into your board rooms to sit around your conference room tables or don’t call them into your house. You go to their churches or their park benches or their spaces where they feel the most comfortable, and they’re going to open up to you.”
Habitat for Humanity of Lenawee County, which has worked with the people of Adrian through their East Side neighborhood revitalization program, proved the effectiveness of gaining the trust of the residents. “They learned that it takes years to build trust,” Jennifer said. The hardest lesson of all, she added, is to “give up control if you really want the residents to take charge of their future. Sit back and be a participant as opposed to leading that charge.”
Sister Sharon outlined next steps that the Committee planned for the coming year:
The goal, Sister Sharon said, is to build resilient communities that feature “sustainability, partnerships based on trust, equity and justice, spiritual wisdom, and healing.”
Serving on the Adrian Resilient Communities Committee are Sister Rosemary Abramovich, OP, Sister Maurine Barzantni, OP, Joel Henricks, Ashley LaVigne, Brad McCullar, Sister Pam Millenbach, OP, Amy Palmer, and Sister Kathleen Schanz, OP. Associate Dee Joyner, Director of the Office of Resilient Communities, and Sara Stoddard, Finance Director, are members ex officio, and Kris Cooper, executive assistant, serves as the Committee’s secretary.