May 5, 2017, Adrian, Michigan – Eleven Adrian Dominican Sisters may very well have a greater sense of empathy for their former elementary school students after participating in their own spelling bee April 26 at the Dominican Life Center.
The event was a joint effort of Sister Mary Margaret “Maggie” Mannard, OP; Nilda Rau, Director of Resident Services, and the Resident Services staff; and Sister Carleen Maly, OP, who conducted the bee.
“The purpose was to sponsor an event that was intellectually stimulating and a friendly competition – and fun for all involved,” Sister Maggie explained. “We were successful in all three areas.” She was inspired to suggest the event after visiting a man at a senior center and learning that they were participating in a spelling bee.
Winners of the spelling bee were Sister Ann Patrice Remkus, OP, first place; Sister Betty Jenkins, OP, second place; and Sister Jean Annette Rudolph, OP, third place. Also participating were Sisters Susan Kresse, OP, Anne Liam Lees, OP, Miriam Joseph Lekan, OP, Theresa McCall, OP, Mary Ellen Plummer, OP, Lisa Rieman, OP, Sarajane Seaver, OP, and Anne Bernadette Stein, OP.
“We used ordinary, everyday words, but with tricks to them,” explained Sister Maggie, who chose the words. Some words included nuclear, azalea, ecstasy, minestrone, abdomen, and jackal.
Sister Ann Patrice, the spelling champion, noted that the first reading for the Mass that day was particularly appropriate: “Clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another” (1 Peter 5:5b).
“The contestants lived this out,” Sister Maggie noted. “It’s difficult to miss a word in front of your peers, mostly all teachers.”
Sister Ann Patrice connected her success in the spelling bee with her experience as a teacher. “It was worth [all those years of] checking and grading English papers,” she said. In tests, she habitually gave her students two grades: one for content and one for spelling and grammar.
Sister Carleen was impressed by the quality and attitude of all of the participants, who took the spelling bee to seven rounds. “I had to hand it to the women,” she said. “They saw this as an intellectual exercise and they took it very seriously.”
But the event also included elements of fun and enthusiasm – including an encouraging and enthusiastic audience and a special treat from Resident Services: homemade cupcakes featuring edible letters.
Feature photo: Sister Ann Patrice Remkus, OP, left, was the spelling bee champion, and Sister Betty Jenkins, OP, came in second.
By Sister Mary Jean Williams, OP
Director of Mission Integration, Regina Dominican High School
April 3, 2017 – Thanks to a mini-grant for National Catholic Sisters Week, four Regina Dominican High School freshmen traveled from Wilmette, Illinois, to provide a day of service for the Adrian Dominican Sisters at the Dominican Life Center. Regina Dominican was founded and is sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters.
The students’ weekend trip to the Motherhouse included several events. The students gathered after their arrival on Friday evening with the Dominican Young Adults (DYA) of Siena Heights University. The DYA described the experience and advantage of attending a Dominican university, the culture and community spirit, and ways of living the Dominican pillar of service.
Early Saturday, Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Sisters from A Nun’s Life arrived to videotape the girls and four Sisters who had ministered at Regina Dominican High School. During the interviews, students asked questions about religious life and what each Sister enjoyed doing in her free time.
“We had a delightful time with you, the students and the Sisters, this past Saturday in Adrian,” said Sister Maxine Kollasch, IHM, co-founder of A Nun’s Life Ministry. “We continue to be deeply impressed by the young women’s composure and their understanding of vocation and discernment.”
In the interviews, the Sisters in turn asked the girls about service projects, if they had ever thought about being a Sister, and why they chose to attend Regina Dominican.
Before lunch, the Sisters who had ministered at Regina Dominican met with the Reginites and related favorite memories and funny stories. One of the students mentioned that she could identify with the Dominican roots of Regina Dominican because she met a Sister who was at the school when it first opened.
After lunch, many of the Sisters came to the Rose Room to play games, enjoy an ice cream social, and have their wheel chairs washed. As the students escorted Sisters back to their rooms, they took the opportunity to visit some of the Sisters who couldn’t attend the activities and to learn about their call to religious life. The students then spent their free time visiting the Sisters and exchanging stories.
Saturday evening, the group reflected on their day of service and their many exciting and positive experiences. They realized that even though some Sisters were physically unable to participate in the activities, they are happy, have good caregivers, spent their life in ministry for love of God, and now have the opportunity to spend more time in prayer. The students plan to share their experiences at school during Dominican Week in April.
On Sunday morning, members of the General Council and other Sisters met the students for breakfast. The students then assisted in setting up St. Catherine Chapel for Mass. The students took the opportunity before and after Mass to say good-bye to the Sisters they had visited.
“It was so pleasant meeting the young women from Regina Dominican,” Sister Helen Therese Mayer, OP, wrote in an email. “You are to be congratulated. The students certainly are self-possessed for their age. ... Thanks for bringing them to visit. Perhaps one or two, of them will come see Adrian again.”