August 12, 2020, Adrian, Michigan – Noraleen Renauer and Diane Burgermeister were welcomed as Adrian Dominican Associates on August 10, 2020, during a Ritual of Acceptance broadcast through Zoom.
Associates are women and men, at least 18 years of age who make a non-vowed commitment to partner with the Adrian Dominican Sisters. While maintaining their own lifestyle and remaining financially independent, Associates participate in various spiritual, social, and ministerial experiences with the Sisters and live out the Dominican charism, or spirit, in their daily lives.
“Today we gather across states, cities, towns, and even countries through technology to join our hearts in relationship as Dominican Associates and Sisters,” said Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life, in welcoming more than 60 people to the Zoom event. “We participate together in the building of a holy community and Church as we welcome Diane Burgermeister and Noraleen Renauer to Associate Life.” Their acceptance marked the fourth and fifth women to become Associates in the past month.
Associate Trudy McSorley, Noraleen’s mentor, noted that early in her life Noraleen had responded to a call to religious life by entering the Sisters of St. Joseph of Nazareth in Kalamazoo, Michigan. After leaving that community in 1968, she still felt the call to minister in Catholic education, Trudy said.
Noraleen earned a Master’s of Divinity degree from St. John Seminary in Plymouth, Michigan, served in Catholic broadcasting, and taught religious education at the high school level. She also served as pastoral associate at St. Andrew Parish in Saline, Michigan, and is now involved in ministry at St. Mary Student Parish in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Noraleen said she came to know the Adrian Dominican Sisters through her involvement in programs at Weber Retreat and Conference Center at the Motherhouse. During her time at the Motherhouse, she said, “I would hear the call to follow Christ and I would be strengthened in my journey.”
Noraleen spoke of her own witness of the Sisters and Associates who live out the charism and spirit of St. Dominic. “I have seen how the community responds to the needs of our ever-changing world, to bring light into darkness,” she said. “I believe the Spirit has led me to join you to seek truth, make peace, reverence life.”
Diane Burgermeister, an Adrian Dominican Sister from 1984 to 2016, was introduced by Sister Janet Doyle, OP, and other members of Connections, the Mission Group she had belonged to as a Sister. Diane, a psychotherapist with her own practice, is also a full professor in the College of Nursing at Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan, where she is Director of the Doctor of Nursing Program (DNP).
“I found her to be very thoughtful, somebody not afraid to question, somebody who wants to give a lot of her life to justice and poverty issues,” Sister Janet said of Diane. She noted that one of Diane’s students had described her as knowledgeable, flexible, understanding, and “a kind spirit.”
Sister Susan Van Baalen, OP, added that she admired Diane’s “search for the truth.I also appreciate the vastness of her talents,” not only in health care and education but in the world of competitive synchronized swimming, she said.
Diane said she has always felt called by the Dominican motto, to contemplate and to share with others the fruits of your contemplation. “This is the Dominican way: to contemplate and reflect on Scripture with the objective of promoting human dignity and social justice,” Diane said.
The ritual concluded with the signing by the new Associates of the Agreement of Association, which signifies their formal commitment to the Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates.
If you feel called to be an Adrian Dominican Associate, contact Mary Lach at 517-266-3531 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a single Catholic woman interested in vowed life as an Adrian Dominican Sister, contact one of the Co-Directors of Vocations: Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, at 517-266-3532 or email@example.com.
August 6, 2020, Adrian, Michigan – Two women – Alison Altmeyer of Chicago and Annemarie Kallenbach of Adrian – were formally welcomed as new Adrian Dominican Associates July 29, 2020, during a Ritual of Acceptance on Zoom.
Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life, welcomed more than 70 people who virtually witnessed the Ritual of Acceptance. “We join our hearts in relationship and we welcome Annemarie and Alison to Associate Life,” she said.
Mary noted the more than 800 years of Dominican teaching, tradition, and history that has been passed down to the Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates. “As new Associates you are part of this legacy of Dominican charism,” Mary said. “We want you both to know how warmly we welcome you as you embrace the Dominican charism in your own life.”
Sister Sharon Spanbauer, OP, mentor of Annemarie, introduced her as a colleague and a fellow nurse practitioner who advocates for the rights and dignity of all people. “These past years she has felt a deepened calling for spirituality and has spent more time in reading, meditation, and prayer,” Sister Sharon said. “To join her journey with ours cannot be but enriching for all of us.”
Annemarie was born in Chicago in a large family, focused on faith and education, and attributed her choice to become an Associate to this “faith-filled” family. She and her husband Jeff – now grandparents – also raised their two daughters in the faith, she said.
After living for many years in Chicago, she and Jeff moved to Adrian, where he is Associate Professor of Mathematics at Siena Heights University. Annemarie is an adjunct professor in the Nursing Department. She had been an intensive care nurse and now, as nurse practitioner, includes Adrian Dominican Sisters among her patients.
Annemarie has been involved in outreach ministries such as Share the Warmth, a homeless shelter in Adrian. A talented artist in the media of ceramics, metal, and paper, she has gotten to know Adrian Dominican Sisters who are artists.
“I [was] looking for a spiritual enrichment group that will help keep me focused and nurtured … for a group to share my gifts but also to find a place of serenity and invigoration,” she said of her decision to become an Adrian Dominican Associate.
Sister Norine Burns, OP, introduced Alison Altmeyer as “no stranger to those of us who know her through Aquinas Literacy Center,” Sister Norine mentored Alison, noting that Alison first met the Adrian Dominican Sisters while teaching Spanish at Maria High School in Chicago, where Sister Noreen Burke, OP, served as teacher and counselor.
“It was then and there that the seeds for Associate Life were planted” in the heart of Alison, Sister Norine said. Alison went on to serve as Executive Director of Aquinas Literacy Center – sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters – since 2004.
“She will be an asset to Associate Life,” Sister Norine said of Alison. “She has captured the Dominican spirit and possesses a clear sense of her call to live out the mission of Jesus.”
Alison said her ministry at Aquinas Literacy Center impels her “to joyfully live the Dominican charism..Becoming an Associate provides the opportunity to deepen my own spirituality and to strengthen my relationship with the Adrian Dominican Sisters,” she added. “Most importantly, every day, living the Gospel as an Adrian Dominican Associate invites a contemplative life, advocating for peace and justice in this world.”
A native of Des Plaines, Illinois, Alison is the youngest of three sisters. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and secondary education.
In January 2019, Alison married Peter Harley, whom she met at the literacy center in 2011. He is the coordinator of children’s faith formation at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. “Our Catholic faith is the center of our marriage,” Alison said.
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.
If you feel called to be an Adrian Dominican Associate, contact Mary Lach at 517-266-3531 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com.