September 14, 2018, Adrian, Michigan – Retired Adrian Dominican Sisters residing at the Dominican Life Center (DLC), along with DLC Administrators, Chaplains, and Co-workers, blessed a place of beauty, friendship, and restoration on September 6: the newly renovated DLC Beauty Salon.
“This is a sacred space,” said Sister Mary Rae Waller, OP, Chaplain and Pastoral Minister. “We have claimed it as our sacred space, so all the love and light, the renewal, the courage, the encouragement, the tears that flow – all of that is for the health of the whole community.”
During the blessing ritual, Beauticians Lisa Schneider and Chris Iott walked through the crowded hallway outside of the beauty salon, accepting the blessing of touch from each Sister in the assembly.
Jennifer Jenkins, Chaplain and Pastoral Minister, blessed the new salon with water from the font in St. Catherine Chapel. Sister Mary Rae noted that the water has transforming power – the same power that, through the hands of Chris and Lisa, transforms the Sisters, “so that we will feel within ourselves that we have been refreshed and recommitted to move forward in the beauty that is still burning within our souls to find a place to express itself.”
With the help of donations from benefactors, the former beauty shop at the DLC was relocated to a larger space next door. The new beauty salon was updated with styling chairs and height-adjustable shampooing sinks that can be accessed from a wheelchair, mirrored salon stations, and dryers.
In addition, the larger space allows Sisters to wait inside the salon. “This is a social event,” explained Adrian Dominican Associate Cheryl Pickney, DLC Administrator. “The beauty shop is probably the most frequented common space in this building.”
Cheryl explained that the Beauty Salon fulfills an important role in the lives of the residents. The salon “is good for the Sisters’ morale,” she said. “Everybody wants to feel like they look good and Sisters don’t have to go outside the building to have it done.”
Cheryl thanked all the people who were involved in the renovation of the Beauty Salon: Jan Perry, DLC Administrative Assistant, who “worked tirelessly to find just the right equipment;” the beauticians, Chris Iott and Lisa Schneider; Sister Carol Fleming, OP, for her “artistic insight;” Joel Henricks, Director of Facilities and Grounds, who served as project manager, working with Krieghoff-Lenawee Construction; Nilda Rau, Director of Resident Services; and Amy Palmer, Director of Development, who reached out to benefactors to provide funding.
Rounding out the construction project was repurposing the space of the former beauty shop into an art room, used by groups of Sisters to create arts and crafts. Refurbished with updated tables, chairs, and cabinetry, the art room is a fitting place for Helping Hands, a group of Sisters, to create crafts for local charitable organizations – currently dog and cat toys for the Lenawee County Humane Society. “It gives Sisters the opportunity to give to the community,” Cheryl explained. “They’ve always been giving people, and this group gives Sisters the avenue to give back.”
Feature photo at top: Jennifer Jenkins, Chaplain and Pastoral Minister, blesses Sisters Betty Gaiss, OP, and Marion O’Connor, OP, during the dedication of the Dominican Life Center Beauty Salon.