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.
December 28, 2018, Adrian, Michigan – As we continue the Season of Christmas and head toward New Year, we also take time to look back at the past year and remember the highlights. For the Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates, 2018 was a year of many challenges, triumphs, and sorrows. Below are the highlights of the year as found in the “What’s Happening” news section of our website and chosen members of the Communications Department.
Corporate Responsibility – accountability to gun manufacturers and dealers
Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates were involved in the national efforts to halt gun violence in the United States. While many Sisters and Associates participated in marches against gun violence, people of faith in corporate responsibility organizations took a different approach. Sister Judy Byron, OP, helped to organize religious communities in the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility to buy stock in gun manufacturers and dealers. Through shareholder resolutions, they scored a victory in persuading American Outdoor Brands, the parent company of Smith and Wesson, and Sturm Ruger to be more transparent and to work toward gun safety.
Action on Behalf of Dreamers and Immigrants
As policies on immigrants were debated or enacted, Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates advocated on the immigrants’ behalf. Actions included participation in a February 26 call-in to urge Congress to enact legislation to extend the option for Dreamers to defer deportation; took part in the Catholic Day of Action for Dreamers; and submitted comments to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services against a proposed policy that would make it harder for immigrants to become citizens. Toward the end of the year, Sisters volunteered at hospitality centers in Texas, working with immigrants who had been released from detention and were on their way to sponsored homes in the United States.
Farewell to Former Prioresses
The Congregation mourned the loss of two women who had served as Prioress of the Congregation: Sister Rosemary Ferguson, OP (1968 to 1978), who died on April 17, 2018, and Sister Janet Capone, OP (1998-2004), who died on July 29, 20018.
Sisters and Associates represented the Congregation at a number of major justice advocacy events throughout the year, including Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice; the Walk for Life in the Philippines, protesting the extra-judicial killings of accused drug dealers and users; Encounter at the Border, the annual action of the School of the Americas (SOA) Watch; and the Parliament of World Religions. Individual Sisters and Associates continued to be involved in justice ministry in a number of ways. Sister Lois Paha, OP, led a delegation of 50 Hispanic parishioners from the Diocese of Tucson to the Fifth National Encuentro, focusing on ways that the Catholic Church can be more responsive to the needs of Hispanic Catholics. Sister Durstyne Farnan, OP, spent days on NETWORK’s Nuns on the Bus in the days before the election, helping voters throughout the United States to understand issues of economic justice.
Looking to the Future
In August, Adrian Dominican Sisters from the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, the United States, and invited Sisters from other U.S. Dominican Congregations, all 65 and under, gathered in Adrian to deepen their relationships and to look ahead to the future. A highlight of the gathering was the First Profession of Vows of Sister Katherine Frazier, OP. Sister Xiomara Méndez-Hernández, OP, was named to serve the core team of Giving Voice, an organization for Catholic Sisters 50 and younger. The Congregation welcomed several new Associates – lay women and men who make a non-vowed commitment to live out the mission and vision of the Adrian Dominican Sisters – from Florida and the Dominican Republic in April; from Adrian during Partners VI, the annual summer gathering of Associates in August; and from Chicago in October.
The Congregation collaborated with and hosted other members of the national and worldwide Dominican family: Friars, contemplative nuns, apostolic Sisters, Laity, Associates, and members of established Dominican organizations. Sisters Rose Ann Schlitt, OP, and Nancy Jurecki, OP, along with Gloria Escalona, of the Dominican Laity, formed a delegation of U.S. Dominican women to visit the Dominican Sisters of the St. Catherine of Siena Congregation of Iraq after they returned to their demolished and damaged homes and convents on the Nineveh Plain. Sister Margarita Ruiz, OP, collaborated with other women religious to write a history of women religious in the Dominican Republic. The Adrian Dominican Sisters hosted the Dominican High Schools Preaching Conference and the annual gathering of the Dominican Institute for the Arts.
General Council Statements
The General Council of the Congregation issued statements on a number of issues, including offshore drilling, President Donald Trump’s rollback of pollution controls, the mass shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue, the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal, clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, Martin Luther King Day, and the separation of immigrant children from their parents.
Proclaiming 2018 to be a year of study on the meaning of resilient communities, the Congregation hosted two public forums on the subject: a symposium in March, featuring talks by five national thought leaders on various aspects of resiliency and an educational forum in August, in which three Adrian Dominican Sisters shared their own stories of forming resilient communities. Mission Chapters have formed their own Resilient Communities Committees to determine where in their region they will work with local people to make their community resilient.
In the spring, two workshops in Michigan helped participants to engage in the difficult conversation about diversity and racism. Sister Anne-Louise Nadeau, SNDdeN, and Sister Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN, of Pax Christi USA, led a public workshop, “Breaking the Silence: Confronting Race, Power, and Privilege.” The Great Lakes Mission Chapter, based in Detroit, focused its Spring Assembly on Racism and White Privilege. A unique program, Reverse Mass Mob, brought parishioners from Detroit to a suburban parish to begin their conversations on racism.
In response to the General Chapter Enactment on Sustainability, administrators at the Motherhouse Campus developed a sustainability plan, which includes changes in the heating and cooling system and reduction in the use of electricity at the Motherhouse. Students from Barry and Siena Heights Universities, both sponsored by the Congregation, came together at the Permaculture Gardens in Adrian site in May to learn about sustainability practices and apply them on their own campuses. Elaine Johnson, Permaculture Specialist, introduced honeybees to the Permaculture site. The 2018 issue of Voices in Mission and Ministry details sustainability practices throughout the Congregation.