August 8, 2018, Adrian, Michigan – Adrian Dominican Sisters, Associates, Co-workers, family members, friends, and colleagues of Sister Janet Capone, OP, gathered August 5-6, 2018, for two days of formal and informal services to honor the former Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Sisters.
The special days included an August 5 wake and Vigil Service, during which participants shared their personal memories of Sister Janet, and the Funeral Mass and Rite of Committal on August 6. Participants also had the opportunity to share their memories after the formal Vigil Service on August 5, during the lunch that followed the Committal, and at various other informal gatherings.
Highlights of Sister Janet’s term as Prioress, from 1998 to 2004, included the merger of the Adrian Dominican Sisters with the Edmonds Dominican Sisters. In addition, she and the General Council oversaw the renovation of Holy Rosary Chapel, the construction of St. Catherine Chapel to replace the smaller Maria Chapel at the Dominican Life Center, and the renovation of Weber Retreat and Conference Center.
During the Vigil Service on the evening of August 5, Sister Mary Ann Caulfield, OP, Chapter Prioress of the Florida Mission Chapter, gave a eulogy, focusing on the life of Sister Janet. Read some of the details of her life here.
As a professed Adrian Dominican Sister, “Janet continued to grow as a woman of prayer, wisdom, and grace,” Sister Mary Ann said. Sister Janet’s mantra were the words she spoke to the Congregation at General Chapter 2004 toward the end of her term as Prioress of the Congregation. Drawing on the words of Lee Ann Womack in her song, “I Hope You Dance,” Sister Janet had told the Adrian Dominican Sisters, “When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.”
Sister Mary Ann used that theme throughout her eulogy in describing Sister Janet’s various ministries and the spirit with which she lived. In September 2017, Sister Janet began to experience health issues “but continued the dance of life as a valiant and courageous woman until her death,” Sister Mary Ann said. “So, Janet, you have graced us with your presence. You have blessed us in so many ways. Now you rejoice with your Beloved. Your spirit dances with the divine presence. You are clothed in majesty.”
Sister Maureen Comer, OP, who had served on the General Council when Sister Janet was Prioress, maintained a friendship with Sister Janet after their terms in office. Sister Maureen drew on Sister Janet’s favorite quote from Rumi: “Beyond the place of right judgment and wrong judgment, there is a field. I will meet you there.”
“One of the outstanding gifts of Janet was that she would invite people to meet in that field, where one is known and accepted, right or wrong, and here we are – blessed persons, each one of us, and especially blessed because Janet Ann Capone came into our lives,” Sister Maureen said.
She further described Sister Janet as “the consummate educator,” who successfully taught first-grade students to read. “She was a great teacher for those of us a lot older than first grade,” Sister Maureen said. “She helped many to know who we are, to accept who we are, to celebrate who we are.”
Carole Goguen, Sister Janet’s grand-niece, spoke for the family. “We call Boston home, and while Sister Janet was not always present physically, her presence was always with us – a faraway friend who always answered the phone when we needed her. She was always watching over us. She was observant. She was thoughtful. She was helpful. She was concise – and she was ours,” Carolyn said. “Today, as we honor our sister, our friend, our friend, our leader, we should take comfort in knowing that our everyday angel on Earth now has a better view, and we’ll continue to honor her memory.”
During the funeral on August 6, Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress, offered a brief reflection on Sister Janet and the courage she showed throughout her life – particularly during their visit in January 2018, when Sister Janet had begun to realize that she would likely not recover from cancer. “She said to me, ‘Pat, I have placed myself within the heart of God. I know that it’s safe there.’ And that is one of Janet’s last gifts to us: her placing herself into God’s heart. It gives us permission to do the same.”
Sister Eunice Drazba, OP, who had ministered with Sister Janet at Emmaus Community in St. Louis, delivered a reflection, focusing in turn on each of the readings. The first reading, from Wisdom, described a valiant, faithful woman. “What gives this woman wisdom and makes her faithful?” Sister Eunice asked. “Being able to dance for joy and in sorrow, knowing her labors are worthwhile and pursuing them daily, and a step at a time.”
Psalm 111, the responsorial psalm, “leads us to giving thanks to God and celebrating the goodness present to us daily,” Sister Eunice said. “Janet lived these praises daily, starting each day putting two feet on the floor and showing up. This was one of her mottos: just show up. In showing up, we trust God to be with and lead us to our next move, decision, choice, plan.”
Describing the Beatitudes as “the blueprints of walking with Jesus,” Sister Eunice noted that Sister Janet “created and followed her blueprint that Jesus modeled.” She invited the assembly, in memory of Sister Janet, to reflect on their own lives as inspired by the readings and to “tweak or affirm our own blueprint for the life worth living.”
The formal farewell to Sister Janet concluded at the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ cemetery, where Sister Janet was laid to rest in the circle of discipleship and friendship among other Adrian Dominican Sisters who have joined the Communion of Saints in Heaven.
Feature photo (top): Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress, places into the hands of Sister Janet Capone, OP, vows she made as a Sister.
Sister Patricia Harvat, OP, General Councilor, blesses Sister Janet during the Rite of Committal in the Congregation Cemetery.
By Cara Hansen
June 1, 2016, West Palm Beach, Florida – Rosarian Academy’s Members of the Corporation recently approved Jason Guari of West Palm Beach, Darlene Luccio Jordan of Palm Beach, and Alison Mischke of North Palm Beach to serve on the Board of Directors for the school, commencing August 2016.
Jason Guari is a co-founding partner of the Palm Beach County law firm Murray Guari Trial Attorneys. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) in Palm Beach County and has been a member of its Board for the past five years. Both Jason and his wife, Nicole, are active volunteers at Rosarian. He has served on the school’s Finance Committee for the last four years.
Darlene Jordan is the executive director of the Gerald R. Jordan Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports education, health and youth services, and the arts. She is a member of Fordham’s Board of Directors and co-chair of Fordham’s successful $500 million campaign. She currently serves on Fordham’s Executive Committee and is chair of the Development and University Relations Committee and co-chair of the $175 million Financial Aid Campaign. In addition, Darlene is a director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston. She is as a member of the Harvard Business School Board of Dean’s Advisors, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and the Board of Governors of the State University System of Florida. She is a trustee of the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach and Oxbridge Academy.
Alison Mischke holds over 18 years experience in public accounting, providing tax, accounting, and business consulting services to a diverse range of clients. She serves as the vice chair of Rosarian Academy’s Finance Committee and is a member of the school’s Audit Committee. She attended the 2015 Adrian Dominican Sponsorship Meeting in Adrian, Michigan and is a member of the 2013 Rosarian Academy Strategic Planning Committee. In addition, she is an active parent volunteer and a member of the Rosarian Academy Family Association (RAFA).
As a sponsored institution of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, Rosarian Academy is governed through a two-tier model. The General Council of the Congregation serves as the Members of the Corporation, reserving to itself certain powers. The Board of Directors sets policy and holds the responsibility for sound resource management. The administration of Rosarian is responsible for the daily operations of the school that manifest the mission, values, beliefs, and policies of the organization.
Beginning in August 2016, the Rosarian Academy Board of Directors will include: Mr. John C. Cassidy, Jr., chairman; Mr. Tim Hanlon, vice chair; Mr. Shaun McGruder, treasurer of the corporation; Mr. Guillermo Perez-Vargas, secretary of the corporation; Sister Mary Margaret Pachucki, OP; Mr. Stephen Rubenacker, Head of School; Mr. and Mrs. David Herlong, RAFA representatives; Sister Mary Ann Caulfield, OP; Mrs. Eileen Coates; Mrs. Lissa Dorsey; Mr. Jason Guari; Mrs. Darlene Jordan; Sister Kathleen Klingen, OP; Mrs. Alison Mischke; Mrs. Danielle Hickox Moore; Mr. Randy Randolph; Mrs. Kara Rockenbach; Mr. Joseph Rooney; Sister Jean Williams, OP.
Rosarian Academy, founded in 1925, educates students from early childhood through eighth grade and offers an exceptionally strong 21st-century academic program enriched by athletics, visual and performing arts, and community service opportunities. The independent, Catholic school is located in downtown West Palm Beach and is sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Rosarian is celebrating its 90th anniversary this school year. For more information, visit www.rosarian.org or call 561-832-5131.
Feature photo: Newly appointed members of the Rosarian Academy Board of Directors are, from left, Alison Mischke, Jason Guari, and Darlene Luccio Jordan.