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Siena Heights University Students Learn about Dominican Life at Motherhouse

By Mary Jones, OP
Director of Mission Education and Heritage Development,
Siena Heights University

September 5, 2017, Adrian, Michigan – Saturday, August 26, 2017, was a special day of Welcome Week for the freshman students at Siena Heights University. It was their day to experience the Motherhouse of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, sponsors of the university.

Sister Mary Jones, OP, Director of Mission Education and Heritage Development at Siena Heights University, welcomed the students in St. Dominic Chapel and shared with them a brief history of the Adrian Dominican Sisters. The 300-plus students were then separated into groups of about 50 to visit six locations in the Motherhouse and to listen to Sisters share their knowledge. The six stations were:

  • St. Dominic Chapel, the University’s chapel, with its history presented by Sister Jeanne Lefebvre, OP.

  • The Adrian Room, transformed into a gallery of art work by the Sisters. Sisters Joan Mehney, OP, Mary Keefe, OP, and Mary Ellen Plummer, OP welcomed the students.

  • The labyrinth, an ancient form of prayer built behind Weber Retreat and Conference Center. The students were welcomed by Sister Marilyn Winter, OP, and Erin Zerbe, Associate Professor of Art at Siena Heights University and a Torchbearer, trained to share the spirituality of the Dominicans with the university community.

  • Permaculture, land set aside by the Motherhouse to follow nature’s way of farming. Presenters were Sisters Corinne Sanders, OP, and Rosemary Abramovich, OP.

  • Holy Rosary Chapel, the original chapel of the Motherhouse. Presenters were Sister Jean Tobin, OP, and Arlene Bachanov, Associate and member of the history staff.

  • The Rose Room, set up to offer Bingo and an ice cream social for the Sisters and their student guests. 

“We were gifted with a beautiful, sunny day that allowed for outdoor activity in the labyrinth and our permaculture site,” Sister Mary Jones said. “Our students left with a better understanding of who the Adrian Dominican Sisters are and a wonderful sense of our Dominican hospitality. We are already planning for next year.”

   
Left: Siena Heights University student Mia Dronchi and Sister Mary Ellen Plummer, OP, discuss Sister Mary Ellen’s quilt. Right: Sister Angela Susalla, OP, speaks with a group of Siena Heights University students during an ice cream social in the Rose Room of the Dominican Life Center.

 


 

 

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