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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.
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.