A Sister Reflects - Reflección de una Hermana

It’s so much easier to have a sense of purpose in life when we’re part of something bigger than ourselves. It’s the reason programs like AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Lay Missioners, Peace Corps, Dominican Volunteers, and many others thrive. When the time of volunteer work is finished, people treasure what they experienced. The work is hard, often far away from home and yet provides experiences like no other. 

I believe one of the elements that makes the volunteer experience valuable is what we learn about extending ourselves beyond our normal range of giving. In a sense we belong forever to the experience and to the people and needs we responded to.

Now imagine having that experience with your whole life! Imagine committing yourself with others in a religious community to make an impact on the challenges facing people. It is hard work. It often takes us far from what is familiar. The call of God to meet the needs of God’s people who otherwise may not have their needs responded to is gratifying in itself. It creates an inner joy in realizing the promise of Jesus in the Gospel, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40) Such a privilege!

Together, Sisters ponder the world’s needs and then together respond to them in answer to God’s call. How about you? Is God calling you to respond along with others as a Dominican Sister?

For any of you wondering whether God may be inviting you to religious life, Sister Mariane and I will be hosting a discernment weekend November 8-10, 2019. Click here to learn more.

Sister Tarianne

Ofreciendo Su Vida

Es mucho más fácil tener un sentido de propósito en la vida cuando somos parte de algo más grande que nosotras. Es la razón por la cual prosperan programas como AmeriCorps, Hábitat para la Humanidad, Catholic Lay Missioners - Misioneros Laicos Católicos, Peace Corps, Voluntarias Domínicas, y muchos otros. Cuando termina el tiempo del trabajo voluntario, las personas atesoran lo que experimentaron. El trabajo es duro, muchas veces lejos de casa y, sin embargo, proporciona experiencias como ninguna otra.

Creo que uno de los elementos que hace que la experiencia de la voluntaria sea valiosa es el hecho de extendernos más allá de lo normal. En cierto sentido, pertenecemos para siempre a la experiencia y a las personas y necesidades a las que hemos respondido. 

¡Ahora imagine tener esa experiencia con toda su vida! Comprometerse con otras en una comunidad religiosa para tener un impacto en los desafíos que enfrentan las personas es una experiencia muy gratificante. Es un trabajo arduo. Muchas veces nos lleva lejos de lo que es familiar. El llamado de Dios para responder a las necesidades de las personas de Dios a las que de otra manera no se les respondería es gratificante en sí mismo. Crea un gozo interno al cumplir la promesa de Jesús en el Evangelio: "lo que hiciste por uno de los hermanos y hermanas míos más pequeños, lo hiciste por mí." (Mateo 25:40) ¡Qué privilegio!

Juntas, las hermanas reflexionan sobre cuáles son las necesidades y luego juntas responden a ellas en respuesta al llamado de Dios. ¿Qué ta lusted? ¿La está llamando Dios a responder junta con otras como una Hermana Domínica? 

Organizaremos un fin de semana de discernimiento del 8 al 10 de Noviembre de 2019 para cualquiera que se pregunte si Dios puede invitarla a la vida religiosa. (Haga clic aquí)

Hermana Tarianne

I’m sure when most of us were young we took the risk of getting caught when we sneaked a peek at something our parents warned us against. Usually we did it just to satisfy our curiosity. Human curiosity tends to draw us when there’s a mystery involved.

In discerning God’s call to religious life, the Mystery of God is always involved. For example, you might tell yourself, “I don’t know any sisters or priests and certainly I don’t know any of them well enough to talk with them about this.” 

Or this thought won’t leave you alone, “I wonder what it’s like to be a sister. I should look into the life of a religious to see what it’s about before deciding it’s not for me.” Or perhaps you notice at church or at a social justice event the same sisters always seem to be there. Maybe one of them speaks to you and you find yourself thinking about the encounter long after the event is over.

These thoughts and casual meetings can be what the Spirit uses to pique your curiosity and draw you into further exploration and conversations. They are worth your effort to pay attention. Finding out more information on your life choice adds to the truth of your discernment and ultimate decision making. It’s important to follow those small, seemingly insignificant, invitations to take a peek. God is known as the God of Surprises! 

You might want to take a peek at the “Come and See” weekend, March 1-3, 2019 with us in Adrian. Click here for more information. 

May you be curious enough to peek,
Sister Tarianne


Estoy segura que cuando éramos jóvenes, tomabamos el riesgo de ser atrapados cuando mirabamos algo que nuestros padres nos habían advertido que no vieramos. Por lo regular lo hacíamos para calmar nuestra curiosidad. La curiosidad humana tiende a envolvernos cuando hay un misterio envuelto.

Al discernir el llamado de Dios a la vida religiosa, el Misterio de Dios siempre está involucrado. Por ejémplo, puede decirse a si misma: "No conozco a ninguna hermana o sacerdote y, ciertamente, no conozco a ninguno de ellos lo suficiente como para hablar con ellos sobre esto."

O este pensamiento no la deja en paz, “¿Cómo será vivir como una hermana? Debo enterarme más sobre la vida de una religiosa para ver de qué se trata antes de decidir que no es para mi.” O tal vez se da cuenta que en la iglesia o en un evento de justicia social que las mismas hermanas siempre están presentes. Tal vez una de ellas le habla y se pone a pensar del encuentro mucho más después de que se haya terminado el evento.

Estos pensamientos y encuentros casuales pueden ser lo que el Espíritu usa para despertar su curiosidad y atraerla a nuevas exploraciones y conversaciones. Vale la pena que se esfuerze a ponerles atención. Investigando más información sobre su elección de vida añade a la verdad de su discernimiento y su decisión final. Es importante seguir esas pequeñas invitaciones, que tal vez parezcan insignificantes, para ver para si misma. ¡Dios es conocido como el Dios de las Sorpresas! 

Es posible que quiera ver para si misma durante el fin de semana de "Ven y ve", del 1 al 3 de Marzo de 2019 con nosotras en Adrian. Haga clic aquí para obtener más información.

Que sea lo suficientemente curiosa como para mirar,
Hermana Tarianne

Jesus tells a parable about seeds in Mark’s Gospel that seems to fit our experience as we discern God’s call for our lives. He mentions four places the seeds land: sandy soil, rocky soil, soil covered in thorny plants, and rich soil. This is how the seeds work in our lives.

We might get a hint that we‘re called to be a Sister, a member of a religious community. Of course, it doesn’t go anywhere because it doesn’t get the needed attention from us. It dries up like sand and blows away. Another time we may hear a homily or a lecture in class that sparks the same desire. This time we do some research into various communities available, but after a little while that too gets put on the (rocky) shelf, so to speak, and we forget about it.

At a future time maybe a friend, a mentor or a family member asks whether we had ever considered joining a religious order. This time because they know us as well as they do, we take notice of their question and ask what they see in us that made them ask. This time we actually spend time thinking about their question, maybe journaling our thoughts and feelings. But after a while our job demands increase, worries about paying off student loans or the next fad around campus or clothing that comes into fashion chokes off our attention to this possibility.

Perhaps several months or years later the thought about joining a religious order comes into our awareness again. This time we realize there might be something to it and we talk with our pastor or a Sister or we start meeting with a spiritual director. This time we’re committed to respond differently and more wholly. This time the Spirit can work in the rich soil our lives have become. This time we decide to trust the Spirit’s influence to grow in us until we bear fruit. Such is the way of the Sower of seeds.

May we be diligent in cultivating the rich soil of our lives,
Sister Tarianne

This week we feature guest blogger, Sister Marilyn Barnett, OP.

Recently I was interviewed by a student attending Siena Heights University about my life as a Dominican Sister. As I responded to his questions, I was struck again by the joy that continues to fill my life for having responded “yes” to God’s call sixty years ago.  

Whatever vocation one chooses is never risk free or without challenges. 

My life as a woman religious has been grounded in the belief that, with God walking with me on the journey of my life, I would never have to be afraid. That realization has brought a deep peace and joy to me throughout my many years as a religious Sister.

I learned many years ago something that changed my whole understanding about life. It was that life is all about relationships – with God, with those with whom you have committed, and with the wider world – especially with those who have been relegated to the margins of society and church.

In religious life, the tools to develop these kinds of relationships are fundamental, and the ground out of which we commit our lives. The loving support of the community through their warm hospitality, gracious concern and depth of conversations about things that really matter, provided the milieu for me to develop. This, coupled with the many spiritual and educational opportunities that were provided, allowed me to grow in ways I never imagined. 

Whenever one enters into a relationship, it requires taking a leap of faith. My entering into religious life was a leap of faith that landed me into the arms of a loving God, and from that place there is really nothing that cannot be done in God’s name.

If I had to do it again I would most certainly take that leap of faith. 

It has proved that for me, religious life has been the best life ever.

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Vocations Team

Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP
Sister Katherine Frazier, OP
Sister Maribeth Howell, OP
Sister Mary Jones, OP

Adrian Dominican Sisters
1257 East Siena Heights Drive
Adrian, Michigan 49221-1793



View our video series called VOCO (Vocation Conversations) to learn how Sisters heard and responded to God's call.