In Memoriam


(1922-2022)

Sister Mary Catharina Bereiter, baptized Mary Bereiter, died on Monday, May 23, 2022, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian. She was 100 years of age and in the 77th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

Sister Mary Catharina was born in Chicago to Edward and Mary (Orzali) Bereiter. She graduated from Amundsen High School in Chicago and received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian, a master’s degree in mathematics from University of Detroit (Detroit Mercy), and a doctorate in mathematics from Wayne State University, Detroit. 

Sister spent 29 years ministering in education in Detroit and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and Oakland, California. This includes six years at Dominican High School in Detroit and ten years as a professor at Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian, both sponsored institutions of the Congregation. 

She served two years as a religious education coordinator for the Holy Family Center in Adrian, four years as a pastoral minister at St. Leo Parish in Detroit, and four years as the program administrative assistant at F.O.C.U.S., Inc. in Detroit. 

Sister Mary Catharina became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in 2013. She was preceded in death by her parents and three sisters: Barbara Harrell, Virginia Bereiter and Catherine Speirs; and a brother, Edward Bereiter. She is survived by other loving family members and her Adrian Dominican Sisters.

Due to COVID-19 mitigation protocols, the Dominican Life Center is closed to all guests or visitors until further notice. All are welcome to participate in Sister’s wake and funeral via live stream

Rite of Committal (burial) for Sister Mary Catharina was held on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in the Congregation Cemetery. A Memorial Mass will be on Friday, May 27, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. in St. Catherine Chapel. The Ritual of Remembering will be held on Friday, May 27, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. in the Rose Room at the Dominican Life Center.

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Anderson-Marry Funeral Home, Adrian.
 


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(1928-2022)

In 1928, Mother’s Day fell on May 13, and the holiday took on a special significance that year when Mary Eileen Zarek, the future Sister Cyrilla, came into the world as the second child, and first daughter, of Michael and Cyrilla (Connor) Zarek.

The Zareks lived on Chicago’s South Side with Cyrilla’s parents, and remained in the family home even after both the Connors died while Mary Eileen was still very young. All the adults were very active in St. Ailbe Parish, and all three of the Zarek children – Patrick,  Mary Eileen, and Cyrilla Frances, who was born seven years after Mary Eileen – attended  the parish school.

The school was staffed at that time by the Nashville Dominicans, and Mary Eileen quickly came to love them, as did her mother, who often drove the Sisters places and frequently allowed Mary Eileen to ride along. Although Mary Eileen went on to be educated by the Franciscan Sisters of Joliet at SS. Peter and Paul High School, and greatly enjoyed her teachers there, when she felt called to religious life it was to the Nashville Dominicans.

Read more about Sister Cyrilla (PDF)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. 

 

Memorial Mass for Sister Cyrilla

Worship Aid (PDF)


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Remembrance for Sister Cyrilla


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Sister Theresa Nightingale(1930-2022)

“… [A] gentle woman who loved children and her ministry of teaching both children and adults.” This was how Sister Peggy Coyne, Adrian Crossroads Chapter Prioress, described Sister Theresa Nightingale at Sister Theresa’s wake service.

The oldest child of Lawrence and Christina (Schmidt) Nightingale entered the world on November 19, 1930, in West Terre Haute, Indiana, and was baptized Theresa Mae. Seven more children would be born to the couple over time: five brothers (Joseph, William, Gerald, Virgil, and Richard) and two sisters (Marjorie and Florence).

Lawrence was the fourth oldest of fourteen children, and when he was just nine years old, he quit school in order to work and help support the family. He worked in the coal mine located at the Sisters of Providence motherhouse in Terre Haute. He and Christina met as teenagers and married when he was twenty and Christina was nineteen. According to Sister Theresa’s biography, Lawrence’s family was the only Catholic one in West Terre Haute and all the other families belonged to the Baptist church – which was pastored by Christina’s father.

Lawrence soon moved to Detroit to find a better-paying job and went to work at the Hudson Motor Car assembly plant, sending money home to Christina, who remained in Indiana with her parents. Not long after Theresa’s birth, mom and baby joined Lawrence in Detroit. The family lived in Guardian Angels Parish, and it was there that Theresa began school in 1935.

Read more about Sister Theresa (PDF)

make a memorial giftSister's Prayer Card (PDF)

Vigil for Sister Theresa

Worship Aid (PDF)


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Funeral for Sister Theresa

Worship Aid (PDF)


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(1939-2022)

Lori Schweyer was born in Detroit on November 11, 1939, to Ronald and Bernadine (Hyde) Schweyer. She was educated in Catholic schools along with her siblings, Marvin, Thomas, Ronald and Janet. In 1958, following high school she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in Nazareth, Michigan, taking the religious name of Sister Janet. 

Feeling called to the vocation of wife and mother, Lori reluctantly left the congregation and finished her bachelor’s degree in education from University of Detroit and eventually her master’s degree in education administration from the University of Toledo. 

Lori married Thomas Schweyer in 1964 in Ferndale, Michigan. They had five children: Mark, Matthew, Marcy, Edward, and Amy. 

Lori worked her entire career in Catholic Education as a teacher and principal. She loved being in a school all day and in 2001 retired from Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Toledo.

Lori joined Associate Life in 1989, mentored by Mary Ellen Youngblood, OP, and Carol Johannes, OP. Through the many changes in Associate Life over the years, she remained a faithful Associate until the time of her retirement, when she and Tom spent much more time in Florida.

It is very inspiring to learn about Lori’s spirit of adventure which included skydiving for her 60th birthday, horseback riding, cliff jumping in her 70s, and bear hunting in her 80s. She was a generous, loving woman who easily made friends and explored her interests in gardening, cooking, back-packing and hunting. The greatest joy of Lori’s life was family time. She regularly visited her children and grandchildren and really enjoyed her life.

Lori had a solid spiritual life. She submitted her Annals, which reflected her deep commitment to the Dominican Charism. She set goals for herself on downsizing, outreach to the poor, and working against racism.

Lori died on April 17, 2022, in her home in Onaway, Michigan. She is survived by her husband, her children, 12 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. May she rest in peace.

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Cemetery of the Adrian Dominican Sisters

Our Adrian Dominican cemetery with its circular headstones is a beautiful place of rest for women who gave their lives in service to God — and a peaceful place for contemplation and remembrance. 


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