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I am convinced that when the Lord chooses or asks one to follow, both grace and circumstances compel one to respond to that call. Coming to Adrian would never have become a reality in my life if not for the Caller. “I have chosen you” was a beautiful invitation.
Sister Edith Kathleen Zemke wrote this paragraph in her annals one year as she reflected upon the circumstances of her life which had led her to become an Adrian Dominican Sister. Listening to that call, according to her life story, had given her a happiness she would never have imagined could be hers.
Catherine Theresa Zemke was born on October 15, 1926, in Alpena, Michigan, to Bonnie, as he was known (his full name is unclear from historical records; it may have been either Boneslaus or Bronislaus) and Edith (Foley) Zemke. Edith’s family came to the area from Newfoundland, Canada, while Bonnie and his family immigrated to the U.S. from a small village on the German-Polish border when he was four or five years old. As an adult, he worked as a conductor for the Detroit and Mackinaw Railroad.
Bonnie and Edith had three children: Mary Margaret, John (known as Jackie) ten years later, and Catherine three years after that.
Read more about Sister Edith Kathleen (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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For me, teaching never became boring because each year was a new beginning and each class a special challenge. I will always consider it a real DOMINICAN MINISTRY.
Sister Mary Jo O’Hanlon wrote these words in her autobiography during the last few years of a forty-eight year teaching ministry that took her from one end of the U.S. to another as well as to the Dominican Republic.
Mary Josephine O’Hanlon was born in County Kerry, Ireland, on April 27, 1924. Her parents, Patrick and Julia (O’Sullivan) O’Hanlon, both originally of Ireland, married in America and had a son, Jimmy, but when Julia’s sister became ill and returned to Ireland, Julia accompanied her and remained there after her sister’s death because she loved her homeland and her own health was fragile. Patrick stayed in America to work but traveled as he could to Ireland. Not only Mary Jo, but her younger sister Joan, as well, were born in Ireland.
Julia died in 1929 at the age of just thirty-five, and Mary Jo’s grandparents took in both her and Jimmy while Joan was raised by an aunt. Jimmy died of an infection shortly thereafter; “my uncle carried my brother to the hospital from which he never returned and at that time I didn’t understand why he never came back to us,” Sister Mary Jo wrote in her autobiography.
Read more about Sister Mary Jo (pdf)
In the late-night hours of September 26, 2020, just less than two hours before what would have been her 101st birthday, Sister Marie Bride Walsh went to join her parents and siblings in the presence of God.
Therese Rita Walsh was born September 27, 1919, in Chicago to John and Bridget (Lyons) Walsh. John was a Chicago native whose mother had immigrated to the U.S. from Canada, while Bridget was born in Ireland and came to the U.S. by herself at age sixteen or seventeen. “We think she lied about her age in order to get on the boat,” Sister Marie Bride said in her autobiography.
John and Bridget met when John was in Plattsburgh, New York, serving in the Army. Five children were born into the family: a boy, Joseph, and four girls: Janet, who changed her name to Jean; Mary, who also entered the Congregation and became Sister Mary Jean; Catherine, who changed her name to Kathleen and was nicknamed “Toss,” and Therese, the youngest.
Bridget died in January 1921when Therese was just over a year old, and the children ended up separated. Joseph and Janet went to live with an aunt and her husband on their farm in Rensselaer, New York, and the other three children went to another aunt in Troy, New York. A few years later when John remarried the family was reunited in Chicago, and lived in Our Lady of Sorrows Parish for a short time until John and May, his second wife, bought a home in Maywood, Illinois.
Read more about Sister Marie Bride (pdf)
As I thought about the Gospel of the Good Shepherd in relation to Anne’s life, it just made such good sense. … The shepherd was there, no matter what happened. The shepherd spoke to the sheep, sang to them, was present for their every need. The sheep recognized the shepherd’s voice, and would come when called. Each night, the shepherd counted the flock, just in case there was one who had strayed. Each one of the sheep was family.
… Sister Anne taught music and was a choir director for many years. In fact, her last choir came to visit us couple of years ago and sang for her and for all of us. Anne loved being among them. They recognized her voice as she spoke to them, as she sang to them and with them. It’s not unusual, then, that she had a devotion of Jesus as the “good shepherd.”
These words spoken by Sister Maria Goretti Browne opened her homily for Sister Anne Cenci and described Sister Anne’s relationship not only with her former students and parishioners but with her fellow Adrian Dominican Sisters as well. As Sister Maria Goretti’s homily continued,
A few birthdays ago, her sister, Marian, wanted Anne to have a lovely dinner at Red Lobster. Marian knew that this was a favorite of Anne. But Anne wanted to share, so she ordered, not a meal, but appetizers. There were enough so that each Sister in her 3rd floor dining room was able to share in the treat… But that was Anne, the thoughtful, caring, good shepherd!
Read more about Sister Anne (pdf)
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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