News | Live Stream | Contact Us
Employment | Donate
A childhood spent on Chicago’s North Side, with a large and loving family and under the tutelage of the Adrian Dominican Sisters at Queen of Angels School, gave Sister Sally Ann Fergus the perfect early grounding in life.
Sarah Ann, as she was baptized although she was always known as Sally, was born on September 21, 1937, to Rosaleen (Stratton) and William Fergus, a Chicago tavern owner. She was the fifth of seven children, with three brothers (William, Patrick and Thomas) and three sisters (Rosemary, Eileen, and Maureen). “We often speak of our family as the first five and the second two,” she wrote in her autobiography, because there was a five-year gap between her arrival and that of Maureen, and then another two years before Patrick came into the family.
“It made a big difference in our lives,” she wrote, because the two younger children “got to do so much more than we did – like travel to Ireland with my parents.”
Sally Ann and her siblings enjoyed a wonderful childhood with plenty of playmates in the neighborhood and activities including roller-skating around the block and trips to the library, the beach, the local park and, as they got older, Riverview Park to enjoy the rides. During the World War II years, her mother not only tended a garden plot in the backyard but also had a Victory Garden in “the prairie” (the Chicago term for an empty lot).
Read more about Sister Sally Ann (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link).
Her seeming endless energy, intense love of the Dominican charism and the Congregation were an inspiration. She mentored many along the way who have not forgotten her wisdom and goodness.
These words from Sister Rosemary Asaro, Holy Rosary Chapter Assistant, were part of her eulogy for Sister Margaret (Marge) Mehigan, who spent many years teaching others about the mission and vision of the Congregation and helping them integrate it into their everyday lives and work.
Margaret Mary Mehigan was born on August 31, 1926, in Chicago to John and Hannah (Doherty) Mehigan. John and Hannah had both come to Chicago from Ireland, John from County Cork and Hannah from County Donegal, and met at St. Sabina Parish, one of Chicago’s traditionally Irish parishes.
After they married, the young couple settled in St. Kilian Parish, another home for Chicago’s Irish community. In time, four children arrived; in addition to Marge, there was John, Owen, and Anna Marie, who in time became a Springfield Dominican Sister.
Read more about Sister Marge (pdf)
One interesting coincidence brought Sister Pauline Richter’s parents together in New Mexico. A second interesting coincidence brought her to the Adrian Dominicans twenty years later.
Mary Pauline Richter, Sister Pauline’s mother, had moved to Albuquerque from Nebraska, when Mary was about nine years old. Otto, Sister Pauline’s father, had a sister who had come to New Mexico from their native southern Illinois to be treated for tuberculosis, and a couple of the brothers had moved there with her. When one of those brothers got married, Otto came to Albuquerque for the wedding. He was the best man – and Mary was one of the bridesmaids.
The couple married in February 1933 and Pauline was born on December 10 of that year. She was baptized Anna Pauline because both of her grandmothers were named Anna, and Pauline for her mother’s middle name, but she was always known as Pauline. Three other girls – Nadine, Maxine, and Norma – followed over the course of the next fourteen years. In August 1947, two months before Norma was born, Otto died of a heart attack. He was just thirty-nine years old.
Read more about Sister Pauline (pdf)
When Sister Mary Keefe preached the funeral homily for Sister Thomas Josephine Lawler, she concluded with these words:
She is a shining example of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. May we follow her example of love for God and service to all of creation.
Julia Jeanette Lawler was born December 3, 1920, in Chicago to Thomas and Josephine (Schriber) Lawler. She was the oldest of four children, followed by Thomas (called “Bud”), Josephine, and Harold. Her baptismal name honored her grandmothers: her Irish paternal grandmother Julia, and her Dutch maternal grandmother Jeanette.
From a very early age, Julia was someone of deep spirituality. She recalled in her life story that as a first-grader she pasted pictures of Jesus into a book and being fascinated by the pictures; in third grade, she was especially drawn to the lives of the saints and daydreamed about being in a dungeon awaiting martyrdom. By about seventh grade, her daily visits to the Blessed Sacrament in St. Columbanus Church included praying to become a Sister and that her parents would consent.
Her parents agreed to let her enter religious life, but wanted her to wait for two years after graduating from high school so that she would be more mature. When it was time for high school, she attended Aquinas Dominican High School, and two trips to Adrian helped solidify her desire to enter the Congregation.
Read more about Sister Thomas Josephine (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.
Dominican School Alumnae/Alumni
Become an Associate
What do you have to do to become a Sister?
Share our blog, A Sister Reflects
Sign up for the monthly Veritas newsletter (or view our other publications)
We invite you to meet some of the wonderful women who have recently crossed into eternity.