In Memoriam


(1935-2021)

I have loved my life as a Dominican! I have been surrounded by a cast of characters that would put Dickens to shame. I have witnessed a splendid array of women living out their vocation, imperfectly and individually, in friendship and sometimes in what we Dominicans call “disputation.” Through it all, I observed and became part of relationships of an astounding variety and the countercultural message took root; study, work and success are worthless without the steady underpinning of God and of people who know you and with whom you can be yourself.

Sister Patricia McCarty, who wrote these words near the end of her autobiography, was born on November 11, 1935, in Detroit. She was the first child of William and Frances (Brinker) McCarty, whom she described as “a tall, handsome, kind Irishman with a keen sense of humor” and “a strong, sensible little German lady.” Her brother, Bill, was born when she was three, and when she was nine her sister, Kathleen, came into the family.

Her elementary schooling was at St. Matthew School, where she was taught by the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Sisters. These were happy years, she wrote, but “I was quite a worrier and worked very hard,” always doing everything she could to keep her grades high.

She kept up her high academic standards as a student at Dominican High School, even being inducted into the National Honor Society, but she also got involved in several extracurricular activities, had a busy social life, and made many friends. She also was deeply influenced by the Adrian Dominican Sisters who were her teachers.

Read more about Sister Patricia (pdf)

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

 


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(1937-2021)

County Mayo and County Armagh in Ireland were the birthplaces of, respectively, Michael and Elizabeth (Dowdall) Cooney, the parents of Sister Leontia Cooney.

Michael and Elizabeth came to Canada, where both had family, in order to marry, and then moved to Detroit, where Michael got a job with the Ford Motor Company. The couple had four children: Patrick; Mary; Leontia (who came to be known simply as “Lee”), who was born on December 30, 1937; and Michael.

All the children had their primary education with the Adrian Dominican Sisters at St. Edward School, where in second grade Lee had her first thoughts about religious life when her teacher, Sister Fabian Jacyna, talked to the children about what Sisters did and the relationship they had to God.

Her junior and senior years of high school were spent at St. Mary’s Commercial School, run by the IHM Sisters. Her father wanted her to attend the commercial school because he thought secretarial work was a good, stable job for young women, and when Lee told her parents she wanted to become an Adrian Dominican Sister, he was hesitant. Her mother’s response, however, was that if that was what she wanted to do, they needed to support her.

Read more about Sister Leonita (pdf)

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

 

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(1927-2021)

Of all the ways that women have come to know and eventually join the Adrian Dominican Sisters, only one of those ways had something to do with it being improper for a young lady to live in the same building as a county jail.

Patricia Ann O’Reilly, the aforementioned young lady, was born on December 6, 1927, in Toledo, Ohio, to Thomas Emmett and Charlotte (Daunhauer) O’Reilly. She was the middle of three children, in between Jim and Kathleen.

Emmett, as he was known, was a bricklayer, and Patricia was very proud of him. “Every year he would march in the union parades and I would march right along with him,” she said in her life story. Charlotte, for her part, “was a very loving, gracious woman. … I think my mother was one of the most caring people that I knew.”

Early in Patricia’s life, the family lived with her grandparents because, in those Depression years, finances were tough and the grandparents had a large home they could all share. Her early schooling all came from the Ursuline Sisters, first at St. Agnes School, then St. Francis de Sales School, and finally St. Angela Merici School, all in Toledo.

Read more about Sister Patricia (pdf)

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

 

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(1927-2021)

On June 26, 1961, an almost thirty-four-year-old Theresa McCall arrived at the Adrian Dominican Motherhouse to begin her postulancy.

Theresa was born October 8, 1927, in Detroit to David and Mary (Shingleton) McCall. Baptized Theresa Ann, she was the fifth of the couple’s six children after John, Paul, Martin, and Margaret and before the youngest boy, Berard. John and Paul were originally triplets with another boy, Girard, but he died shortly after birth.

She attended first and second grade at St. Rita’s School, on the city’s east side, until the McCalls moved to the west side and she enrolled at Precious Blood School where she was taught by Adrian Dominican Sisters through eighth grade. She graduated from Cooley High School in 1945 and worked for Kresge’s, a dime store, until entering the Congregation more than fifteen years later.

Her decision to become an Adrian Dominican was not a sudden one, she said in her 2018 “A Sister’s Story” video, but it came in an unusual way nevertheless: “I didn’t have a calling or anything like that; I just thought it would be a good way to live. … I just thought I should do something besides work in a store.”

Read more about Sister Theresa (pdf)

make a memorial giftMemorial 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).


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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