In Memoriam


Sister Alma Marie Messing, OP(1926-2021)

During her four years as a student at Dominican High School in Detroit, Carolyn Mary Ann Messing, the future Sister Alma Marie, enjoyed all sorts of academic subjects, including math and Latin, but was not at all fond of science. What makes that fact especially ironic is that she went on to earn her graduate degree in science, teach the sciences, and help set up school science programs throughout her time in elementary and secondary education, and work at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

Carolyn was born on May 25, 1926, in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, to Frank and Alma (Treppa) Messing. She was the first of three children born to the couple; one brother, Frank, was born three years later, and her other brother, Don, joined the family in 1939.

The siblings had a happy childhood, often riding their bikes to see their grandparents and as a family visiting each set of grandparents regularly. In her life story, Sister Alma Marie recalled how her Grandmother Messing loved to cook and how the family would gather at the Treppa home for spirited games of Monopoly followed by midnight snacks. Her family and her maternal grandparents also traveled to many exciting places, such as New York City where, she wrote, the best part of the trip for her was seeing the Planter’s Peanut man.

Read more about Sister Alma Marie (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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(1930-2021)

Sister Joyce will be missed dearly. She was such a big part of the Lac Vieux Desert community here in Watersmeet, Michigan, [that] we adopted her into our tribe. … She will never be forgotten and the memories will live on forever here at the Lac Vieux Desert community. … [W]e want to thank Sister Joyce for the love and care that she has given all of us. Go to the beautiful place in the sky and be with your creator.

These words are taken from the tribute James Williams, tribal chairman of the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, sent to Adrian after the death of Sister Joyce Mary Rybarczyk, who ministered to that community for twenty-seven years and lived among them for more than a decade after her retirement.

Joyce and her twin sister Joan were born in St. Joseph, Michigan, on February 1, 1930, to William and Frances (Blaha) Rybarczyk. William was born into a farming family in the St. Joseph area, while Frances and her family came to St. Joseph from Chicago and became farmers.

The young couple settled in town after marriage, in a house William built after coming home from his military service in World War I, and in time twin boys, Peter and Billy, came into the family. Billy died when still quite young and Peter, who was disabled, was raised by one of the grandmothers.

Read more about Sister Joyce (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)

John Coleman was born on November 22, 1934, in Detroit. The son of James Anthony and Susan (Wooton) Coleman, he was the youngest of five children. John’s parents were born and raised near Glasgow, Scotland, and immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s. John said that he received a “strict Catholic upbringing.”

John spent two years in the U.S. Coast Guard and more than 40 years in the Coast Guard Reserves. He married Carol Salet in 1971. They would have celebrated their 50th anniversary this year. Their two grown children, Michael and Ellen, have families of their own. Sadly, Michael died several years ago.

Always active in the Catholic Church, John served as a Eucharistic Minister and brought Communion to the housebound from his parish, Divine Child, in Dearborn, Michigan.

After 30 years as a manufacturer’s consultant for Ford, John retired and the couple moved to Adrian. John became acquainted with the Adrian Dominican Sisters, attending events at Weber Center and Sunday liturgy and Peace Prayer at the Motherhouse.  

After studying with his mentor, Sister Rita Brunett, OP, John joined Associate Life on November 21, 2004. He faithfully attended many Associate events, including book club and Partners, as well as Mission Group meetings.  

John took his faith life seriously and followed the pathways of the Congregation, especially in learning to care for the Earth. He was a devoted recycler.
With his marvelous skill at making candy, John eventually put a professional kitchen in his home and made chocolate treats that were sold at the Weber Shop and as wedding favors and gifts. He specialized in homemade marshmallows, covering them with chocolate.  

John also devoted much of his time to social justice and Christian Service organizations, such as the Daily Bread soup kitchen, the Lenawee Conservation District, and the Humane Society. He was a generous, loving man who enjoyed a corny joke and brightened our lives.

The last few years were challenging as John suffered from diabetes and dementia. His devoted wife, Carol, took meticulous care of him. John died on April 13, 2021. May he rest in peace.

 

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(1939-2021)

In her six decades as an Adrian Dominican, Sister Mary Kay Moran’s ministries took her from big cities such as Detroit, San Francisco, and Chicago to the remote islands of southeastern Alaska.

Mary Catherine Moran, as she was baptized although she was always known as Mary Kay, was born in Toledo, Ohio, on May 25, 1939, to William and Mary (Heitkamp) Moran. She was the second of three children born to the couple, her siblings being Thomas and Barbara.

At some point very early in Mary Kay’s life the family moved to Detroit’s northwest side. William, a Toledo native, was a yardmaster for the New York Central Railroad, while Mary, who was born in the small unincorporated town of North Creek, Ohio, was a stay-at-home mother.

In her life story, Sister Mary Kay remembered her childhood as a very happy one. She attended kindergarten at Burt Elementary School and then was educated at Christ the King School and Our Lady of Mercy High School.

Although she began thinking about religious life as early as seventh grade, she was not especially attracted to either the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters who taught at Christ the King or to the Mercy Sisters of her high school years. And so, after graduating from high school in 1957 she went to work as a clerk at the J.L. Hudson Department Store.

Read more about Sister Mary Kay (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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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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