In Memoriam


(1934-2021)

I heard the word TRUTH. Truth has always touched my soul and it was then that I realized I would be an Adrian Dominican Sister.

This passage from Sister Esther Ortega’s autobiography describes the moment, while on a summer retreat, that she knew she had been called to religious life.

Born in Douglas, Arizona, on March 24, 1934, to Jose and Maria (Medrano) Ortega, Sister Esther was part of a large family of seven children: Peter, Irene, Connie, George, Edward, herself, and Raul. Jose was a carpenter who owned his own business, while Maria raised chickens (studying farm journals so she could raise the best birds) for sale and took in laundry as well.

Sister Esther’s multicultural heritage included great-grandparents who were Belgian and Aztec and a grandmother from Spain. Both her parents were born in Mexico; her paternal grandparents fled to the U.S. during the Mexican Revolution, while her grandparents on her mother’s side came to the U.S. when Maria was eight years old. The families both settled in El Paso, Texas, and eventually Jose and Maria met and married.

Read more about Sister Esther (pdf)

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

 

 

Homily from Monsignor Arturo Bañuelas,
recorded for Sister Esther's Funeral

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(1934-2021)

Cheektowaga, New York, a suburb of Buffalo, was the birthplace of Annette Catherine McGorray, the future Sister Jeannine Therese.

Annette was the second of four children born to Vincent and Loretta (Kunzelman) McGorray, with an older brother, Kenny, and two younger siblings, Gladys and Frankie. The family lived in Mother of Divine Grace Parish before the church buildings themselves were even constructed; originally, Mass was celebrated in a commercial building that was also the site of other denominations’ services. 

Adrian Dominican Sisters came to staff the parish school once it opened in 1946, and it was in this way that Annette came to know the Sisters, although she herself never attended there.

The family lived near the church in a row of homes dubbed “the projects.” Behind their house, as it so happened, was an outdoor movie theater where patrons sat on blankets on the ground, rather than in their cars, to watch the movies, and little Annette quickly discovered that if she went over there the morning after a show she could find plenty of coins on the ground that had been dropped by people as they sat. She could also see the films from her room, and when her older brother got a job at the theater he hooked up a speaker nearby so she could listen to the sound.

Read more about Sister Jeannine Therese (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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(1925-2021)

And now Adrian is my home, a very happy one I might add. I often wonder if it had something to do with the evening I met Mother Gerald who asked me, “And when are you coming to Adrian?”

So Sister Mary Scheibel ended her autobiography, in which she explained how an unexpected encounter with Mother Gerald Barry, while out for a walk one spring evening in Chicago, changed her life.

Mary Elizabeth Scheibel was born on March 8, 1925, in Chicago to John and Harriet (Nyren) Scheibel. She was the middle of three children born to the couple, in between June and Patricia.

The family had moved from St. Laurence Parish into St. Philip Neri Parish – in fact, the church was “practically in our front yard,” she wrote – by the time Mary was ready to start school. So it was that she attended first St. Philip Neri School and then Aquinas Dominican High School, educated the whole way by the Adrian Dominican Sisters.

Read more about Sister Mary (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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(1931-2020)

Sister Jeannine was a special part of our lives and our family for many, many years. She came into our lives when she taught our son Peter, in third grade, at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Catholic School in Ft. Lauderdale in 1969. She was truly an amazing teacher, nun, and a beautiful spiritual, kind, caring woman and dear friend. We all loved her very much. We are so blessed that she became part of our family and shared in all of our life experiences; the joys and the sorrows over the years.

These words came from the Sheridan family of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in a remembrance sent to Adrian when they heard of the passing of Sister Jeannine Holway. The Sheridans went on to share several memories of Sister Jeannine, and then added, “There aren’t enough words for us to express our love and feelings for Sister Jeannine. She was such a special part of our lives and we will truly miss her.”

Jeannine was born on January 28, 1931, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to Charles and Mildred (Joneness) Holway. According to her autobiography, she and a twin brother were born at an aunt’s house in Montreal because they arrived six weeks early. Her twin died a week after birth.

The Holways split their time between Long Island, New York, and a number of different cities in Florida for the winter months. In 1938, the family moved to Miami permanently.

Read more about Sister Jeannine (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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