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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)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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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)
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)
As in the scripture from the book of Ruth, she left the culture and land she knew and learned to walk softly with another culture and land in South Carolina. Just as Ruth did with her mother-in-law, Naomi, Carol made her new home among a group unknown to her until her arriving in South Carolina. … Carol came to listen and walk humbly among these people. She served them in any way she could.
This passage from Sister Carol Ann Dulka’s funeral homily, written by Sisters Kitty Bethea and Mary Rae Waller, refers to the ministry Sister Carol and Sister Mary Lequier carried out for more than thirty years among the Native Americans living around Ridgeville, South Carolina.
The pair’s outreach to one of the poorest areas of the Diocese of Charleston was a far cry, both in geography and in culture, from Cleveland, Ohio, where Sister Carol was born on March 8, 1943. She was the fifth of six boys and girls born to Anthony and Emeline (Horney) Dulka, along with Richard, William, Joseph, Patricia, and Mary Ann, who was born when Carol was nine years old.
Read more about Sister Carol Ann (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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We invite you to meet some of the wonderful women who have recently crossed into eternity.