In Memoriam


(1926-2021)

In 1926, only around 830 people lived in the small town of Shepherd, Michigan, located in Isabella County about an hour north of Lansing. Among those residents were the Wischmeyer family, to which Alfreda Mary Irene, the future Sister Mary Irene, was born on August 24 of that year.

Edward and Irene (Siefker) Wischmeyer had five surviving children: Mary Irene, who was the second oldest, and four boys, Maurice, Melvin, Norman, and Amos, who would go on to become a priest. Another daughter was stillborn.

When Mary Irene was three years old the family moved to Lansing, where Edward became a foreman at the Motor Wheel Corporation. Her file does not record when he actually got this job, but a short biography written in 1989 mentions that during the Depression years her parents refused welfare benefits, choosing instead to work in the fields alongside migrant workers.

But whatever her family’s circumstances, Mary Irene had a happy childhood. “Our family was almost a community in itself, a close, loving community,” she said in a 1995 interview that served as her autobiography. A self-described tomboy, she loved sports, playing tennis and softball and enjoying ice-skating as well. Her competitive streak also showed up in the times she and one of her brothers carried buckets of cucumbers through the neighborhood, vying to see who could sell the most.

Read more about Sister Mary Irene (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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(1934-2021)

When she was young and pondering religious life, Mary Irene Moser, the future Sister Charlotte Francis, told her mother she wanted to be a Sister-nurse. The only obstacle was that she didn’t actually know how to go about that, because she was unaware what community she could enter that would give her that opportunity. Who she did know, on the other hand, were the Adrian Dominican Sisters who taught her at Our Lady of Good Counsel School in Chicago.

Ultimately, she said in her 2017 “A Sister’s Story” video, “God fulfilled, because I was a teacher and I worked at the hospital.”

Mary Irene was born on March 24, 1934, in Chicago to Francis and Charlotte (Mazur) Moser, in the southwest section of the city close enough to a variety of industrial operations that the smells of everything from Wrigley’s gum to Nabisco cookies to the Swift meatpacking plant wafted past. She was the oldest of six, followed by John, Frank, Jerome, Walter, and Sandra, who was born after she entered the Congregation.

After grade school at Our Lady of Good Counsel, she attended St. Joseph High School, where she was taught by the Felician Sisters, for a year. Her long experience with the Adrian Dominican Sisters inspired her, and she enrolled in the Congregation’s “prep” program in the summer of 1949. She became a postulant that September and was received as a novice and given her religious name, Sister Charlotte Francis in honor of her parents, in August 1950.

Read more about Sister Charlotte (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).


(1932-2021)

Detroit, Michigan, and later the adjacent city of Grosse Pointe Farms were home to the large and devout Sutherland family, including the daughter who would later become Sister Kathleen.

Kathleen Marie, known to her family and friends as Kay, was born on June 25, 1932, to Ariel and Helen (Holmes) Sutherland. Ariel was born in Detroit, but his mother had died when he was very young and he was placed in an orphanage and eventually adopted by a Canadian family who needed an extra hand for their farm.

Ariel soon decided farm life was not for him, and he moved to Detroit at the age of eighteen. He and Helen, a Canadian native who was a schoolteacher in Ontario, married in Canada and settled on Detroit’s east side in St. Martin Parish.

The couple’s first child, a girl they named Mary Lois, died at just eight days old. Kathleen came next, and assumed the role of oldest sibling to nine more children: Marilyn Veronica, Thomas James, Mary Ann, Margaret Therese, John Joseph, Francis Patrick, Marion Cecilia, Judith Agnes, and Daniel Paul. John died of a brain tumor at the age of eight.

Read more about Sister Kay (PDF)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Anderson-Marry Funeral Home, Adrian.

 

Sister's Prayer Card (PDF)

 

Memorial Word Service for Sister Kathleen

Worship Aid (PDF)


Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.

 

Ritual of Remembering for Sister Kathleen


Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.

 

Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link).

 


(1933-2021)

I lay claim to being pure “Dominican” from birth.

Marilyn Rita Shinkey, the future Sister Ann Rena, was not only the daughter of a mother born to Italian-immigrant parents, but her mother’s name – Rena Dominic – even fit the bill.

Born in Streator, Illinois, on August 31, 1933, Marilyn was the only child of Rena and Frederick Shinkey. Frederick was born in Paxton, Illinois, and had farmed and ranched out West before returning to his home state and settling in Streator, where he worked as a plant foreman.

Marilyn’s childhood was a happy, active one. She loved sports and anything to do with the outdoors. From the age of ten she knew she wanted to be a teacher, and because of her athletic as well as academic abilities, she earned scholarships in both areas to Illinois State University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education, majoring in physical education, in 1955.

“Only the hand of God could account for my next move,” she wrote in her autobiography. After graduating from college, she was hired to teach physical education and social studies at Mount St. Mary Academy. It was her introduction to the Adrian Dominican Sisters, as well as something of a re-introduction to Catholicism in general; her parents were both lapsed Catholics, and although she had been baptized and made her first Communion she had not been confirmed. “Needless to say, that was completed in my three years at the Mount,” she wrote.

Read more about Sister Ann Rena (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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