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For most of my adult life, I have prayed that the Holy Spirit would lead and guide me and I would always be listening with an open and loving heart. Much of my prayer is filled with gratitude for all I have been given over so many years.
This paragraph was how Sister Diane McGuirt concluded an autobiography filled with examples of just where the Spirit had taken her over the course of her life: into the Congregation, through years of teaching, and eventually into ministry to some of Appalachia’s most marginalized residents.
Helen Diane McGuirt was born in Chicago on October 18, 1939, to Paul and Dorothy (Henley) McGuirt. Her first name was for her paternal grandmother, but her parents chose to call her Diane. About five years after Diane’s birth, a sister, named Mary Ina after Dorothy’s mother, joined the family.
The McGuirts had moved into St. Rita Parish by the time Mary Ina was born, and both children attended the parish school, which is how Diane first met the Adrian Dominican Sisters. The girls went on to Aquinas Dominican High School, and it was during her junior year there that Diane knew she was called to religious life.
Read more about Sister Helen Diane (PDF)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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Marguerite Lawler was born in Newfoundland, Canada, on September 9, 1932. She loved living near the ocean with her parents. Marguerite’s father was a commercial fisherman who tragically was lost at sea when Marguerite was only one. Her mother remarried a kind and wonderful man, Ernest DeVine, and she grew up in a loving home.
Marguerite entered the Sisters of Charity when she was 17 and taught at a First Nation Reservation in Canada. After 17 years she left the convent and moved to Detroit.
Marguerite became a computer programmer in the early years of computers and married William Lawler, who was 25 years older than she. They enjoyed 25 years of marriage, including living in Arkansas for a time.
After her husband’s death, Marguerite moved back to Michigan and in time began to work at Holy Family parish in accounting. She became very involved in parish ministries and volunteered in Hospice programs and outreach. Bright and bubbly, Marguerite made friends easily.
Marguerite met Sister Ann Petri, OP, and became interested in Associate Life. She made a commitment to the Dominican Charism on May 25, 2010. Marguerite attended many Associate gatherings and was fun-loving and pleasant.
Marguerite had a love for the vulnerable and compassion for the needy. She was fiercely loyal and thoroughly enjoyed being with her grandchildren.
In the past few years Marguerite had many health challenges, which led to her death on March 6, 2022.
At 8:30 a.m. on February 4, 1934, Jean Annette Stuckel came into the world at St. Joseph Hospital in Joliet, Illinois. Fifteen minutes later, Jean’s twin sister, Jane Bernadette, was born … to the complete surprise of her mother and the doctor, because in those days, there were no tests to determine whether a mother was going to have multiple babies.
Jean and Jane joined their brother Robert, who was fifteen years older, and their sister Collette, five years older, as the children of John and Gertrude (Miller) Stuckel. At the time the twins were born John owned a large butter and eggs business, only to lose it in the Great Depression. When World War II broke out, he became a supervisor at a large ammunition plant that had been built in Joliet, and after the war he became a liquor distributor.
Gertrude was a skilled seamstress who made all of the children’s clothes throughout the Depression, and even afterward enjoyed making special outfits for them, especially the girls’ formal dresses for school dances. In later years, she became the costume designer for the St. Francis Children’s Theater in Joliet, a job she held for twenty-five years.
Read more about Sister Jane Robert (PDF)
On April 29 – appropriately, the feast day of St. Catherine of Siena – in 1942, Gordon and Margaret (Ryan) Erickson of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, welcomed their first child, whom they named Patricia Laverne, into the world.
At the time, the Ericksons lived in an apartment so small that there was no room for a crib, so baby Patricia’s bed was in a bottom dresser drawer. “To this day, my family has blamed my smallness of stature on this fact!” she joked in her autobiography.
Two more children came into the family over time: Michael, born when Patricia was five, and Nancy five years after that. A job transfer for Gordon took the Ericksons to Grosse Pointe, Michigan, when Patricia was in seventh grade, and it was at her new school there, St. Ambrose, where she met the Adrian Dominican Sisters.
“She walked into her classroom and KNEW that she would become an Adrian Dominican, and never let go of that dream,” said Sister Mary Priniski, Chapter Prioress of the Catherine of Siena Mission Chapter, in her eulogy for Sister Patricia. “In the eighth grade she asked her dad if she could join the convent, but he insisted she finish high school first.”
Read more about Sister Pat (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.