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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)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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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)
When Mary Ellen McGuire, the future Sister Marie Therese Emery, was still an infant, both of her parents were killed in a car crash and she was placed in St. Ann’s Orphanage in St. Louis, Missouri, the city where she had been born on September 27, 1923.
Mary Ellen was adopted at the age of three by Miss Blanche Emery, who had previously adopted eight other children, and was renamed Marie Therese after St. Therese of Lisieux. She was raised in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where Blanche was an English professor at the Normal College (later Eastern Michigan University) there and the first in the nation to teach children’s literature.
According to Sister Marie Therese’s autobiography, Blanche, who was forty-five years old when she adopted her new daughter, was condemned by many in Ypsilanti because she had adopted all those children. But she was “strong in mind and resolute in any task she decided to fulfill,” yet at the same time “beautiful, gentle, kind and thoughtful.” She built the first ranch-style home in the city so her children had plenty of space – complete with child-sized tables and chairs until they were big enough for the adult furniture – and created a library of more than two thousand children’s books for them to read.
Read more about Sister Marie Therese (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.