In Memoriam

Associate Rita Dougherty(1926-2023)

Adrian Dominican Associate Rita A. Dougherty, age 96, was born in Chicago's South Shore area on July 27, 1926. She passed away on April 23, 2023, at St Patrick's Residence, Naperville, Illinois. Rita was the fourth of five children of John E. and Mary (Dineen) Dougherty.

As a young adult, Rita entered the Congregation of Adrian Dominican Sisters in Adrian, Michigan, following her two older sisters into the order. During early years, she taught grade school in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan and high school at Aquinas Dominican High in the Chicago South Shore area (now torn down) and Regina Dominican in Wilmette, Illinois. She was Head of the Journalism Department. Rita also taught journalism and English at Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida, but due to lack of students, she soon fazed Journalism out of the curriculum and continued teaching English classes.

Rita left the Congregation in 1983 after she had become the first Public Relations Director for Mercy Hospital and Medical Center. She also served as Public Relations Director at Imperial Pointe Medical Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

Rita was a journalist and photographer for The Explorer, newspaper of the Joliet Diocese. The paper morphed into a magazine. She was an editor at Lucent Technology, Lisle, Illinois. Her final work for nine and a half years was as writer for the President of Benedictine University, Lisle, Illinois. Rita retired at the age of 85.

Rita became an Adrian Dominican Associate on June 22, 2003, and for many years she was a very active member of the Anawim Mission Group in Chicago. As an Associate, she shared the uniqueness of her personality and the wisdom of her lived experience with many. She was a preacher of the Word in her pursuit of truth through study, daily prayer, love for her community, and ministry. Rita exemplified living the Dominican Charism throughout her life.

Rita was preceded in death by her parents; her two older Dominican Sisters, Sister Mary Dougherty, OP and Sister Eleanor Dougherty, OP; her older brother John Edward, (Jack) Jr.; and her younger sister Jean Dougherty Quigley.

Rita was blessed with seven nieces and nephews and 15 grandnieces and nephews.

A Memorial Mass will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, July 28, 2023, at St. Patrick's Residence Chapel 1400 Brookdale Road, Naperville, Illinois.


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


When James Joseph Carroll’s father came to the U.S. from Canada in 1903 after his wife’s death, he did so with $750 to his name and five children – James being one of them – under the age of 10.

By 1924, James had already risen from his humble beginnings to become co-founder and President of the Lincoln Mutual Casualty Co. He and his wife, Veronica (whose maiden name, interestingly, was also Carroll), married in 1927 and over the next seven years had four children, one of whom was the future Sister Barbara Jean Carroll.

Barbara Jean was born on April 16, 1931, in Detroit, following older brothers Edward and Charles and three years before John, the youngest. At the time she was born, the family lived in St. Agnes Parish on the city’s near west side; then, in the autumn of 1937, the family moved into a flat in nearby St. Mary of Redford.

That December, Veronica was returning from shopping when she slipped on the basement stairway and fell, a tragedy witnessed by little Barbara Jean. Veronica died shortly thereafter. Less than two years later, James married his longtime secretary, Ann.

By that time the Carrolls were living in St. Clare of Montefalco Parish in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. Barbara Jean attended the parish school, where she was taught by Dominican Sisters from Columbus, Ohio. “The Augustinian Fathers and Dominican Sisters were very good to us and for us,” she said in her life story.

Read more about Sister Barbara (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).


Bristol, Quebec, Canada, was the birthplace of Mary Helen McCann, the future Sister Kathleen Therese, who entered the world on December 2, 1925, as the first-born child of Edmund and Mary Catherine (Bennett) McCann.

Edmund and Mary Catherine were both born in Quebec, and Ed went on to become a carpenter while Mary Catherine worked at a hotel in Quyon. The couple moved to Detroit after they married, but when it was time for Mary Helen to be born her mother went back to her family’s farm for the birth because her own mother was a midwife. Mary Helen was born in the same farmhouse as her mother had been, and possibly in the same room.

Mary Catherine and her new baby headed back home when Mary Helen was two months old. Over time, six more children came into the McCann family: Theresa, Michael, Betty, Beatrice, Lois, and Donald.

At some point along the way, the family moved to nearby Royal Oak (a section of the city which today is part of Madison Heights) and then went back to Detroit, where they lived in St. Dominic Parish. “Since some of those years were the Depression years I’m sure my parents had a hard time managing and I know now we were poor, but growing up I didn’t know it,” Sister Kathleen Therese wrote in her autobiography.

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

Read more about Sister Kathleen (PDF).

Sister's Memorial Card (PDF)


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



Adrian Dominican Associate Maria Theresa Geryk, 85, of Waterford, Michigan, died at her home on April 4, 2023, three years after a diagnosis of advanced ovarian cancer.

Born on August 22, 1937, in Warsaw, Poland, Maria described her childhood as happy, noting that she felt safe and protected by her parents and extended family despite the conflict happening directly outside her home. After years being educated at home by her mother, a Montessori teacher, Maria was well prepared to enter school once it became possible again after the war. 

She attended the University of Warsaw, earned a master's degree in English, and received a grant to pursue postgraduate studies in the United States at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she met her husband, Robert Geryk. Maria returned to Warsaw after her year of study, Robert traveling to join her soon thereafter, and they married and had their first child. 

Returning to the United States in the late 1960s, Maria and her family settled in Michigan, where she and Robert both went to work at SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary and St. Mary's College. Maria became a naturalized U.S. citizen after the birth of her second child, and while teaching English literature, drama, and journalism, continued her studies by pursuing a degree in theology. This led to her leaving her position at St. Mary's and accepting the position of Pastoral Associate at St. Benedict Church in Waterford, Michigan, a role she held until her retirement in 2009. Maria earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in 1998.

Maria became an Associate with the Adrian Dominican Sisters in 1984 and regularly participated in Mission Group meetings and Chapter Assemblies. She was a member of the Truth Seekers Mission Group. Maria often spoke of how her participation as an Associate provided her with a sense of mission and the gift of a supportive community that nurtured her spiritual growth. She credits Sisters and Associates with her pursuit of a position in full-time parish ministry.

Maria was preceded in death by her parents, Seweryn Michalski and Janina Michalska, and her husband, Robert (January 14, 2023). She leaves behind her son Bruce, daughter-in-law Lorie, daughter Maya and grandchildren Zofia and Renata Packard. She is mourned and will be missed by her many friends and her extended family.

Maria was buried in Easthampton, Massachusetts, in late April 2023 along with her husband. A celebration of both their lives will be held in Michigan later in the spring of 2023.

Maria certainly exemplified living the Dominican Charism in her life. She was a person of prayer, committed to study and learning. She loved being in community and she considered her life a vocation to serve others. 

We entrust Maria T Geryk to God’s loving care. May her memory be a blessing.

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. 

Helpful Links

Event Recordings (Video Library)

Dominican School Alumnae/Alumni

Become an Adrian Dominican Associate

What do you have to do to become a Sister?

Share our blog, A Sister Reflects

Sign up for the monthly Veritas newsletter (or view our other publications)

Employment opportunities


We invite you to meet some of the wonderful women who have recently crossed into eternity.


Recent Posts

Read More »

Previous Years