In Memoriam


(1939-2021)

I doubt that Dorothea ever sang in the Schola. She, like many of us, was always consigned to the pews. She usually took on the less prestigious tasks – no service on the altar or in offices of the council. But she always had a simple and joyful heart. She loved being in the community; she loved being a postulant; she loved Sister Margaret Philip, the Postulant Mistress (while many of us maintained a more nuanced assessment of those years). Dorothea was open-hearted and generous, quick to laugh and guileless.

Sister Barbara Cervenka’s funeral homily for Sister Dorothea Gramlich, from which this quote comes, spoke of Sister Dorothea’s life as a reflection of David’s prayer in Scripture – which had been turned long ago by Sister Denise Mainville into a song sung by the community at daily Mass – “Lord God, in the simplicity of my heart, I have joyfully offered you all things.”

Sister Dorothea was born July 29, 1939, in Wyandotte, Michigan, the first child of Lester and Dorothea (LaCourse) Gramlich. A brother, Charles, followed. Lester died of lung cancer when the children were two years and six months old, respectively, and their maternal grandmother came to live with the family to help care for the children. When little Dorothea was in second grade, however, their grandmother became ill, and Dorothea was sent to St. Mary Academy in nearby Monroe, Michigan.

Read more about Sister Dorothea (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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(1932-2021)

Anne lived and shared life with the poor and needy in many cultures. She brought to life the words of Scripture: God is near to the brokenhearted and God hears the cry of the poor.

Sister Peggy Coyne, Adrian Crossroads Mission Chapter Prioress, concluded her eulogy for Sister Anne Liam Lees with these words, describing a woman who had spent much of her life in ministry in places such as inner-city Detroit, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.

Sister Anne Liam was born January 23, 1932, in Decatur, Illinois, and baptized Margaret Frances. She was the second of six children born to William and Anne (Hines) Lees, along with Mary Anne, Robert, Paul, Michael, and Richard.

William was a proud son of Wisconsin, with a great love for fishing and ice-skating and other winter sports. While the family lived in Decatur, he delivered Hostess Cake products and milk in a horse-drawn wagon, often singing made-up songs as he drove. Anne, an Illinois native, was trained as a beautician and for many years operated a beauty shop in the family home.

Read more about Sister Anne Liam (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)

I heard the word TRUTH. Truth has always touched my soul and it was then that I realized I would be an Adrian Dominican Sister.

This passage from Sister Esther Ortega’s autobiography describes the moment, while on a summer retreat, that she knew she had been called to religious life.

Born in Douglas, Arizona, on March 24, 1934, to Jose and Maria (Medrano) Ortega, Sister Esther was part of a large family of seven children: Peter, Irene, Connie, George, Edward, herself, and Raul. Jose was a carpenter who owned his own business, while Maria raised chickens (studying farm journals so she could raise the best birds) for sale and took in laundry as well.

Sister Esther’s multicultural heritage included great-grandparents who were Belgian and Aztec and a grandmother from Spain. Both her parents were born in Mexico; her paternal grandparents fled to the U.S. during the Mexican Revolution, while her grandparents on her mother’s side came to the U.S. when Maria was eight years old. The families both settled in El Paso, Texas, and eventually Jose and Maria met and married.

Read more about Sister Esther (pdf)

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

 

 

Homily from Monsignor Arturo Bañuelas,
recorded for Sister Esther's Funeral

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(1934-2021)

Cheektowaga, New York, a suburb of Buffalo, was the birthplace of Annette Catherine McGorray, the future Sister Jeannine Therese.

Annette was the second of four children born to Vincent and Loretta (Kunzelman) McGorray, with an older brother, Kenny, and two younger siblings, Gladys and Frankie. The family lived in Mother of Divine Grace Parish before the church buildings themselves were even constructed; originally, Mass was celebrated in a commercial building that was also the site of other denominations’ services. 

Adrian Dominican Sisters came to staff the parish school once it opened in 1946, and it was in this way that Annette came to know the Sisters, although she herself never attended there.

The family lived near the church in a row of homes dubbed “the projects.” Behind their house, as it so happened, was an outdoor movie theater where patrons sat on blankets on the ground, rather than in their cars, to watch the movies, and little Annette quickly discovered that if she went over there the morning after a show she could find plenty of coins on the ground that had been dropped by people as they sat. She could also see the films from her room, and when her older brother got a job at the theater he hooked up a speaker nearby so she could listen to the sound.

Read more about Sister Jeannine Therese (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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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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