In Memoriam


Micah tells us in the first reading to “Do the right thing, love goodness and walk humbly with your God.”  This is a perfect description of Marlene’s life. Last evening we heard about Marlene’s gentleness, love and compassion – with a smile larger than life. The comment was made, “she always showed up.”

This paragraph opened Sister Mary Kay Homan’s funeral homily for Sister Marlene Ptaszynski, whose long service as a member of the Congregation included more than forty-five years as a chaplain and pastoral minister.

Marlene Rita was born in Detroit on September 21, 1936, to Joseph and Gertrude (Stachowiak) Ptaszynski. Joseph was born in Poland; came with his parents to Hartford, Connecticut; and as a young adult moved to Detroit, where he became an autoworker and was eventually employed by the United Auto Workers union. He and Gertrude, who grew up as part of Detroit’s large Polish community, had two children: Beverly-Ann, the oldest, and Marlene.

The family lived on the city’s east side, where the children attended St. Jude School. Thus began Marlene’s acquaintance with the Adrian Dominican Sisters, a relationship that continued through her high school years at Dominican High.

Her career plans originally did not involve the convent; she wanted to go to nursing school. In her senior year, however, she began thinking of religious life, and with her long connection to the Congregation she never considered any other community.

Read more about Sister Marlene (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.

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.


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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).

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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