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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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Associate Karen Marie Hagen was born on July 15, 1949, and grew up in Hazel Park, Michigan with her mother, father and two brothers. She attended St. Justin Elementary School and St. Rita’s High School in Detroit. Karen was raised in a Catholic home, and she recalls that she knew of God’s presence in her life at a very early age.
Karen served in the United States Navy, working as a Dental Technician, and then attended Eastern Michigan University, graduating with a BA in Education and a MA in Educational Leadership. She went on to study at Michigan State University, obtaining a MA in Labor and Industrial Relations. She also studied Criminal Justice. Obtaining her certification as an online teacher provided Karen the opportunity to become an adjunct faculty member at Lansing Community College. In 2010 Karen enrolled in the Spiritual Direction Internship Program through the Dominican Center for Religious Development.
Karen had a long and impressive employment history, and she held various positions in the State of Michigan, working as a Human Resources Specialist in the Department of Mental Health and for the Michigan State Police. She became an Academic Team Leader at Lansing Community College and was a member of the adjunct faculty, teaching courses in Labor Relations, Principles of Management, and Human Resources Management. Additionally, Karen has served as a spiritual director, facilitated prayer services in her parish, served as a Eucharistic Minister, and taught religious education.
Being a mother and grandmother were important roles to Karen. She was devoted to her son Bill and his wife Jenn and their three children, Henry, Harrison, and Scarlett. She also considered her circle of women friends her family as well as her two brothers and their families.
Adrian Dominican, Sister Janet Kubiak, OP, aunt, and Godmother of Karen, introduced her to the Congregation and Associate Life. On August 3, 2013, Karen became an Adrian Dominican Associate, mentored by Sister Joan Meerschaert, OP.
Karen described her call to Associate Life in the following words:
I have always felt a call to a deeper relationship with God and so it was natural for me to look to the Adrian community for inspiration, leadership, and guidance. We are meant to be in community, and I am excited to begin my study of the Dominican tradition!
Karen 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 Karen Marie Hagen to God’s loving care. May her memory be a blessing.
Sharon Foley was born October 29, 1943, the only child of Leonard and Phyllis (Dynes) Foley, in La Jolla, California. When she was still a young girl, the Foleys moved to Chicago, where they lived until Sharon finished third grade. In 1952, the family moved to Pompano Beach, Florida, where Sharon went to a public school through eighth grade.
Sharon attended high school at Rosarian Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, which was founded and run by the Adrian Dominican Sisters and was, at that time a girls boarding school. After some initial hesitation, she cherished living at Rosarian and after graduation in 1961, she arrived at Madden Hall in Adrian with two classmates to begin her quest to become an Adrian Dominican Sister.
Shortly before her 18th birthday, Sharon began to teach third grade at St. Lawrence in Utica, Michigan. She taught at several schools in metro Detroit and enjoyed her life very much. After the Chapter of Renewal in 1968, Sharon was sent to Ohio to teach and to respond to all the changes in the Congregation. It was an exciting time for her.
From 1971 to 1975, Sharon was the Director of Religious Education (DRE) in Blissfield, Michigan, and then in St. Petersburg, Florida. She was always interested in the fine arts. In time, she sought employment in the local arts center and began a graduate degree in religious studies at Mundelein College in Chicago. She earned her degree in 1976 and withdrew from the Congregation.
Sharon wrote that she often contemplated why she left the Congregation. It was a complicated time for her. She met her future husband after leaving the Congregation and the two were married in 1976 and moved to Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Bob and Sharon enjoyed a happy marriage and had interesting careers. For some time, they lived in New Orleans, where Sharon worked at Tulane University and Bob was a DRE. During this time, Bob went to nursing school, leading them to move to Sacramento, California.
It was then that Sharon took her vast experience and started her own company, Leadership Directions. She planned and managed conventions and trade shows, designed and presented hundreds of professional development workshops, and facilitated strategic planning sessions. In time, Bob and Sharon moved to Palm Springs, where they lived the rest of Sharon’s life. Sharon became very involved in the local arts council.
Sharon was always busy. At the funeral of former Secretary of State Madelaine Albright, former President Bill Clinton said that Madelaine was a “fully realized human,” which also describes Sharon Foley Bock. Sharon answered the needs of her community, her family, friends, and the Congregation. She was very skilled at teaching, art, and grant writing.
Sharon joined Associate Life in 2016 after being mentored by the late Sharon Maguire, OP. She quickly became involved in many aspects of Associate Life. Since COVID-19, Sharon led a group of Associates who still meet every Monday to discuss books or articles on the Dominican Charism. Sharon also taught a formation class to those seeking Associate Life and hosted an evening on lesser-known Dominican Saints. She attended nearly every retreat, workshop, and Zoom call. With her distinctive laugh and cheerful personality, she was a joy to be with.
Sharon was very concerned about Bob’s declining health. They had no children, but Bob had some siblings, nieces, and nephews. Sharon, who led a class on mobility, fell coming out of her swimming pool and broke her tibia and fibula. She was healing from that accident when death came unexpectedly May 16, 2022. Sharon had a heart attack.
We will miss her very much. Her Monday group held a beautiful memorial service, written by Associate Judi Engel, and Associate Life also held a Memorial Service on May 26, 2022. Sharon’s funeral was on June 2, 2022, in Palm Springs. May perpetual light shine on Sharon.
Lori Schweyer was born in Detroit on November 11, 1939, to Ronald and Bernadine (Hyde) Schweyer. She was educated in Catholic schools along with her siblings, Marvin, Thomas, Ronald and Janet. In 1958, following high school she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in Nazareth, Michigan, taking the religious name of Sister Janet.
Feeling called to the vocation of wife and mother, Lori reluctantly left the congregation and finished her bachelor’s degree in education from University of Detroit and eventually her master’s degree in education administration from the University of Toledo.
Lori married Thomas Schweyer in 1964 in Ferndale, Michigan. They had five children: Mark, Matthew, Marcy, Edward, and Amy.
Lori worked her entire career in Catholic Education as a teacher and principal. She loved being in a school all day and in 2001 retired from Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Toledo.
Lori joined Associate Life in 1989, mentored by Mary Ellen Youngblood, OP, and Carol Johannes, OP. Through the many changes in Associate Life over the years, she remained a faithful Associate until the time of her retirement, when she and Tom spent much more time in Florida.
It is very inspiring to learn about Lori’s spirit of adventure which included skydiving for her 60th birthday, horseback riding, cliff jumping in her 70s, and bear hunting in her 80s. She was a generous, loving woman who easily made friends and explored her interests in gardening, cooking, back-packing and hunting. The greatest joy of Lori’s life was family time. She regularly visited her children and grandchildren and really enjoyed her life.
Lori had a solid spiritual life. She submitted her Annals, which reflected her deep commitment to the Dominican Charism. She set goals for herself on downsizing, outreach to the poor, and working against racism.
Lori died on April 17, 2022, in her home in Onaway, Michigan. She is survived by her husband, her children, 12 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. May she rest in peace.
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.