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In 1928, Mother’s Day fell on May 13, and the holiday took on a special significance that year when Mary Eileen Zarek, the future Sister Cyrilla, came into the world as the second child, and first daughter, of Michael and Cyrilla (Connor) Zarek.
The Zareks lived on Chicago’s South Side with Cyrilla’s parents, and remained in the family home even after both the Connors died while Mary Eileen was still very young. All the adults were very active in St. Ailbe Parish, and all three of the Zarek children – Patrick, Mary Eileen, and Cyrilla Frances, who was born seven years after Mary Eileen – attended the parish school.
The school was staffed at that time by the Nashville Dominicans, and Mary Eileen quickly came to love them, as did her mother, who often drove the Sisters places and frequently allowed Mary Eileen to ride along. Although Mary Eileen went on to be educated by the Franciscan Sisters of Joliet at SS. Peter and Paul High School, and greatly enjoyed her teachers there, when she felt called to religious life it was to the Nashville Dominicans.
Read more about Sister Cyrilla (PDF)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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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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