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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)
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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