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Out of the five children born to Joseph and Anna (Cebula) Rudolph, three were girls – and all three of them would become Adrian Dominican Sisters: Julia (Sister Joseph Annette), Theresa (the future Sister Jean Annette), and Dorothy (whose religious name was Sister Joan Annette).
Julia, the eldest child, was born on December 2, 1924, in Hamtramck, Michigan, followed by Arthur, Theresa, Dorothy, and George. Although the children all grew up during the Great Depression, they had happy childhoods: “Mom and Dad made them so,” Sister Julia said in her life story. Joseph worked wherever he could and was a skilled woodworker who made signs and toys to sell, and Anna “did a great job in managing the household. We were never hungry.”
She and Arthur originally attended St. Florian School, which was staffed by the Felician Sisters and where classes were all in Polish. At the end of the school year, the family moved into St. Augustine Parish in Detroit, and it was here, at St. Augustine School, that Julia and her siblings first met the Adrian Dominican Sisters. She was placed into second grade and was at a disadvantage because, although the family spoke English at home, she needed to learn to read, write, and spell in English.
With the help of her teacher, Sister Mary Donalda Fredricks, she was able to quickly catch up to her classmates and enjoyed school very much. She also loved her teacher. “I told Mom many times that I wanted to be just like Sister,” she said.
Read more about Sister Julia (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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