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With her birth on March 3, 1933, Mary Catherine Nolan became the second of what would eventually be five children born to John David and Leona Marie (Caron) Nolan. She was born after brother John David Jr. and before Joe, who was four years younger, and twins Judy and James, nine years younger and whom she often looked after.
The children grew up in two very different worlds: the South Side of Chicago, where the family lived, and their maternal grandparents’ farm in Minnesota. Leona came from a French Canadian family that had immigrated to Minnesota after purchasing the property thanks to the Homestead Act, and the Nolan children spent summers at the farm, which had no indoor plumbing, heat, or electricity – a far cry from their very urban regular life.
Mary Catherine’s elementary-school years were spent at St. Felicitas School, where she was taught by the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Sisters. When it came time for high school, a dispute arose between her and her mother: she wanted to attend Aquinas Dominican High because her friends were going there, whereas her mother, who had a great-aunt who was a Mercy Sister, wanted her to go to Mercy High School. Leona thought the Aquinas girls were “social butterflies” whereas the Mercy girls were known for their academics.
According to the story Sister Mary Catherine told in her February 2018 “A Sister’s Story” video, she ran upstairs to her room, knelt by her bed, and opened her eighth-grade religion book coincidentally to a picture of St. Albertus Magnus in his Dominican habit. She told St. Albertus she wanted to go to Aquinas and asked for his help, and shortly thereafter her mother came to the stairs and called up to her that if she wanted to go to Aquinas she could, but she had to keep her grades up.
Read more about Sister Mary Catherine (PDF)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Anderson-Marry Funeral Home, Adrian.
Sister's Prayer Card (PDF)
Worship Aid (PDF)
Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.
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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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