In Memoriam

Sister Frances Mary (John Denise) Fitzpatrick, OP

Sister Frances Mary Fitzpatrick, OP(1935-2024)

Reflecting on Micah’s words, all that is required is to work for justice, love tenderly, and walk humbly with your God; I hope that is what I have accomplished during my lifetime as a person, as an educator, as a friend, and as a member of the Adrian Dominican congregation. I feel privileged to have been a member of the Congregation. I am grateful for the call to praise, to bless and to preach, and all I have experienced as an Adrian Dominican fills my heart with great joy.

Sister Frances Mary Fitzpatrick, from whose autobiography the above passage comes, was the eldest of four children born to Thomas James and Mary Elizabeth (Farrell) Fitzpatrick. Thomas was a fifth-generation Chicagoan, while Mary grew up in New York City until coming to Chicago to attend high school at St. Xavier Academy.

Thomas grew up in St. Kilian Parish, which is how the family connection to the Adrian Dominican Sisters got its start. His father was a Chicago police officer, and when the Sisters arrived to staff the parish school, he happened to know that the Congress Hotel was getting ready to replace its dishware – and that the Sisters would need dishware for the convent! Thomas himself attended St. Kilian School and kept in touch with one of his teachers, Sister Hildegarde Brennan, for many years.

Thomas and Mary were married at St. Philip Neri Church in Chicago in August 1933. Frances was born on June 16, 1935, followed by two brothers and a sister: Thomas, Roberta, and John. Of her parents, Frances wrote in her autobiography: “They were loving parents who cared deeply for each of us. I felt valued and encouraged in all that I did.”

All four of the children attended St. Philip Neri School. Frances first expressed an interest in religious life when she was in eighth grade but was told by her mother that she was too young. “Apparently, I wasn’t too intent at that time because I just said okay!” she wrote.

Read more about Sister Frances (PDF)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. 

Sister's Memorial Card (PDF)


Vigil and Funeral Recordings

Recording of Sister Frances's Vigil Service - After clicking the link, download the recording by clicking on the three dots at the bottom right corner of the screen and choosing "Download." Worship Aid (PDF)

Recording of Sister Frances's Funeral Mass - After clicking the link, download the recording by clicking on the three dots at the bottom right corner of the screen and choosing "Download." Worship Aid (PDF)


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Avatar  David McKalip 4 months agoReply

Sister Francia was a loving nun and principal at Holy Family Catholic School in St. Petersburg. With her gentle, firm, joyful and wise guidance she kept me on the right path.

Sister Francis helped met to become a faithful Catholic, Husband, father and a productive citizen, happy in my profession!

God Bless you Sister Francis . I still have the Saint Pope John Paul II prayer card you brought back from.Rome and gave me as a book mark in my Daily Roman Missal. I pray for the repose of your soul which likely has already occured!

Avatar  Lorrita Verhey, SSND 5 months agoReply

Frances was our gracious and fun neighbor the years she lived across the street in Brookfield. I have fond memories of Frances coming over to chat in the summer evenings as well as times she joined us when the sister neighbors gathered for a barbecue. Fun times and special memories. May she rest in the loving embrace of her God.

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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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