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Sister Jeannine was a special part of our lives and our family for many, many years. She came into our lives when she taught our son Peter, in third grade, at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Catholic School in Ft. Lauderdale in 1969. She was truly an amazing teacher, nun, and a beautiful spiritual, kind, caring woman and dear friend. We all loved her very much. We are so blessed that she became part of our family and shared in all of our life experiences; the joys and the sorrows over the years.
These words came from the Sheridan family of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in a remembrance sent to Adrian when they heard of the passing of Sister Jeannine Holway. The Sheridans went on to share several memories of Sister Jeannine, and then added, “There aren’t enough words for us to express our love and feelings for Sister Jeannine. She was such a special part of our lives and we will truly miss her.”
Jeannine was born on January 28, 1931, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to Charles and Mildred (Joneness) Holway. According to her autobiography, she and a twin brother were born at an aunt’s house in Montreal because they arrived six weeks early. Her twin died a week after birth.
The Holways split their time between Long Island, New York, and a number of different cities in Florida for the winter months. In 1938, the family moved to Miami permanently.
Read more about Sister Jeannine (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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Elizabeth Reagan’s first visit to Adrian, which came in 1933 when she was eight years old, coincided with Mother Gerald Barry’s election as Mother General of the Congregation. “She came out on the porch of Madden Hall and I was ushered into her presence by one of the nuns,” she wrote in her life story. “Mother put her hands on my head and asked me if I were going to be a Sister. Without any hesitancy, I said, ‘Yes, I am.’ I am sure the whole matter was settled that day.”
Elizabeth, the future Sister Mary Willard, was born on May 10, 1925, in Detroit, to Willard and Mary Agnes (Dixon) Reagan. The couple’s first two children, twin boys, died at birth; Elizabeth was born four years later, followed in time by Willard and Eugenie.
“I did things early and possessed a strong will,” she wrote. “My parents said later they were glad I was attracted to good, since I might have gotten into trouble otherwise.”
Read more about Sister Mary Willard (pdf)
Beginning in the mid-1920s, the south side of Lansing, Michigan, was home to the Hengesbach family: Harold and Irma (Mikulaschek) and, as the years went on, four daughters: Barbara, Anita, Elaine, and Shirley.
Harold was born in the small town of Westphalia, Michigan, a largely German-Catholic community twenty-five miles northwest of Lansing. His family moved to Lansing when he was sixteen, and it was there, at a party, that he met the daughter of Ludwig and Fanny Mikulaschek.
The Mikulascheks and their daughter were immigrants from Sarajevo, which at that time was part of Austria-Hungary. Ludwig served in the Army there, and when his enlistment was complete he could either re-enlist or return to Vienna to manage the family sugar-beet business. As Barbara told the story in her autobiography:
Neither choice was too appealing and stories of “streets paved with gold” in the land across the Atlantic sounded more interesting. Ludwig and Fanny Mikulaschek and their only child came to America. Mother was four years old at the time. The young family lived in New York for awhile and then made the move to Lansing, Michigan. Grandpa got a job at Oldsmobile. He never did find the “gold,” but he was happy earning an honest living for his young wife and beautiful daughter.
Read more about Sister Barbara (pdf)
When we reflect about our Aunt, three words seem to stand out:
Her selflessness made her the amazing and unforgettable nun we all know. Her strong leadership as a principal was proven over her 38-year tenure at Visitation and [she had a] kindness and ability to make everyone she met feel comfortable and important.
Colleen Monahan Hoffman and Kathy Monahan Brannon were describing their aunt, Sister Thomas Leo Monahan, in a remembrance for Sister’s wake service in November 2020. They also shared fond memories of their “Aunt Toots” coming for visits at their grandparents’ summer home in McHenry, Illinois, her love of cats and McDonald’s hamburgers, and the way she “always wanted to hear what you had to say.”
“Toots is an unusual name for a nun and we’re not sure where it came from, but its uniqueness fits the woman we all know and love,” the two nieces’ remembrance concluded.
Kathleen Alice Monahan, the future Sister Thomas Leo, was born on September 20, 1929, in Chicago to Roy and Kathryn (Devine) Monahan. She was one of seven children in the family, along with four brothers – William, James, Robert and John – and two sisters, Jean and Lois.
Read more about Sister Thomas Leo (PDF)
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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We invite you to meet some of the wonderful women who have recently crossed into eternity.