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August 6, 2021, Westchester, Illinois – Sister Katherine Frazier, OP, renewed her vows with the Adrian Dominican Sisters for three years during a Vespers service August 1, 2021, in Chicago. Celebrating with Sister Katherine were Sister friends and the newly-elected leadership team of the Catherine of Siena Mission Chapter, Sisters Mary Jane Lubinski, OP, Mary Priniski, OP, and Mary Soher, OP.

During the ritual, Sister Katherine renewed her vows to Prioress Patricia Siemen, OP. Dominicans vow obedience to Almighty God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Dominic, and the Prioress and her lawful successors. The ritual concluded with the signing of papers by Sisters Patricia and Katherine and her formal witnesses, Sisters Mary Jane Lubinski, OP, and Dorothy Glaister, OP.

Sister Katherine Frazier, OP, renews her vows to Prioress Patricia Siemen, OP. Photo by Sister Durstyne Farnan, OP

In a phone interview, Sister Katherine reflected on the grace of her Renewal of Vows. “There’s so much uncertainty right now,” she said. “It was very moving to be able to say that I have the path ahead of me, recommitting myself at this time. This is an invitation to keep on my journey with the Adrian Dominican Sisters and to continue to discover how God is calling me in my life.”

Sister Katherine said she was moved by Sister Patricia’s invitation “to continue to live into a brave space,” and by the presence of so many friends – Sisters who had been with her on her journey as an Adrian Dominican Sister. The use of the incense during the simple service was also moving, she said. “I really felt the prayers of everyone enveloping me.”

Sister Patricia Walter, OP, who has accompanied Sister Katherine on her formation journey since she entered the Adrian Dominican Congregation in 2015, said temporary vows and renewal of vows are important steps of initial formation into a religious community, giving the Sister and the Congregation the time to discern whether she is called to be an Adrian Dominican Sister. “The process of full incorporation into the Congregation is a lengthy one,” she said. “Religious life is not a common vocation.” 

As Director of Formation, Sister Pat accompanies Sister Katherine in the initial formation process, helping her to understand the vows and shepherding her through the processes of renewal of vows and, ultimately, final profession. “It’s been a grace to accompany Katherine,” she said. “It affirms the relevance of the Dominican charism today because younger people still say, ‘There’s a call here and this is something I can give my life to.’”

Sister friends of Sister Katherine Frazier, OP, gather for her Renewal of Vows. Photo by Sister Durstyne Farnan, OP

A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Sister Katherine was serving as coordinator of the Bishop Donald Trautman Catholic House at Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania, at the time of her entrance into the Congregation. Since her First Profession in 2018, she has ministered in Mission Integration at Regina Dominican High School, an all-girls high school founded and sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters and located in Wilmette, Illinois.

Sister Katherine is beginning a new ministry: refugee resettlement in New Haven, Connecticut, which will involve helping refugees to find their way in their new homes and to meet their basic needs as they become adjusted to life in the United States. “I’m looking forward to learning a lot,” Sister Katherine said. 

Sister Katherine describes religious life as an adventure. “If there’s anything I have experienced in these last six years it is that religious life is very full of surprises,” she said. “Part of the mystery of religious life is discovering where God is calling us out of the community, and how often it takes us to unexpected places. It can sometimes be hard, but it’s always a place that is full of grace.”

If you or someone you know is a single Catholic woman, age 19 to 35, who is discerning God’s call, please contact Sister Katherine Frazier, OP, or Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, Co-directors of Vocations, at vocations@adriandominicans.org. Registrations are also being taken for the next Come and See weekend, October 8-10, 2021, at the Adrian Dominican Sisters Motherhouse campus in Adrian, Michigan.

Feature photo: Sister Mary Jane Lubinski, OP, one of Sister Katherine’s witnesses, embraces her as Prioress Patricia Siemen, OP, signs the Renewal of Vows document. Photo by Sister Durstyne Farnan, OP


August 4, 2021, Adrian, Michigan – “The Healing and Prophetic Power of Art” was the theme as 65 Dominicans – Sisters, Friars, and Associates – met virtually July 23-24, 2021, for the annual Dominican Institute for the Arts (DIA) Gathering.

The DIA focuses on the Dominican call to preach through the arts and has drawn members with a variety of artistic disciplines: visual arts, music, poetry, dance, preaching, and drama. The annual gathering gives members the opportunity to share their artwork, encourage one another, form community, and hear inspirational and informative talks.

Associate Pat Daly (Peace), President of the DIA, welcomes participants to the virtual conference. Photo by Sister Aneesah McNamee, OP

Associate Pat Daly (Peace), DIA President, welcomed the participants, who met via Zoom for about five hours each day, with a break for lunch. The first day gave participants the opportunity to share their art. Sister Barbara Schwarz, OP, (Amityville), presented a video slide show made up of five slides of art work from each participant, as well as In Memoriam slides of the work of members who died in the past year. Participants spent the afternoon in Zoom chat rooms, sharing their artwork with one another. 

The second day focused on the keynote address of Brother Mickey McGrath, OSFS, an artist, author, storyteller, and retreat director who lives in Camden, New Jersey. In her introduction, Sister Nancyann Turner, OP (Adrian), a member of the Planning Commission, noted that Brother Mickey has focused full-time on his art ministry since 1974. 

The author of 20 books, Brother Mickey has traveled throughout the United States and Canada “to share his firm belief that beauty will indeed heal and save our broken world,” Sister Nancyann said. “I am so inspired at how he is able to use his creativity and artistry to preach about peace and justice, to preach about the dignity of all people. His art does not condemn but builds up positive hopes.” More about Brother Mickey can be found on his website.

In his keynote address, Brother Mickey created connections between art and friendship and between art and healing. He told the story of artist Henri Matisse, an atheist who was helped by a Dominican Sister when he designed a chapel for the Dominican Sisters in France, and about American artist Georgia O’Keefe, who was inspired in her art by a Sinsinawa Dominican Sister who taught in the boarding school that Georgia attended. 

A slide during Brother Mickey McGrath’s keynote address shows Sister Corita Kent, OP, Dominican Sister of Sinsinawa who taught and influenced artist Georgia O’Keefe. Photo by Sister Aneesah McNamee, OP

Brother Mickey’s two sessions were were followed by group discussions in chat rooms.

The gathering also included prayer services led by Sisters Nancyann and Sue Schreiber, OP (Adrian), and Associate Judith Engel (Adrian). 

Because the 2020 Gathering was canceled due to COVID-19, DIA participants acknowledged Sister Irene Mary Diones, OP (Mission San Jose) as the 2020 recipient of the Fra Angelico Award and Sister Liz Sully, OP (Sinsinawa) as the 2020 recipient of the Spirit Recognition Award for her service to the DIA. The Fra Angelico Award – named after the great 15th-century Dominican artist – is the highest honor that the DIA bestows on its members.

Sisters Joella Miller, OP, and Aneesah McNamee, OP, both Dominican Sisters of Adrian, reflected on the conference and on the importance of encouraging Dominicans to preach through the arts. They attributed the success of the conference to Brother Mickey and his keynote address; to the clear script that kept the gathering moving forward; to Brad McCullar, of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Technology Department, who organized the virtual format; and to the spirit of the participants. They also acknowledged Sisters Rosemary Asaro, OP, and Joanne Peters, OP (Adrian) who helped the DIA members living in Adrian to connect to the gathering.  

Sister Joella chaired the Planning Commission, working with commission members Sisters Aneesah, Nancyann, and Sue Schreiber, and Associate Judith Engel. All are affiliated with the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, since Adrian was originally designated as the site of the 2021 gathering.

Sisters Joella and Aneesah also both serve on the DIA Board, which includes Associate Pat Daly (Peace), President; Sisters Ann Marie Santen, OP (Sparkill), and Mary Pat Reid, OP (Caldwell); and Father Rudolf Löwenstein, OP, a Friar from England.

“I’m very impressed with the membership,” Sister Joella said. “We have some wonderful, wonderful members. Their spirits are just so big.” A longtime member of the DIA, Sister Joella, a photographer, joined the group at the encouragement of the late Sister Kathleen Harkins, OP, who performed a one-woman play about St. Catherine of Siena.

Sister Aneesah, a free-lance graphic designer, calligrapher, and photographer, heard about the DIA shortly after entering the Dominican Sisters of Adrian and attended the Gathering in Adrian. “I was very impressed and excited about it,” she said. “Everybody needs to be encouraged. When you think of all those people and how their spirit comes out through their art and music – that’s what is inspiring to me.”

“Everybody is an artist in some way,” Sister Joella added. “They have some kind of creativity inside of them that needs to come out. I don’t think God created anybody who didn’t have some creative way to express themselves.”

Those interested in joining the DIA should contact Pat Daly at pmdaly@beld.net or Mary Pat Reid, OP (Caldwell), at marypreid@gmail.com.

Feature photo: Sister Maryanna Euring, OP (Amityville), plays the flute during the closing prayer of the 2021 virtual DIA gathering. Photo by Sister Aneesah McNamee, OP


Henri Matisse is depicted with Sister Jacques Marie (Monique Bourgeois), OP, the Sister who helped him design a chapel in France.
Photo by Sister Aneesah McNamee, OP


 

 

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