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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.
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.’”
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 email@example.com. 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
July 15, 2021, Adrian, Michigan – Adrian Dominican Sisters in ministry throughout the United States helped identify people affected by COVID-19 who could benefit from $1,000 grants issued by Catholic Extension.
Gary, the head of a household that included two other elderly adults on fixed incomes, received help in paying the three-month balance on his electric bill. Children participating in the Rosa Parks Children’s Program at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit received their own set of garden tools to help them raise and harvest vegetables to take home to their families. They also received school supplies.
Val, a single mom in Chicago who contracted the COVID-19 virus and who struggled with bills even after returning to work, received help paying her electric bill and hospital bill, and received gift cards to pay for groceries and gasoline. Two women served by the St. Kateri Center in Chicago received help in paying their bills: Paula, an iron worker in Chicago and the single mother of four children, worked sporadically and was disqualified from unemployment benefits. Tina, who cares for two grandchildren, was laid off from her work of cleaning the rooms at Palmer House in Chicago.
These individuals and their families were the beneficiaries of special grants: the Sisters on the Front Lines Grants from Catholic Extension and, for the individuals in Chicago, grants from Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities (FADICA), which focused its Sisters on the Front Lines grants to families in Chicago. Catholic Extension, a member organization of FADICA, gives grants to underserved, “mission” Catholic communities in the United States to help them build up the Catholic presence.
The grants went to Adrian Dominican Sisters who minister to people on the margins and who knew individuals and families who had special financial needs as a direct result of the pandemic.
Sister Jane Zimmerman, a spiritual director at Marillac St. Vincent Family Services in Chicago, said it was a privilege to work with Val to receive the grant. “Val was overjoyed and so grateful to have received this unexpected assistance,” Sister Jane said. “As for me, the experience gave me the opportunity to reflect on our Adrian Dominican commitment to ‘walk in solidarity with people who are poor.’”
Sister JoAnn Fleischaker, OP, who worked with both Tina and Paula at the Kateri Center, said she was also grateful for the assistance from FADICA. She has been involved in the Kateri Center, a center for Native Americans in Chicago, since 2015, after ministering for 21 years in Oklahoma as part of a Dominican collaborative ministry with the Cheyenne and Arapaho.
Sister Maureen McGrath, OP, Director of the Catholic Community Center in Benton Harbor, Michigan, described Gary as the “kindest, most grateful man.” Thanks to the Sisters on the Front Lines grant, she said, “we were able to assist Gary with an electric bill which required more assistance than we could have pledged … When I told him about the Catholic Extension gift, he almost cried, he was so very grateful for the relief.”
Sister Nancyann Turner, OP, recent Program Director for the Rosa Parks Children’s Program, said the grant money was used for the Children’s Peace Garden Program. “With monies from the grant, sessions were held more often but smaller so that children could keep a social distance from each other.”
These grants – and several more – were shepherded by Sister Nancy Murray, OP. While she was sidelined during the pandemic from her formal ministry – portraying St. Catherine of Siena at parishes, schools and other organizations throughout the world. She coordinated the $1,000 grants to families served by organizations in which Adrian Dominican Sisters were involved.
Catholic Extension announced the campaign, Sisters on the Front Lines, in June 2020 as a way to serve people whose lives have been affected by COVID-19. The plan was to give grants of $1,000 to 1,000 Sisters, knowing that they would know which families needed help because of the pandemic.
Sister Nancy originally reached out to Adrian Dominican Sisters who worked with organizations that served people facing poverty or homelessness. Other Sisters who received the grants for individuals or families were Sister Theresa Mayrand, OP, Associate Director of Gianna House, Detroit, which offers resources to pregnant teenagers and to all new mothers in need; Sister Carol Weber, OP, Co-founder and Co-director of St. Luke N.E.W. Life Center, Flint, Michigan, which offers a variety of services to help people in the Flint community to become self-sustaining; and Sister Patricia Leonard, OP, Associate Director of St. Ann Place, which provides services to homeless women and men in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Sister Nancy also received a grant for an Adrian area migrant farm worker family that is suffering economically because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other Sisters receiving the grant through FADICA were Sister Joan Mary, OP, who, as a volunteer at Aquinas Literacy Center in Chicago, tutored a woman who became pregnant and went to Syria to be with her mother. The grant enabled the literacy center to purchase laptops for adult learners so that they could continue to be tutored remotely.
Sister Eunice Drazba, OP, procured a grant for an employee who had been laid off from St. Leonard’s Ministries, which helps men and women leaving the prison system to adapt successfully in the community. Sister Dorothy Dempsey, OP, received a grant for a family with a special needs child.
Feature photo: Paula, with one of her daughters, received a check from FADICA to help her catch up on her bills during the COVID-19 pandemic. She was identified by Sister Jo Ann Fleischaker, OP, as heading a family that needed a grant.