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Kevin Hofmann, Director of the Office of Racial Equity and Cultural Inclusion, chats with Rose Johnson during her presentation, Growing Up Me: A Native American’s Experience

July 26, 2023, Adrian, Michigan – Rose Johnson, a Native American woman who spent most of her life in Adrian, Michigan, shared with Adrian Dominican Sisters, Associates, Co-workers, and the general public about her early life of being rejected by her mother, adopted by an older white couple, and finally reconnecting with her roots in the Native community.

Rose’s presentation, Growing Up Me: A Native American’s Experience, was part of a series of presentations by people of diverse races and cultures offered by the Adrian Dominican Sisters Office of Racial Equity and Cultural Inclusion. Kevin Hofmann, director of the office, interviewed Rose throughout the presentation, held July 13, 2023, at the Weber Retreat and Conference Center Auditorium.

After speaking about her early life and childhood with her foster family in Adrian, Rose recounted her eventual reconnection with the local Native community. “They brought me in and they told me I needed to be in the circle,” she said. “They taught me that I belonged somewhere, and that was an awesome feeling.” Rose said she and her husband became part of the Odawa people in Adrian, although her original heritage is Comanche and Aztec.

During the presentation, Rose gave her perspective as a Native American woman on four of the five Enactments approved by delegates at the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ 2022 General Chapter.

  • Diversity: “We have the medicine wheel, and the medicine wheel has all colors: the red, the yellow, the black, and the white,” Rose explained. She said the medicine wheel stands for all of the children God created. “We need each other to survive,” she said. 
  • Sustainability: Rose described Earth as the mother, and acting sustainably is “just like protecting our own mothers.” Earth is “part of us,” giving us life. “Her blood is in the rivers and the waters. Without that, we have no life.”
  • Women: Rose described most Native American communities as matriarchal. “Nothing is done without the woman’s permission,” she said. Men are the protectors of women. “Women are supposed to be the ones to raise the children,” she said, adding that women will fight to save the children.
  • Spirituality: “I can’t spend a day or take a breath without having God’s breath on me or saying anything that God hasn’t inspired in my thoughts,” Rose explained. She cited the Scriptural teaching that humans are made in God’s image. “So if we love ourselves, we’re going to love all of creation and everybody else,” she said. 

Watch the entire video to learn more about Native American traditions, including the Ghost Supper, pow-wows, and dance. 

headshots of authors Thomas Berry and Evelyn Underhill

July 7, 2023, Adrian, Michigan – Do you envision mystics as people who lived in the distant past and had unique visions of God? A Retreat on the Mystics: Thomas Berry and Evelyn Underhill, offers participants the opportunity to learn about and reflect on two mystics who taught that mysticism and contemplation are available to anyone.

A Retreat on the Mystics is from 7:00 p.m. Sunday, July 23, 2023, through 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 26, 2023, at Weber Retreat and Conference Center. The focus is on two mystics:

    •    Thomas Berry (1914-2009), a Catholic priest, cultural historian, and author of The Dream of the Earth, urged that humanity return to a deeper knowing and seek guidance from the ultimate powers of the universe as they make themselves present to us. Sister Gail Worcelo, SGM, co-founder of the Sisters of the Earth Community, offers the presentation on Thomas Berry and on his belief that we are in an emerging geobiological era in which humanity learns to live as mutually enhancing members of the Earth community.

    •    Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941) was an English mystic, theologian, spiritual director, and pacificist who wrote 39 books on spirituality. She insisted that contemplative prayer – which she understood as union with Reality – is possible for everyone. Sister Patricia Walter, OP, former Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Sisters and an educator, author, and preacher, offers the presentation on Evelyn Underhill. 

The cost – which includes all meals for overnight guests and lunch for commuters – is $180 for commuters, $280 per person double occupancy, and $380 for single occupancy. Registration is required and is available at www.webercenter.org; click on “programs.” Registrations may also be made by calling 517-266-4000 or emailing webercenter@adriandominicans.org. Limited scholarships are available.

Weber Center is on the campus of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse, Adrian, Michigan. Traveling east on Siena Heights Drive, pass the Adrian Rea Literacy Center and turn left just before the solar panel-covered parking lot. Follow the signs to Weber Center. For information, call the Weber Center at 517-266-4000.



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