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December 10, 2015, Adrian, Michigan – The third book on the history of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, To Fields Near and Far: Adrian Dominican Sisters History 1933-1961, has been released. The book, by Sister Nadine Foley, OP, and Arlene Bachanov, follows up where the second book, Seeds Scattered and Grown, has left off.

To Fields Near and Far covers the period in which Mother Gerald Barry served as Mother General of the Adrian Dominican Congregation. The book covers a period of tremendous growth in the Congregation in such areas as sponsored institutions and education of the Sisters. Along with Mother Gerald’s accomplishments, the book captures the faith, courage, and creativity of many Adrian Dominicans at that time. 

A book signing will be held from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, December 17, 2015, in the Rose Room of the Dominican Life Center at the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse Campus, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, MI 49286.

Sister Nadine, Congregation Historian, served two terms on the Congregation’s General Council, from 1974 to 1978 and from 1978 to 1982 and as Prioress of the Congregation from 1986 to 1992. In addition, she has served as President of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and as U.S. delegate to the International Union of Superior Generals.

Arlene Bachanov, left, and Sister Nadine Foley, OP, study their new book, To Fields Near and Far.

Arlene, an Associate of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, works in the History Office with Sister Nadine. Associates are lay women and men who make a non-vowed commitment to the Adrian Dominican Sisters and to their mission and vision. A journalist by training and a professional writer for most of her adult life, Arlene is also a freelance writer for several publications, including The Daily Telegram, newspaper of Adrian, Michigan, and Lenawee Magazine.  

To Fields Near and Far sells for $15 and is available at the Weber Shop at Weber Retreat and Conference Center, on the Adrian Dominican Motherhouse Campus, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan 49286. The Weber Shop is open from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:15 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. To order the book, call 517-266-4035 or email webershop@adriandominicans.org

Feature photo: Sister Attracta Kelley, OP, left, Prioress of the Congregation, receives the first copy of To Fields Near and Far from the authors, Sister Nadine Foley, OP, right, and Arlene Bachanov, center.

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By Sister Patricia Stellmah, OP

December 10, 2015, Cleveland, Ohio – I was privileged to be among more than 500 people who participated in a special gathering, “Bearing Witness: The Living Legacy of the Church Women in El Salvador,” held December 1 at the Motherhouse of the Ursuline Sisters in Cleveland. We gathered in the chapel, where we divided into four groups for our silent procession and pilgrimage to four places to remember the events of 35 years ago and to become a part of the legacy for the future.

The December 1 event marked 35 years since December 1, 1980, when four U.S. Catholic missionaries who had served in El Salvador were abducted on their way back from the airport, raped, and murdered for their dedication to the poor people of El Salvador in the midst of a terrible civil war. 

We began with a display of large pictures of the Church women: Maryknoll Sisters Maura Clark and Ita Ford; Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel, of Cleveland; and lay missioner Jean Donovan. Also on display were photos of other martyrs involved with the people of El Salvador: Blessed Archbishop Oscar Romero; murdered in March 1980 by government agents while he celebrated Mass; and six Jesuit priests – Ignacio Ellacuría, Ignacio Martín-Baró, Segundo Montes, Juan Ramón Moreno, Amando López, and Joaquin López y López; Julia Elba Ramos, their housekeeper; and her daughter, Celina Ramos, murdered in November 1989 because of the priests’ activism in favor of the people. In the next room, four women who portrayed the Church women spoke of why they came to El Salvador – and why they stayed, in spite of the danger.

The last two stops focused on the two women who were connected to Cleveland. Excerpts from Sister Dorothy’s letters to her family were read, as well as a letter she had written to President Carter. A woman portraying Jean Donovan told of her love for the children, which kept her in El Salvador, and introduced a woman from El Salvador, who told her story. The woman had been 12 years old at the time of the murders. The daughter of the woman who cooked for the Sisters, she had grown to love each of them. She had declined an invitation on that day in December 1980 to ride with Sister Dorothy and Jean to pick up Sisters Maura and Ita at the airport – and was thus spared from being murdered along with the Church women. Years later, the young woman was awarded the Sister Dorothy Kazel Scholarship to Ursuline College of Cleveland and came to live in the United States with her mother.

The Diocese of Cleveland has a mission in El Salvador, and sisters, priests, and lay missionaries have served there for 51 years. The final prayer included recognition of parishes and schools that have supported and visited the diocese’s three missions in El Salvador.

The beautiful evening was the fourth in a series of remembrances of the 35th anniversary year. The events were planned by the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland, John Carroll University, Notre Dame College, Ursuline College, the InterReligious Task Force on Central America, and Community Oscar Arnulfo Romero (COAR). Read another article on the event from the Diocese of Cleveland and watch a video reflecting on the impact of the women’s martyrdom. 


Feature photo: Courtesy of the Diocese of Cleveland



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