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April 26, 2016 – Seven women in two separate ceremonies on two separate days became Associates of the Adrian Dominican Sisters over the weekend of April 23-24.
Associates are women and men, at least 18 years of age, who are married, single, widowed or divorced and who resonate with the mission and ministry of the Adrian Dominican Sisters. While maintaining their own lifestyle and remaining financially independent, Associates participate in various social, spiritual, and ministerial experiences with Adrian Dominican Sisters and attend Congregational events.
The first Associate Ritual of Acceptance took place on April 23 in Boca Raton, Florida, where all three women reside. All were mentored by Sisters Carmen Álvarez and Frances Madigan – will make their Commitment to Associate Life.
Bonnie Aymat, originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, studied engineering at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. She and her husband, Luis, a mechanical engineer, run a company that sells and installs pollution control equipment and water systems.
Diana Castro, a native of Bogota, Columbia, is an interior designer and architect by trade. Her ministry in her parish, St. Joan of Arc, includes working with migrant workers and with elders suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Neisy Nuñez, originally of Cuba, studied architectural design in Florida and is also active in St. Joan of Arc Parish. She works with Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and helps in the diocesan religious reward program for Scouts.
Four women became Associates on April 24 in St. Catherine Chapel at the Motherhouse of the Adrian Dominican Sisters.
Sharon Bock, of Palm Springs, California, first met the Adrian Dominican Sisters at Rosarian Academy, West Palm Beach, Florida, in 1957 and entered the Congregation in 1961, withdrawing in 1976. Her professional work has included process facilitation, design of adult instruction, and management of trade show conventions. She was mentored by Sister Sharon McGuire.
Helene Knierim, of Tecumseh, Michigan, was born in Germany but moved to Australia at the age of two. Mentored by Sister Molly Nicholson, Helene operates a dance studio in Tecumseh; her gift for liturgical dance was evidenced during the Easter Vigil in Holy Rosary Chapel this year.
Peggy Ann Wilds, of Brooklyn, Michigan, is a retired teacher and a member of the Episcopalian Church. She met the Congregation while taking classes at Siena Heights and remained connected through retreats and spiritual direction at Weber Center. She was mentored by Sister Barbara Quincey.
Melinda Ziegler, of Litchfield, Michigan, has served the Congregation for more than six years as a graphic designer for the Communications Office. She completed the religious studies program at Siena Heights University and became a lay ecclesial leader. The late Sister Barbara Chenicek was her mentor.
The Ritual of Acceptance includes the introduction of each Associate and the opportunity for the Associate to explain why he or she chose this spiritual pathway. Associates then sign the Agreement of Association, noting their willingness to enter into a formal relationship with the Adrian Dominican Sisters through a non-vowed commitment to the mission and vision. The new Associates also receive a special Associate logo, similar to the logo worn by Adrian Dominican Sisters.
If you are interested in Associate Life, please contact Associate Mary Lach, director, at 517-266-3531 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feature photo: Sister Frances Madigan, OP, left, one of the two mentors, watches as the new Associates sign their Agreement of Association, from left: Neisy Nuñez, Bonnie Aymat, and Diana Castro. Not shown is Sister Carmen Álvarez, OP, mentor. Photo by Associate Peggy Rowe-Linn
March 11, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – Five Associates of the Adrian Dominican Sisters have agreed to take on the new task of serving on Associate Life’s newly-formed Advisory Board.
Associates are men and women, at least 18 years of age, who make a non-vowed commitment to partner with the Adrian Dominican Sisters. While maintaining their own lifestyle and remaining financially independent, Associates participate in various spiritual, social, and ministerial experiences with the Sisters, as well as attending Congregational events. Associate Life is a way to live out the Dominican charism (spirituality) of seeking truth and preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ through a non-vowed commitment.
“The idea for the Advisory Board came out of a need that we’ve had the last few years of trying to figure out how to respond to the distinct charism of Associates,” who live out the Dominican spirituality in different ways than do their vowed Sisters, said Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life and herself an Associate.
Serving on the Advisory Board with Mary Lach; Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP, Director of the Formation Department; and Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, General Council Liaison to Associate Life, are the following Associates:
Connie Brady, of Ben Lomond, California, a retired registered nurse and case manager, first met the Adrian Dominican Sisters through her work at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, California. As chair of the Peace and Justice Committee of her parish, St. John’s Catholic Church in Felton, California, she coordinates outreach to people who come to St. John’s on Thursdays to be treated by Dominican Hospital’s Mobile Wellness Clinic.
“It became evident that many of the folks who came for care were also hungry,” Connie explained. She and a group of committed parishioners prepare and serve about 120 lunches every Thursday.
An Associate since 2007, Connie chaired Partners III – the annual gathering of Associates in Adrian – and serves as a Representative of Associate Life (RAL).
Jacci Brown, of Waterford, Michigan, spent 10 years as a vowed Adrian Dominican Sister in Chicago and, after leaving the community, moved to Detroit. She has served as a religion teacher and then as principal for four years at Beahan Junior High School in Farmington; Religion Department Chair at Marion High School, Birmingham; Assistant Director for Catechetics for the Archdiocese of Detroit; and an adjunct faculty member at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and Saints Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake.
Jacci’s work as a grief counselor has included giving a workshop on loss to the Sisters at the Dominican Life Center. An Associate since 2011, she chaired Partners II and is co-chairing Partners IV.
Deb Carter, of St. Joseph, Michigan, retired this past Fall from Siena Heights University after working there for 33 years. In her last position, which she held since 2000, Deb served as Dean of the College for Professional Studies, overseeing Siena’s seven degree completion centers, a nationally recognized online program, and the Theological Studies Program in the Diocese of Lansing. She is Dean Emerita, holding the rank of Assistant Professor of the Liberal Arts.
An Associate since 1995, Deb is interested in unifying Associates through educational opportunities, using technology to help Associates communicate with one another, and involving Associates in local service projects.
Carol Johnson, of Decatur, Illinois, is part of the tightly knit group of 13 Associates in the St. Louis area. After volunteering as a music minister at Holy Family Parish in Decatur, she became involved in music ministry at neighboring St. Thomas the Apostle Parish. She interrupted this ministry to study at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, and recently retired as music director at St. Thomas. She serves on the parish council and, for the past nine months, on the parish’s Year of Mercy Committee.
A RAL, Carol hopes to bring the model of the St. Louis Associates to other Associates, especially those who live near few Sisters in active ministry. She is also interested in helping Associates connect with one another.
Trudy McSorley, of Adrian, spent nearly 20 years as a vowed member and 40 years in ministry at Siena Heights University, where she served as Assistant Professor of Theater and Director of the Child Drama Program, Dean for Students, and Assistant to the President for Mission Education.
Her experience includes presenting workshops in storytelling, journaling, and theater techniques. Trudy is a spiritual director at Weber Center, as well as a retreat director and a hospice volunteer. She has served on several boards, including St. Joseph Academy and Catholic Charities of Lenawee County. Trudy hopes to share her expertise and develop ways that the Associates can grow in the Dominican charism.
For information about becoming an Adrian Dominican Associate, contact Mary Lach at 517-266-3531 or email@example.com.