What's Happening


Collage of photos from 2023 news stories

January 10, 2024, Adrian, Michigan This past year brought the world many crises and challenges, from the ongoing wars Ukraine and the Holy Land to numerous natural disasters around the world and preparations for and unease about the coming presidential election. This article, however, focuses on the top stories in the lives of Adrian Dominican Sisters, Associates, Co-workers, and the Dominican family – often as they responded to world crises. 

1.    The Congregation: 

The Adrian Dominican Sisters hosted a Founder’s Day celebration in June marking the 100th anniversary of being declared an independent Congregation. Across the ocean, the Sisters of the Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter in the Philippines dedicated their new Central House, replacing the Motherhouse that had served their needs for about 50 years. Sister Frances Nadolny, OP, was called forth to serve on the General Council after Sister Janice Brown, OP, resigned for health reasons. Finally, the Congregation received an award from ProMedica for its Resilient Community collaboration in Adrian.  

2.    Ministry

Sister Donna Markham, OP, retired as President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, the first woman in the organization’s more than 100 years to hold that position. She was also honored by the Detroit Catholic Charities agency. Sister Judy Byron, OP, was recognized for her 32 years of service with Mercy Housing Northwest.

3.    Formation/Vocations:

Sister Meliza Arquillano, OP, professed her final vows in the Philippines. Jamie Caporizo was accepted into Formation as a Candidate. Six new Associates were accepted during a special ritual.

4.    Justice and Peace

Adrian Dominican Sisters and friends began 2023 by joining the delegation of activists during Immigration Advocacy Day at the Michigan State Capitol, asking for passage of a bill allowing immigrants to have driver’s licenses no matter their residency status. Karla Rivas, an activist from Honduras, visited Adrian as part of a delegation of Honduran activists to visit various areas of the United States to explain the challenges facing their country. As President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, Sister Donna Markham, OP, she visited Ukraine to learn about the conditions in that war-torn nation. Sisters Judy Byron, OP, and Patricia McDonald, OP, shared their experiences as participants in an anti-human trafficking conference. Sister Durstyne Farnan, OP, explained the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the need for people of all nations – especially the wealthy, developed countries – to support and work on the efforts to meet those goals. Sisters at the Motherhouse prayed a Rosary for Peace shortly after the Hamas attack on Israel.

5.    Sponsored/Legacy Institutions:

Sister Beth Butler, OP, was named an Honorary Alum of Siena Heights University for her influence on criminal justice students she taught. Also during Homecoming weekend, Siena Heights University dedicated the Sister Peg Albert Social Work Simulation and Practice Lab after Sister Peg retired in June 2023 after 17 years as President of the university. Barry University received grants to establish an Agriculture and Food Training Scholarship Program and to train nursing students, encouraging them to enter a demanding and much-needed field. Also in the healthcare field, St. Rose Dominican Hospitals in Henderson and Las Vegas, Nevada, broke ground for its fifth neighborhood hospital and paid tribute to the Sisters who founded the hospital. Aquinas Literacy Center in Chicago received a sizable grant from the State of Illinois to enhance its work in adult literacy. Rosarian Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Regina Dominican High School in Wilmette, Illinois, held the transfer of sponsorship ceremonies from the Adrian Dominican Sisters to the collaborative Dominican Veritas Ministries, a new pontifical juridic person (PJP) for the canonical sponsorship of elementary and high schools previously sponsored by five Dominican congregations. Regina Dominican High School completed the first phase of its Building Her Tomorrow renovation, and Rosarian Academy expanded its facilities to accommodate a growing number of students. 

6.    Sustainability:

Students from Barry University and Siena Heights University participated in the Environmental Leadership Experience (ELE) on the Motherhouse Campus; Sisters and Associates took part in two forums addressing air pollution in Detroit; and the solar array on the Motherhouse campus was blessed and dedicated. As part of a series of presentations sponsored by the Congregation’s Office of Racial Equity and Cultural Inclusion, Brad Frank, Director of Sustainability, gave a presentation, “Be a Better Earth Ally.”

7.    Equity and Inclusion

To help Sisters, Associates, and Co-workers to better understand people of diverse backgrounds, the Congregation’s Office of Racial Equity and Cultural Inclusion offered presentations by special guests, including topics Understanding Gender; Growing Up Me (Native American); and The World as We See It, by a panel of Black Siena Heights University students. Sister Susan Gardner, OP, participated in the Healing and Reconciliation Project for Native Americans in the United States. The Congregation hosted an Indigenous Peoples Day Teach-in. Sister Jamie Phelps, OP, gave the commencement address for Xavier University’s Black Catholic Studies Program graduates in New Orleans. 

8.    Women:

Dominican Sisters worldwide attended side events at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Sister Durstyne Farnan, OP, led a UN webinar on empowering rural women. Both events took in March, the month dedicated to women.

9.    Human Interest

Sister Mariane Fahlman, OP, walked the El Camino Trail; Sister Geraldine Brownell celebrated her Jubilee in Heaven the day after celebrating her 75-year Jubilee at the Motherhouse; Sister Miriam Joseph Lekan was honored for her 100th birthday; and Co-workers at Motherhouse were recognized for milestone years of service

10.      Religious Life

Donna Markham, OP, received the Leadership Award from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) for her years of service and leadership. The elected leadership of Catholic women’s congregations of Sisters wrote a letter of support to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and State Rep. Samantha Steckloff in response to an antisemitic threat to the two elected leaders.



July 8, 2022, Tecumseh, Michigan – Sister Mary Louise Putrow, OP, author, and Associate Arlene Bachanov, Editorial Assistant, will offer a presentation on Seeds of Change, the latest history book of the Adrian Dominican Sisters. The presentation – held on Zoom from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 – is sponsored by the Tecumseh District Library.

Seeds of Change covers the years of 1962 to 1986, including the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ pivotal 1968 Chapter of Renewal, held in response to the Second Vatican Council’s call for renewal of congregations of women religious in the Catholic Church. Through text, photos, and interviews with Sisters who lived through the years covered by the book, Seeds of Change tells the story of the many changes that took place during those decades that still affect the Congregation today.

More information can be found on the Tecumseh District Library’s Facebook post. Registration to receive a Zoom invitation can be accessed here.

Copies of Seeds of Change sell for $15 and are available through the Weber Shop at Weber Retreat and Conference Center. They can be ordered by calling 517-266-4035 or emailing the shop at webershop@adriandominicans.org. They can also be bought in the shop, located in the Weber Retreat Center on the Adrian Dominican Sisters Motherhouse Campus, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday to Friday and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday. The shop is closed for lunch from noon to 12:45 p.m.

July 25, 2022 Update

Watch the recorded presentation below.




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