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May 16, 2017, Wilmette, Illinois – Sister Nancy Murray, OP, known for her one-woman performances of the life of St. Catherine of Siena, received a fitting and unexpected honor for her Golden Jubilee. Regina Dominican High School – her alma mater and former scene of her ministry as a teacher and campus minister – named the stage in their newly renovated theater the S. Nancy Murray, OP, ’65 Stage.
The surprise revelation of the new stage – and a special tribute to Sister Nancy – took place May 1 after a dinner in her honor and in the middle of her own performance as St. Catherine of Siena.
“It was a big surprise,” Sister Nancy said in an interview back in Adrian, Michigan. “I didn’t know this was coming.”
About 400 people attended the event, which raised more than $100,000 for the school’s theater renovation and fine arts program. The program included dinner and a special presentation by Sister Ann Romayne Fallon, OP, who had been President of Regina Dominican when Sister Nancy was on the faculty.
“Students loved her, and why shouldn’t they?” Sister Ann Romayne noted. “Joy and excitement were two ingredients that were present in every class she taught.”
Sister Nancy’s performance of St. Catherine of Siena was interrupted by a special surprise: a performance of her favorite songs from “The Sound of Music” by a choir of Regina Dominican alumnae. She was taken backstage afterward for the final surprise: the naming of the new Sister Nancy Murray, OP, ’65 Stage.
“I looked out at the former students,” Sister Nancy recalled. “They were doctors and lawyers, special education teachers, social workers, a CPA, a judge, mothers who cared for their special needs children. This was such a great joy. This was over the top incredible. It was a step back in time that made us all move forward with great joy.”
Watch a video of the tribute to Sister Nancy.
Feature photo (above): Sister Ann Romayne Fallon, OP, former President of Regina Dominican High School, presents an award to Sister Nancy Murray, OP, still in costume as St. Catherine of Siena. | Photo Courtesy of Regina Dominican High School
By Sister Mary Jean Williams, OP
Director of Mission Integration,
Regina Dominican High School
May 9, 2017, Wilmette, Illinois – Regina Dominican High School completed its Dominican Week by presenting the Regina Dominican Veritas Award to Olivia Janickas, a senior, and Mary Schanel Stenson, Mathematics Department Co-Chairperson, Student Council Co-Moderator and WYSE and Mathletes Coach. The presentation took place during the Liturgy honoring St. Catherine of Siena.
The Veritas Award was established to commemorate the 800-year jubilee of the Order of Preachers. The faculty and staff nominated a senior and a colleague who, like St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena, exemplify a commitment to preach the Gospel message boldly and embrace and encourage a life of service to others.
Before the award presentation, Maggie McNaughton, one of the student Dominican preachers, shared her reflection, “Living the Dominican motto: Laudere, Benedicere, Praedicare.”
Sister Jean Williams, OP, Director of Mission Integration, shared comments from those who nominated Olivia Janickas and Mrs. Schanel Stenson.
“Olivia, those who nominated you recognized you as being empathetic, kind, compassionate, respectful, and willing to help anyone,” Sister Jean said. “You have been a model student since you transferred to Regina Dominican. You seek to excel in the classroom and are a conscientious worker. You always greet everyone with a smile. You openly proclaim your faith and set a powerful example of integrity and you have provided many hours of service to others. You embody Veritas and Caritas.”
To Mrs. Schanel Stenson, Sister Jean said, “Mary, you were recognized for exemplifying the spirit of the Dominican charism in your interactions with students, colleagues, and parents. You are a compassionate teacher who encourages your students and brings out the best in them. Your daily positive attitude and care and concern for others are attributes that impact the life and community of Regina Dominican.” She added that the teacher’s dedication to the student is “phenomenal, and you are a leader in our community for both students and adults.”
Ms. Patricia McDonell, last year’s recipient, presented the Veritas pin, a certificate, and gifts to Olivia and Mrs. Schanel Stenson, whose names are now engraved on the award’s perpetual plaque in the chapel.
Feature photo: From left are Elizabeth Schuster, Regina Dominican High School President; Meg Bigane, Regina Dominican High School Principal; Olivia Janickas and Mary Schanel Stenson, this year’s Veritas Award recipients; Patricia McDonnell, Regina Dominican High School Assistant Principal, Academic Dean, and 2015-2016 recipient.