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June 28, 2023, Adrian, Michigan – In a spirit of joy and gratitude, Adrian Dominican Sisters, Associates, family members, and friends gathered at the Adrian Dominican Motherhouse to celebrate the combined 2,545 years of service and ministry by 38 Sisters marking their Jubilee – milestone anniversaries of their years of religious life.
Jubilee 2023 celebrated the loving dedication of eight 75-year Jubilarians, 19 Double-Diamond (70-year) Jubilarians, nine Diamond (60-year) Jubilarians, one Golden (50-year) Jubilarian, and one Silver (25-year) Jubilarian.
The celebration began on the afternoon of June 22, 2023, with a meeting of the Jubilarians with the General Council, followed by dinner. The Sisters also had time during the celebration to catch up with one another and to share memories. Sister Magdalena Ezoe, OP, composer and pianist, offered the Jubilarians, guests, and other Sisters and Associates a special piano concert on the evening of June 23, 2023.
The Jubilee celebration also included a time of remembrance and gratitude for the commitment of the Congregation’s 68 deceased Jubilarians who would have marked 75, 70, or 60 years of religious life this year. Sisters Mary Suzanne Kennedy, OP, and Janet Doyle, OP, both 60-year Jubilarians, opened the Mass for Deceased Jubilarians on June 23, 2023, with a solemn recitation of their names.
“Can you feel it – can you feel their presence?” Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP, asked in her reflection on the Mass readings. The deceased Jubilarians “are here to celebrate our shared lives and commitment that are bigger than time and space as we experience them,” she said. “Our fore-Sisters are here and they rejoice with us.”
Sister Lorraine – Vicaress, General Councilor, and Silver Jubilarian – noted that the Sisters who are alive and serving today are continuing the work of the deceased Jubilarians, who now “bask in the divine gaze of the fullness of eternal love … Isn’t that the spirit of love we have tried, at our better times, to reflect to those we encounter, to those we want to serve?”
Sister Lorraine noted the trust that Jesus still has for his disciples of today, even with their limitations. She gave the example of a Sister who, during a recent Mass, reached out to another Sister who was struggling to find her place in the hymnal and gently found the right page for her. Afterward, she helped the same Sister who was struggling to stand. “That was an example of compassion and love right here in this chapel,” she pointed out. “We see it all the time.”
Finally, Sister Lorraine recalled strongly feeling the gentle and comforting presence of the Adrian Dominican Sisters who had died. “Our Sisters go before us and are with us,” she said. “We are not alone. … We are united today in our love, our commitment, and our fidelity. In the great timeless force of Love that carries us all, we celebrate our fore-Sisters and know they still share the journey with us.”
The hymn, Jubilate Deo, sung during the June 24, 2023, Jubilee Mass, captured the joy of the Jubilarians and of the entire assembly. While every Jubilee celebration is joyous, this year’s celebration marked two additional causes for joy: it was the first in which all Jubilarians – marking Jubilee years from 75 to 25 – could celebrate together, and it was the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began that guests other than Sisters could join in the celebration in person and without masks.
In her welcome, Sister Josephine Gaugier, OP, a Double-Diamond Jubilarian, noted that the designation of Jubilarians as silver, golden, and diamond implies richness, “but in this case, [they] mean an abundance of years and blessings.” In the years 1948,1953, 1963, 1973, and 1998, the Jubilarians officially gave their “yes” to vowed Dominican life. “Our yes was abundant with God’s grace, year upon year,” she said. Through both the smooth and rough times, “the Holy Spirit guided us on the way culminating in this year of Jubilee.”
In her reflection, Sister Elise D. García, OP, Prioress of the Congregation, noted the rich diversity of the Jubilarians and of the calls they received. “Each of you possesses an incredible … fidelity to follow God’s call, no matter when or where or how often you heard it,” Sister Elise said to the Jubilarians. She noted the diversity of ministries: from education at all levels, as teachers, guidance counselors, librarians, and campus ministers; to ministry as therapists, counselors, or spiritual directors; in multiple roles in parishes and dioceses, with expertise in canon law, liturgical ministry, religious education, music, and adult and youth ministries.
“Who among you thought your vocation would find expression through your giftedness as an artist, or as a communicator in public relations, or through healing ministries in nursing, pharmacy, healthcare, or as a convent administrator?” Sister Elise asked. She added that commitment to justice, peace, and making the world a better place has led other Jubilarians to witness in corporate board rooms and to serve in prison ministry, justice and ecology centers, community organizing, and retreat and conference centers. “These are among the many beautiful and surprising pathways” taken by this year’s Jubilarians, she said.
Sister Elise noted that all are chosen and beloved by God. “That insight is a gift of our Christian faith,” she said. “It is another and more rare gift of our faith tradition to be called, as you were, to give your entire lives in radical service to the mission of Jesus.”
After her reflection, Sister Elise received the Jubilarians’ willingness to continue to say “yes” to their call as they renewed their vows. A festive dinner after Mass rounded out the formal celebration, but Jubilarians and their guests continued to have ample time to celebrate together informally. The sense of Jubilee continues throughout the year.
July 13, 2021, Adrian, Michigan – The Adrian Dominican Congregation celebrated the lives and faithful dedication of 44 Jubilarians – one Sister marking 80 years; 12 marking 75 years; 14 celebrating their Double-Diamond (70-year) Jubilee; 17 celebrating their Diamond (60-year) Jubilee; and one Sister marking her Silver (25-year) Jubilee. Together, the Jubilarians represent 3,005 years of religious life, dedicated to God, the Church, and the Adrian Dominican Congregation.
The Congregation’s formal celebration – scaled down from previous years because of the COVID-19 pandemic – involved a Memorial Mass for seven deceased Diamond Jubilarians on June 25, 2021, and the formal Jubilee Mass for the living Diamond and Silver Jubilarians on June 26, 2021.
As a sign that the Motherhouse Campus is gradually reopening, seven Jubilarians who live at the Motherhouse or in surrounding Lenawee County attended the two Masses in person. They were Sisters Rosemary (Maura Catherine) Abramovich, OP, Virginia (John Thoma) Corley, OP, Tarianne (Virginia Anne) DeYonker, OP, Carmen Joseph Dominguez, OP, Mary (Mary Ardice) Keefe, OP, and Gloria (Jonathan) Korhonen, OP, all Diamond Jubilarians, and Sister Aneesah McNamee, OP, a Silver Jubilarian.
The Sisters celebrating their 80, 75, and 70 years of religious life were honored separately by their Mission Chapters. View the complete list of the 2021 Jubilarians.
In a moving ritual during the Memorial Mass, individual Jubilarians placed a flower in a vase in front of the altar as each deceased Diamond Jubilarian’s name was proclaimed: Mary Elizabeth (Marie Jonathan) Beres, OP, Carol Ann (Mary Teresina) Dulka, OP, Michele Kopp, OP, Mary Ann Luby, OP, Theresa (Victor Mary) McCall, OP, Ann (M. Catherine) Schafer, OP, and Mary Eileen (Eileen Paul) Sullivan, OP.
During the Memorial Mass, Sisters Mary Keefe, OP, and Tarianne DeYonker, OP, reflected on the opening prayer of the Congregation’s Rite of Committal: “We bring our Sister to this holy place, this sacred ground to join with those in the communion of our Adrian Dominican Saints who have gone before us. This is a place of peace and rest, of memory, inspiration, and gratitude for all of those who have gone before us and who now lie in these circles of discipleship and friendship.”
“Reflecting on the end point of our lives can give us a healthy perspective on our life choices at difficult times and remind us of our need for one another,” Sister Mary said. “We are truly companions, called to support one another in good times and in bad times. Inspired by our Sisters who have gone before us, may we also be witnesses to the spirit of Dominic and Catherine [of Siena].”
Watch the Memorial Liturgy.
The Jubilee Liturgy on June 26 exuded a spirit of joy and celebration. Father James Hug, SJ, traced Jubilee to the Hebrew Scriptures, Leviticus 25:8-22. “Loving God, you established the original Jubilee, the Sabbath of Sabbath years, to remind us that all creation comes freely from your hand as your gift of love to your people,” he said. “Today we celebrate your love to these Jubilarians, grateful that you called them to your service.”
Prioress Patricia Siemen, OP, addresses Jubilarians near and far as she reflects on the readings for the Jubilee Mass.
Prioress Patricia Siemen, OP, addressed the Jubilarians, noting the joy of Sisters, Associates, and friends in joining them virtually in the celebration of their Jubilee. “Each of you have blessed and been blessed by so many people and places with your individual and communal ‘yes’ over these many years,” she said. “You have poured out your loving presence among the youth, those who are sick, and those who are in need of an education … You have served in foreign lands, rural areas, and inner cities, preaching a word of welcome and healing to those who experience broken relationships.”
Sister Gloria represented all of the Jubilarians – those in the chapel and those watching via live stream – in renewing her vows to Sister Patricia.
Watch the Jubilee Mass. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, where you’ll see the video on the right.
The Jubilee celebration was coordinated by the Jubilee Committee: Sister Marie Joy Finfera, OP, Chair; Sister Virginia Corley, OP; and Co-workers Krystal Baker, Jan Bourg, Jeanette Desgrange, Ashley Duke, Susan Kremski, and Jill Maria Murdy.