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July 19, 2019, Adrian, Michigan – Marci Hamilton, a retired registered nurse and former student of Adrian Dominican Sisters, was welcomed into Associate Life July 15, 2019, during a Ritual of Acceptance in St. Catherine Chapel at the Adrian Dominican Sisters Motherhouse. She was mentored by Sister Barbara Quincey, OP.
Associate Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life, and Sister Patricia Harvat, OP, General Councilor, welcomed Sisters and Associates to the Ritual of Acceptance. Members of the Assembly also welcomed Marci. “You have journeyed with us for this time and you will continue to get to know us, deepen the bonds between us, and share faith and prayer with us,” they said in unison during the ritual.
After an introduction by Sister Barbara, Marci noted the reason for her decision to become an Adrian Dominican Associate. Her mother, Rose Todaro Hamilton, was taught by Adrian Dominican Sisters at St. Joseph Academy in Adrian, she said. A student at Queen of the Miraculous Medal School and St. Mary, Star of the Sea High School in Jackson, Michigan, she also was taught by Adrian Dominican Sisters. Two of the Sisters – Norma Dell, OP, who taught first grade, and Marilyn Francoeur, OP, who taught seventh grade – attended the ritual.
As a young woman, Marci joined the Sisters of St. Joseph of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and while still a member of that Congregation became a nurse. She continued as a nurse until her recent retirement. She and her husband Colin Baker – who died more than two years ago – raised a son, who lives on the West Coast.
Marci decided to become an Adrian Dominican Associate when, on the same day about a year ago, Sister Barbara and Sister Margaret Urban, OP, invited her to consider joining Associate Life. “Thus began my journey,” Marci said. “Thank you for inviting me. I belong here.”
The Ritual of Acceptance continued with Marci signing the Agreement of Association, a formal document expressing her willingness to enter into a relationship with the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Sister Barbara presented Marci with the Associate Life pin.
Mary Lach reflected on her own experience of having a DNA test and of seeing, on a screen, the blueprint of her genetic code. “We all have this unique blueprint which causes every cell in our bodies to be formed in a certain way in the image of God,” she said. In the same way, Dominicans have a genetic blueprint – a charism or spirituality – that characterizes members of their family, Mary said. Common characteristics of Dominicans are prayer, study of the signs of the times, and involvement in the Mission, Mary said.
“You’re joining a joyful group of people,” Mary told Marci. “We often laugh and enjoy life. We also help each other to become the best versions of ourselves. And finally, we offer one another signs of hope in a world that desperately needs it.”
Mary noted Marci’s lifetime work as a nurse, her desire to grow spiritually as an Associate, and her decision as a widow to live her life to the fullest to reach out to others. “We wholeheartedly welcome you to Associate Life and hope, as we journey together, you will continue to grow in holiness and happiness – and that you will find what we have here, a blueprint for your spiritual life.”
Associates are women and men – married or single – at least 18 years of age and committed to sharing the Mission and Vision of the Adrian Dominican Sisters. While maintaining their independent lifestyles, Associates share in the Sisters’ mission and vision and participate in Congregational, spiritual, and social events with the Sisters.
For more information on becoming an Associate, contact Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life, at 517-266-3531 or email@example.com. If you are a single Catholic woman interested in vowed religious life – or know of a young Catholic woman who is – contact Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, at 517-266-3532 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Sister Mariane Fahlman, OP, a 517-266-3537 or email@example.com.
March 8, 2019, Adrian, Michigan – Kathleen Woods, Chair of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB), was formally accepted as an Adrian Dominican Associate March 1, 2019, during a festive afternoon. The Ritual of Acceptance was preceded by a 45-minute concert by pianist Timothy Hollinsead, husband of PAB member Leslie Watson-Hollinsead. The event was sponsored by the PAB.
Initiated by the Adrian Dominican Sisters more than 40 years ago, the PAB helps the Congregation to live out its social justice commitment through its use of funds.
Acknowledging the blessing of the concert, Associate Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life, welcomed the assembly of PAB members, Adrian Dominican Associates and Sisters, and friends to Holy Rosary Chapel on the Congregation’s Motherhouse Campus.
“Kathy believes that she has Dominican in her DNA,” said Associate Dee Joyner, who with PAB member Rosemary Martin mentored Kathleen Woods. Rosemary was unable to attend the event. “We suggested that the ‘D’ in DNA stands for Dominican,” Dee added.
An Adrian Dominican Sister from 1962 to 1977, Kathy first became a member of the PAB in 1975. “With a master’s degree in social work, Kathy has brought to the PAB her vast experience as a clinical social worker and significant leadership experience,” Dee said. “It was the Dominican in Kathy that reached out years ago” to meet the needs of the dying and their families in Chicago. As Director of Home Health and Hospice for Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago, Kathleen was responsible for developing the first inpatient hospice facility in Illinois, Dee said.
In accepting the invitation to be named and known as an Adrian Dominican Associate, Kathleen said she had always felt welcomed by the Adrian Dominican Sisters after she formally left the Congregation. She said she nurtured “deep relationships which resulted from a shared purpose, meaning, and commitment. … After the last six years on the PAB, it seems to me to be a very natural extension to continue to be involved … and to join in shaping the future of Dominican life.”
The Ritual of Acceptance continued with the signing of the Agreement of Association, a formal document that states the new Associate’s willingness to enter into a relationship with the Adrian Dominican Sisters and to support and participate in the Congregation’s Mission. Dee then presented Kathy with the Associate Life Logo, and the assembly proclaimed the Vision of the Adrian Dominican Sisters.
The commitment of Kathy and all Associates continues until the 2022 General Chapter of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, after which the Associates can choose to renew their commitment.
Associates – women and men at least 18 years of age – make a non-vowed commitment to partner with the Adrian Dominican Sisters, living out the Congregation’s Mission and Vision in their independent lives and sharing in the Sisters’ spiritual, ministerial, and social experiences.
For more information on becoming an Associate, contact Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life, at 517-266-3531 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a single Catholic woman interested in religious life – or know of a young Catholic woman who is – contact Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, at 517-266-3532 or email@example.com or Sister Mariane Fahlman, OP, a 517-266-3537 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feature photo (top): Associates Dee Joyner, left, and Kathleen Woods are all smiles after Kathleen was formally accepted into Associate Life March 1, 2019.
Associate Dee Joyner pins the Associate logo on the shirt of Kathleen Woods.