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August 19, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – The nearly 70 Adrian Dominican Associates and Sisters who gathered at Weber Center August 12-14, 2016, for Partners IV, found a quieter, more contemplative focus in the annual gathering of Associates. Centered on the theme of seeds, the gathering provided input, moving prayer services, and the opportunity to reflect on the Enactments of the 2016 General Chapter.  

Adrian Dominican Associates are women and men, at least 18 years of age, who make a non-vowed commitment to the Adrian Dominican Sisters and their mission and vision. While maintaining their own lifestyle and remaining financially independent, they participate in various spiritual, social, and ministerial experiences with the Sisters, and attend Congregational events. 

Roberta Clemak, Associate, co-chair of the planning committee, elaborated on the weekend’s theme in her welcoming talk, “Who’s to say you haven’t already planted a seed, nurtured a seed, and helped a seed to take root?” 

The group was also welcomed by Jacci Brown, Associate, co-chair, and by Mary Lach, Associate, Director of Associate Life. Associates from the Florida Mission chapter planned and led the prayer services.

Associate Life Advisory Board members, from left: Jacci Brown, Carol Johnson, and Deb Carter.

Members of the newly formed Associate Life Advisory Board took the opportunity to introduce themselves. Associates who serve on the Board are Chairperson Connie Brady, Jacci Brown, Carol Johnson, Deb Carter, and Trudy McSorley. 

The program on Saturday offered ample opportunities for nurturing the seeds of the Dominican charism. Sister Anneliese Sinnott, OP, long-time professor of theology at Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, presented the background and principles of Catholic social teaching. The teaching is traced to Rerum Novarum (On the Conditions of Labor), an 1891 document by Pope Leo XIII and further developed through papal encyclicals and documents written by bishops. Catholic social teaching focuses on principles such as dignity of the human person, preferential option for the poor, and solidarity. 

Amy Palmer, Development Director, led participants on a virtual tour, through videos, of the Dominican Life Center Reflective Garden. Set to be dedicated at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 25, the garden was especially designed to give retired Sisters a safe place to enjoy the outdoors. 

Arlene Bachanov, Associate and Co-worker in the History Department, gave a presentation on To Fields Near and Far, the latest history volume of the Congregation, which she co-authored with Sister Nadine Foley. The book focuses on 1933-1961, the years that Mother Gerald Barry led the Congregation. During her talk, Arlene focused on the growth in the Congregation during those years and on the Sisters’ willingness to go wherever they were sent, knowing the faith that Mother Gerald had in them.

Associates from the Florida Mission Chapter engage in liturgical dance during Sunday morning prayer.

Associates were given time to contemplate the 2016 General Chapter Enactments and to discern their call to continue as Adrian Dominican Associates. 

Participants gathered in St. Catherine Chapel for the Ritual of Acceptance into Associate Life for Mary Veen. Mary, of Cheboygan, Michigan, entered the Adrian Dominican Congregation in 1957 but left to marry and raise a family. She is active in the Cheboygan Catholic Community through ministry at funerals and as a Eucharistic minister, lector, sacristan, faith-sharing group leader, and leader of Sunday Communion services in the absence of a priest. 

“It is my desire to reconnect with the Adrian Dominican spirit, which continues to pervade my daily life,” Mary said. She was mentored by Associate Joyce Frugé. 

Sister Patricia “Patty” Harvat, OP

Mary Lach then led the Associates in a brief ritual of recommitment. 

During the closing session on Sunday, the Associates heard from their new General Council Liaison, Sister Patty Harvat, OP, who introduced herself and gave a brief reflection on the illuminated life of Dominicans. She shared her working definition of preachers: “He or she deals out to his or her people his or her life, a life passed through the fire of thought. Our Enactments provide that fire of thought.”

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December 10, 2015, Adrian, Michigan – The third book on the history of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, To Fields Near and Far: Adrian Dominican Sisters History 1933-1961, has been released. The book, by Sister Nadine Foley, OP, and Arlene Bachanov, follows up where the second book, Seeds Scattered and Grown, has left off.

To Fields Near and Far covers the period in which Mother Gerald Barry served as Mother General of the Adrian Dominican Congregation. The book covers a period of tremendous growth in the Congregation in such areas as sponsored institutions and education of the Sisters. Along with Mother Gerald’s accomplishments, the book captures the faith, courage, and creativity of many Adrian Dominicans at that time. 

A book signing will be held from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, December 17, 2015, in the Rose Room of the Dominican Life Center at the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse Campus, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, MI 49286.

Sister Nadine, Congregation Historian, served two terms on the Congregation’s General Council, from 1974 to 1978 and from 1978 to 1982 and as Prioress of the Congregation from 1986 to 1992. In addition, she has served as President of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and as U.S. delegate to the International Union of Superior Generals.

Arlene Bachanov, left, and Sister Nadine Foley, OP, study their new book, To Fields Near and Far.

Arlene, an Associate of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, works in the History Office with Sister Nadine. Associates are lay women and men who make a non-vowed commitment to the Adrian Dominican Sisters and to their mission and vision. A journalist by training and a professional writer for most of her adult life, Arlene is also a freelance writer for several publications, including The Daily Telegram, newspaper of Adrian, Michigan, and Lenawee Magazine.  

To Fields Near and Far sells for $15 and is available at the Weber Shop at Weber Retreat and Conference Center, on the Adrian Dominican Motherhouse Campus, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan 49286. The Weber Shop is open from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:15 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. To order the book, call 517-266-4035 or email webershop@adriandominicans.org

Feature photo: Sister Attracta Kelley, OP, left, Prioress of the Congregation, receives the first copy of To Fields Near and Far from the authors, Sister Nadine Foley, OP, right, and Arlene Bachanov, center.



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