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Adrian Dominican Sisters Elect Leadership, Set Direction for Next Six Years
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March 4, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – The Adrian Dominican Sisters, during Session II of their General Chapter, held February 18-26, 2016, elected new leaders and set their direction for the next six years. 

Session II began on February 18 with an opening ritual and the calling of the delegates. Sister Attracta Kelly, Prioress, gave the opening address, offering encouragement to the delegates as they began their work together. “With open, strong, clear and full hearts, we can help each other grow into our highest aspirations if we encourage each other to understand that the tension between what is and what could and should be is not to be feared but to be embraced as a source of vital energy for new life.” 

Sister Attracta Kelly, OP, Prioress of the Congregation, lights the Christ Fire in the first session of General Chapter II, February 18.

The delegates also heard from Dr. Mary E. Hunt, PhD, founder of Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER), who spoke on “Cosmic Catholicism: A New Calling for a New Order,” and from Jim Haudan, CEO of Root, Inc., who in a recorded interview spoke on catalyzing change. 

On the evening of the first day, the delegates gathered for the Mass of the Holy Spirit, asking the Spirit to guide them in their deliberations and elections. The Most Rev. Earl Boyea, Bishop of Lansing, presided.

The 199 delegates approved four enactments to set the Congregation’s overall ministerial direction for the next six years. The 2016-2022 enactments focus on responding to …

  • the world’s spiritual longings by creating opportunities for spiritual enrichment and reflection; 

  • the violence against Earth that places our common home in jeopardy by reducing our fossil fuel use and consumption of products that have a significant negative impact on the environment; 

  • the racism, violence and intolerance of diversity that fuel marginalization by pledging our lives and resources to facilitate and participate in creating resilient communities with people who are relegated to the margins;

  • the desire to nurture our rich diversity by deepening relationships with one another, inviting others to vowed and Associate life and expanding collaborations for the sake of the Mission.
Elected to the General Council are, from left: Sisters Frances Nadolny, Patricia Siemen, Elise García, Patricia Harvat, and Mary Margaret Pachucki.

The delegates then elected a Prioress and General Council to lead the Sisters and Associates to live out the enactments. The newly elected Prioress (president) and General Council, who will formally take office on July 1, 2016, are:

  • Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress-Elect of the Congregation. Sister Pat is the founder and director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at the Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Florida. The Center seeks to develop a philosophy and practice of law that respects the natural world in its own right. She previously served as Vicaress/General Councilor of the Congregation, from 1992 to 1998, as a civil rights lawyer, and as a community organizer.

  • Sister Frances Nadolny, OP, Administrator/General Councilor-Elect. Sister Fran is the Director of the Congregation’s Ministry Trust Office, which oversees the awarding of grants to organizations in which Adrian Dominican Sisters minister or volunteer. Before that, Sister Fran had served for six years as Chapter Prioress (“Major Superior”) for the Sisters in the Detroit-based Great Lakes Dominican Mission Chapter. She had previously served in the Archdiocese of Detroit as Director of the Department of Education and Superintendent of Schools.

  • Sister Patricia Harvat, OP, General Councilor-Elect. Now the Vice President of Dominican Catholic Identity at St. Mary’s Dominican High School in New Orleans, Sister Pat has also served as Director of Lay Ministry Formation for the Hispanic Ministry Office of the Diocese of Cleveland.  From 1993 to 1999, she served as Director of Formation for the Adrian Dominican Congregation. Sister Pat has also ministered in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Peru, and the Philippines.

  • Sister Mary Margaret Pachucki, OP, Vicaress/General Councilor-Elect. Currently President of Regina Dominican High School in Wilmette, Illinois, Sister Mary Margaret has also served as the national coordinator for literacy and numeracy in South Africa; school and curriculum consultant for the Diocese of Toledo; principal; and high school and elementary school teacher.

  • Sister Elise D. García, OP, General Councilor-Elect. The Director of Communications for the Adrian Dominican Sisters, Sister Elise previously co-founded and co-directed Santuario Sisterfarm, an ecology center in Texas dedicated to cultivating biodiversity and cultural diversity, and was the founding editor of Sor Juana Press, publisher of the Dominican Women on Earth series. 

The incoming Prioress and General Council will succeed Sister Attracta Kelly, OP, Prioress of the Congregation; Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, Vicaress/General Councilor; Sister Kathleen Schanz, OP, General Councilor; Sister Corinne Sanders, OP, Administrator/General Councilor; and Sister Rosemary Abramovich, OP, General Councilor.

The packed schedule of Session II also allowed time for delegates to gather informally over meals and breaks. In addition to daily Eucharistic Liturgies, at which one of their Dominican Brothers presided and one of the delegates offered a reflection on the Scriptures, the delegates gathered for socials and dances. Composer and singer Sara Thomsen, whose music was incorporated into many of the Chapter’s prayers and rituals, gave a special concert on the evening of February 23. A highlight of the Chapter was a Sunday Liturgy on February 21 celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Dominican Order, the Order of Preachers, with preaching by Congregation historian and former Prioress, Sister Nadine Foley, OP.

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Avatar  alvina ash 6 years agoReply

i'm recognizing a call to the non secular existence with the Dominican sisters of holy individual Cecilia, or Nashville Dominicans in Tennessee and i sincerely sent in a request frame to get information, yet I needed to know whether all people knew some thing about any man or woman who has entered, or is trying to study/input, or has conversed with a few, or some thing useful. inside the occasion which you'd trust me i would moreover jump on the danger to message you and inquire as to whether or not you would lean in the direction of!

Avatar  write my assignment 7 years agoReply

I'm recognizing a call to the religious existence with the Dominican sisters of holy person Cecilia, or Nashville Dominicans in Tennessee and I simply sent in a request frame to get data, yet I needed to know whether anybody knew anything about any individual who has entered, or is wanting to observe/enter, or has conversed with a few, or anything helpful. In the event that you'd believe me I'd additionally jump at the chance to message you and inquire as to whether you would lean toward!

Congrats to the new dedicates who are elected. I felt the process of election for the Adrian Dominican Sisters very strange. Thanks for helping us know in detail about the process and enactments about the new elected team.

Avatar  Joy Christi Przestwor 8 years agoReply

What an honor to see all of you continuing on your path of justice, love, and peace-making in our world. As I do each day, I will continue to include all of the new leadership as well as those leaving their former roles in my daily prayers. May the Spirit who dwells so effectively in our hearts keep us connected through the bonds of congregational covenant. My love to all!

Avatar  Melody Duffy 8 years agoReply

I read this article with such interest and awe in the continued attentive life looked at by you wonderful women in this community to which I once belonged and in many ways to which I still feel connected by lifelong friendships and interest in the larger picture of life I always feel called to in reading of your work...my forever gratitude and hope for all you do and are...Melody

Avatar  Patrick Irwin 8 years agoReply

Congratulations Sr. Fran...the fabulous things you did for so many students in the Archidocese of Detroit continues to have incalculable positive impact to this day....you are an amazing leader and many of us are excited for you. So blessed to have been educated by Adrian Dominicans at both Detroit St. Gabriel and at Siena Heights University.

Love, love, love the Adrian Dominicans - thank you for being such a powerful force for goodness in the world!

Avatar  Sheila Flynn OP 8 years agoReply

Congratulations to all who participated in gathering the hope and shaping the future for the Congregation's fiery presence in our world. Strength, energy, grace to the new leadership team. With deep respect, Sheila



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