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Kathy Almaney Welcomed as Associate

March 23, 2021, Chicago – Kathy Almaney, a former Adrian Dominican Sister who has continued her connection to the Congregation, formally became an Adrian Dominican Associate March 14, 2021, during a virtual Ritual of Acceptance attended by more than 80 Associates, Sisters, family members, and friends.

Associates are women and men, at least 18 years of age, who make a non-vowed commitment to partner with the Adrian Dominican Sisters. While maintaining their own lifestyle and remaining financially independent, they participate in various spiritual, social, and ministerial experiences with the Sisters and live out the Dominican charism, or spirit, in their daily lives.

“As a teacher, catechist, music minister, Human Resources expert; in her work with homelessness and in finance, chairing the [Adrian Dominican Sisters’] Camilla Madden Trust and co-chairing the Dominican Midwest Chapter’s Resilient Communities Committee, Kathy has already lived out the Dominican charism for years,” said Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life. “This afternoon Kathy makes a formal commitment to this charism, which she has enthusiastically embraced for most of her life.”

Sister Ellen Burkhardt, OP, who entered the Adrian Dominican Congregation with Kathy and mentored her in her formation as an Associate, spoke of the many ways that Kathy brought her “crowd” – those who entered the Congregation at the same time – together over the years. 

“She offered us the idea that Adrian was where we first tasted the bread that we couldn’t forget, that it touched us in a way that we kept coming back,” Sister Ellen said. “As Kathy has so often called us together, we gather to witness and give thanks, to celebrate and affirm Kathy’s ongoing Dominican identity.”

Associate Kathy Almaney

In reflecting on her decision to become an Associate, Kathy spoke of her recent experience of serving on the Resilient Communities Committee for the Dominican Midwest Chapter, based in Chicago. In response to the Congregation’s 2016 Enactment to “facilitate and participate in creating resilient communities with people who are relegated to the margins,” each geographic Chapter formed a committee to work with local organizations to build a resilient community, one in which the people work together to make sure their needs are met and are able to recover quickly from adverse situations. 

“It was a wonderful experience to work with that committee,” Kathy said. “I think that sense of community really turned the page for me.”

Kathy also spoke of the community experience she felt as an Adrian Dominican Sister. “My six years left an indelible impression on me and stayed with me all my life – in my family and my work,” she said. “A community supports you and cares for you, but also challenges you to do your best.”

The ritual concluded with Kathy signing the Agreement of Association, which signifies her formal commitment to the Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates. In response, members of the virtual gathering bestowed the Dominican Blessing on Kathy, asking for the blessings of the Holy Trinity on her.
 
If you feel called to be an Adrian Dominican Associate, contact Mary Lach at 517-266-3531 or mlach@adriandominicans.org. If you are a single Catholic woman interested in vowed life as an Adrian Dominican Sister, contact Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, Co-Director of Vocations, at 517-266-3532 or tdeyonker@adriandominicans.org.

 

Feature photo: Participants in Kathy Almaney’s Ritual of Acceptance into Associate Life extend their hands for the Dominican Blessing.

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