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August 6, 2018, Adrian, Michigan – In an atmosphere of great joy and celebration, Sister Katherine Frazier, OP, made her First Profession of Vows August 5, 2018, in St. Catherine Chapel, which was packed with Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates, Dominican Sisters from other Congregations, family members, and friends.
| NOTE: The video of the First Profession is at the very bottom of this article. |
During the Rite of Profession, Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress of the Congregation, formally examined Sister Katherine on her willingness and readiness to “unite [herself] more closely to God by a bond of religious profession.” Sister Katherine then stated her intent to profess vows with the Adrian Dominican Sisters to answer God’s call in her life.
“I desire to share faith and life with my Sisters and to carry into the world alongside them the mission of Jesus,” Sister Katherine said. “Having started this adventure three years ago as a candidate and then as a novice, I want to see where God is leading us next, trusting that God’s plans for the future are always good.”
After lying prostrate during the Litany of the Saints, Sister Katherine professed her vow, promising obedience to God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Dominic, Sister Patricia and her lawful successors. The Rite continued with the presentation of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ logo to Sister Katherine and signing the profession documents by Sister Katherine; Sister Patricia; Father Greg Heille, OP, presider; and Sister Katherine’s two witnesses, Sister Joan Delaplane, OP, and Sister Mary Soher, OP.
“I am awed to have been called to the Adrian Dominican Sisters, and I am grateful for each Sister who has come into my life for being an example of loving and faithful service,” Sister Katherine wrote to members of the assembly. “I look forward to seeing what adventures God will lead us on in the future.”
Sister Katherine entered the Adrian Dominican Congregation in 2015 and spent her first year as a candidate, coming to know the Adrian Dominican Sisters better; studying the Congregation’s Constitution, history and identity; and ministering in Adrian and Detroit, Michigan, and in New Orleans, Louisiana. Sister Katherine spent the next year, her canonical novitiate year, at the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate in St. Louis, Missouri. In the past year, as a second-year novice, Sister Katherine studied at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.
Sister Patricia Walter, OP, preached during the liturgy and focused on the message of the Gospel as an alternative vision to that of the dominant culture – and the role of preachers as “subversives,” people who preach a vision deeper than the message of popular culture. Basing her message on that of theologian Walter Brueggermann, Sister Patricia said when a culture understands the world without any reference to God, “what the preacher, what the faith community is called to do, is to help people to see, to notice, to name, to re-imagine the world as if God’s will counted, as if God is an actor in it. This is our good news, our truth, which is seen as fake and certainly as alternate. Preaching this is subversion.”
Just as the Israelites became people on a mission, and the disciples, in response to Jesus, became a people on a mission, Sister Patricia said, Sister Katherine’s call is to join a community on a mission, the Adrian Dominican Sisters, a community of the holy preaching, the Order of Preachers.
“The good news is that alternative reality, that alternative subversion, that vision of God’s reign and what the world would really be like if God’s will were done on Earth as it is in Heaven,” Sister Patricia said.
Sister Patricia added that St. Paul’s vision – that we are all part of one another – is also an alternative vision in our world today. “[This is] good news, the joy of living in mutual affection, with deep respect, with giving and receiving, with mutuality, with trying to discern the will of God: to rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. This is a joyful invitation Paul gives us, a joyful imagining – so much better than being polarized.”
The older of the two daughters of Lee and Lynne (McKenna) Frazier, Sister Katherine hails from Fort Wayne, Indiana. At the time of her entrance, she had ministered as the coordinator of the Bishop Donald Trautman Catholic House at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Sister Katherine will minister in the area of Mission Integration at Regina Dominican High School, an all-girls school sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters and located in Wilmette, Illinois. Her role will be to keep members of the Regina Dominican Community aware of and help them live out the Mission of the Congregation.
Sister Katherine begins her new life as a vowed Adrian Dominican Sister with a sense of optimism and hope. The Adrian Dominican Sisters “give me the gift of the example of their lives lived in the mission of God,” she said. “Their example of trusting in God’s provident care is a continual reminder that God’s plan for us is larger than we can imagine.”
As Sister Katherine looks to the future of religious life, she said, “I am confident in the foundations and work that has been done before me by Adrian Dominican Sisters and women religious from other congregations. Having met and had conversations with other younger women religious, I find hope because God continues to call us to work in the mission and that young men and women are still open to hearing this call.”
For more information on how you or a single Catholic woman in your life can become an Adrian Dominican Sister, please contact Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, at 517-266-3532 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Sister Mariane Fahlman, OP, at 517-266-3537 or email@example.com. Information is also available at http://adriandominicans.org/BecomeaSister/EnteringtheLife.
December 18, 2017, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – Historical traditions and hope for the future were combined in an exuberant way December 16 as Sister Xiomara Méndez-Hernández, OP, made her Perpetual Profession of Vows with the Adrian Dominican Sisters. The Mass was at the Dominican Convent in Sister Xiomara’s hometown, Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
With Dominican Sisters and Friars from her native country and the United States, family members, Adrian Dominican Associates, and friends present, Sister Xiomara took the hands of Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress, and promised obedience to “Almighty God, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to our Holy Father St. Dominic,” and to Sister Patricia and her lawful successors “for my whole life.”
The traditional Dominican rite involves only explicitly the vow of obedience. The other two vows traditionally taken by people in religious life – poverty and chastity – are explicitly stated in the Adrian Dominican Constitution, by which professed Adrian Dominican Sisters promise to abide.
Before professing her vows, Sister Xiomara stated her intent to commit herself to continue her loving relationship with God, to fully love her sisters and brothers and all God’s creation. “I want to preach truth from my heart afire; make peace valuing all my brothers’ and sisters’ faith, wisdom, and integrity; and rooted in the joy of the Gospel, I want to reverence life by embracing and nurturing our rich diversity, wherever I go and whatever I do,” she said. “I want to do all of this with you, my beloved Adrian Dominican Sisters.”
The Rite of Profession also included the Prioress’ call to Sister Xiomara; a formal examination as to Sister Xiomara’s readiness for perpetual vows with Sister Kathleen Klingen, OP, her Chapter Prioress; the sung Litany of St. Dominic, while Sister Xiomara lay prostrate in front of the assembly; the blessing and presentation of Sister Xiomara’s profession ring; and the signing of the profession documents.
Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP, Director of Formation, welcomed the assembly, and Sister Marilín Llanes, OP, who lives in community with Sister Xiomara in Chicago, offered a reflection. The liturgy was celebrated by Father Cristóbal Iglesias, OP, and concelebrated by Father Martin Edward S. Ohajunwa. Sisters Basilia De la Cruz, OP, and María Eneida Santiagao, OP, were her witnesses. Sister Rosa Monique Peña, OP, who serves in formation in the Dominican Republic, was the Master of Ceremonies. Sister Mary Jones, OP, served as cantor. Sister Jeanne Wiest, OP, played the clarinet, and Aracelis Mena, a dear friend of Sister Xiomara, was the photographer.
Born in Santo Domingo, Sister Xiomara studied fashion design and received a bachelor’s degree from Universidad Autonomo de Santo Domingo in 1999. From 2004 to 2008, she had her own fashion design business, Xissors Couture, in Santo Domingo, and from 2006 to 2008 also taught fashion design at Instituto Nacional de Formación Técnico Profesional (INFOTEP) in Santo Domingo. She also served on a national board for certification of professional patterns and sewing.
Sister Xiomara first met the Adrian Dominican Sisters, who served in her country in 1993, and “became captivated by their passion to preach truth, make peace, and reverence life,” she said. “In the Adrian Dominicans I saw Sisters who were full of love and joy, women who worked for justice and peace – and who danced! When I started praying with them, I began to feel a call.”
Sister Xiomara was one of seven women from the Dominican Republic to become Adrian Dominican Associates in 2004. 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 independent lifestyle.
Sister Xiomara entered the Congregation in 2008, undergoing a discernment process to determine if she was called to life as an Adrian Dominican Sister. She took part in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training for chaplaincy at Loyola University Medical Center, Chicago, in 2011-2012 and earned a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS) from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago in 2014.
Sister Xiomara served as chaplain at Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Hospitals in Henderson, Nevada, from February 2015 through March 2017, when she began her current ministry as chaplain at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago.
“I am very excited about the many possibilities we have today as we gather with young Sisters from all over the country,” Sister Xiomara said. “I believe in the future of religious life and I feel blessed to be part of it.”
Feature photo: Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress, left, and Sister Xiomara Méndez-Hernádez, OP, show their great joy after Sister Xiomara’s Perpetual Profession of Vows.
Left: The assembly blesses Sister Xiomara at the closing of her Final Profession.