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September 16, 2015, Miami Shores, FloridaBarry University, founded by the Adrian Dominican Sisters in 1940, will devote its 2015-2016 academic year to celebrating its 75th anniversary through numerous special events. The celebration began formally with a special Mass of Thanksgiving on September 13. The Mass included a blessing of the newly restored Cor Jesu Chapel, and was followed by the opening of Barry’s Historic Photo Exhibit.

In a letter to the editor of the Miami Herald, Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, PhD, President of Barry, describes the Mass, as well as the evolution of Barry from 45 students in 1940 to a community of almost 9,000 students today. “During this 75th anniversary year, we shall honor our rich, robust and resilient heritage as we dream and determine a future defined by those same characteristics, faithful to the mission of Catholic higher education, our institutional mission and identity and to the Adrian Dominican Sisters who have entrusted us with the stewardship of this great university,” she concludes.

Throughout the year, Barry University will give students, faculty and staff the opportunity to meet Adrian Dominican Sisters who serve in ministries throughout the world. The first of the Leading the Legacy opportunities featured a Friday, September 11 presentation, “Peacemaking from a Filipina Sister’s Perspective,” by Sister Zenaida Nacpil, OP, Chapter Prioress of the Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter, based in the Philippines. 

Sister Zenaida Nacpil, OP, Chapter Prioress of the Our Lady of Remedies Chapter based in Pampanga, the Philippines, gives the first Leading the Legacy presentation, “Peacemaking from a Filipina Sister’s Perspective.”

Future Leading the Legacy opportunities include:

A presentation by Sister Durstyn Farnan, OP, on “Peacemaking Challenges in Iraq,” on Monday, September 21, 2015, as part of the Peace-In Mission Luncheon. Sister Durstyne was part of a delegation of U.S. Dominican Sisters who visited the Dominican Sisters of the Congregation of St. Catherine, Iraq, in their refugee camp. The Sisters – along with their families, other Christians, and people of other minority groups – were displaced by ISIS in August 2014.

Sister Attracta Kelly, OP, Prioress of the Congregation and an immigration lawyer, will be the keynote speaker at an Immigration Justice mini-conference held on Wednesday, October 21, 2015.

The Founders’ Week Celebration of the Adrian Dominican Legacy on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, will feature lunch-time breakout sessions with various Adrian Dominican Sisters. That evening’s keynote presentation, “If Nuns Ruled the World: Sisters on a Mission” will be led by author Jo Piazza, with a panel of Adrian Dominicans. Panelists will be Sisters Carleen Maly, OP, Director of Adrian Rea Literacy Center in Adrian; Sister Kathy Nolan, Director of the Congregation’s Office of Global Mission, Justice, and Peace; and Sister Nancyann Turner, OP, Director of the Rosa Parks Children and Youth Program at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit.

Also during Founders’ Week, Adrian Dominicans from the Florida Chapter will give a presentation on the Congregation’s Associate Life program during a luncheon meeting on Wednesday, November 11. That evening, during a reception, Sister Nancy Murray, OP, will perform her one-woman play on St. Catherine of Siena.

Five Adrian Dominican Sisters will be panelists during the all-day Earth Justice mini-conference on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. Making up the panel will be Sisters Judy Byron, OP, of the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center in Seattle, Washington; Carol Coston, OP, Director of the Permaculture Office in Adrian and co-founder of Santuario Sisterfarm, an ecology center in the Texas Hill Country; Elise García, OP, Communication Director of the Adrian Dominican Sisters and co-founder of Santuario Sisterfarm; Mary Ellen Leciejewski, OP, ecology program coordinator for Dignity Health; and Pat Siemen, founder of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence.

Top photo: This display of Barry University’s 75th anniversary, at the Motherhouse of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, was created by Sister Marilyn Francoeur, OP, with assistance from Sisters Mary Margaret Beh, OP; Arnold Benedetto, OP; Beverly Bobola, OP; Melinda Ziegler, graphic designer for the Adrian Dominican Sisters; and Barry University. 


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