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[By Sharon Bock, Associate]
Consistency, steadiness, and a dose of daring might be a good way to describe Nancy Mason-Bordley. She is not only a native of Michigan, but has lived there her entire life. Her history with Dominicans almost parallels this stability. Except for her first five or six years before beginning school, Nancy has been in some way associated with Dominicans ever since. Her sense of daring has led her to take on challenges outside her comfort zone.
Her Dominican history begins with the Oxford Dominican Sisters who taught her while she was in grade school. This experience made a deep impression on her, for as a young woman, Nancy felt drawn to become an Associate of the Oxford Dominicans. These Sisters, who maintain a Motherhouse north of Pontiac, Michigan, are one of seven Dominican congregations which merged into the Dominican Sisters of Peace in 2009.
Nancy maintained her membership as an associate with the Oxford Dominicans for several years, then elected to take a break from active participation with them. During this hiatus, while ministering in religious education with Sister Janet Schaeffler, OP and Sister Mary Margaret (Maggie) Mannard, OP, Nancy also met Sister Mary Ann Dixon, OP. Sister Mary Ann asked Nancy if she was ready to come back to Associate life and mentored her through her preparation and acceptance as an Associate in 2000.
Although currently taking a break from active involvement in a Mission Group and Chapter Assemblies, Nancy had been very active in both her Mission Group and working with Associate programs for more than 15 years. She helped to create the first Partners retreat for Associates five years ago. She stays connected through friendships with the Adrian Dominican Sisters and through her spiritual direction from Sister Carol Johannes, OP. And, she notes, she is willing to step up and help when needed.
Nancy is a pastoral minister at St. John Fisher Chapel University Parish in Auburn Hills, Michigan, where she enjoys preaching and counseling parishioners. When her pastor asked what led her to engage in a preaching ministry, her response was immediate: “My ties with Dominicans!”
She earned her certification as a spiritual director at the Dominican Center for Religious Development in Detroit. She also served on the center’s staff, training and supervising intern spiritual directors and assisting with program planning and development.
As an adjunct professor at Siena Heights University, armed with her D.Min. degree, and using the wizardry of online technology, Nancy taught Ministry, Management and Leadership last fall. She also regularly teaches theology courses designed for those who plan to minister as religious educators and pastoral ministers.
Nancy is the founder and owner of Parish Services, LLC., which operates as a resource to the Archdiocese of Detroit, assisting parishes in contracting services for degreed and certified ministers, who are speakers, musicians or facilitators.
Nancy’s life ministry includes her boundless support of her large extended family. She lives with her husband and one cat and regularly reaches out to her many family members, including her 84-year-old mother and the families of her two brothers and two sisters.
Nancy most deeply resonates with the Chapter Enactment which reads, “We commit to deepen our spirituality and to engage with others in prayer and presence.” She has done a significant amount of exploration and study in emerging theology and spirituality, including works by Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ. She looks for opportunities to challenge herself, even spending time in Africa doing missionary work. It will be interesting to see where Nancy’s abundant talent and willingness to dare lead her now.
By Sharon Bock, Associate
Peggy Treece Myles is a scholar, educator, activist, volunteer, advocate, and a participant in the January 21 Women’s March on Washington, D.C. These amazing accomplishments demonstrate Peggy’s passion for living the mission and charism of the Adrian Dominican Sisters. “Walking the talk” was what attracted her to Associate Life as was the Adrian Dominican Vision: “seek truth, make peace, reverence life,” which she sees as universal values by which to live.
Peggy’s dissertation advisor at the University of Toledo recommended Peggy to Sister Miriam (Michael) Stimson, OP, for an opening as adjunct professor on research methodology at Siena Heights College. When Sister Miriam retired from her position as Director of Graduate Studies, Peggy was chosen to take that position.
One of Peggy’s graduate faculty members was Sister Anthonita Porta, OP, founder and director of the Adrian Dominican Montessori Teacher Education Institute (ADMTEI). Peggy served as president of the ADMTEI board. Through her relationship with Sister Anthonita, she began her study of Associate formation materials and became an Associate in 2001.
Peggy is the only Associate in her Mission Group, but writes, “I do not feel like an ‘outsider’ at all.” She has become the group’s permanent secretary and has worked on various projects for Sister Mary Jane Lubinski, Chapter Prioress of the Adrian Crossroads Chapter, who also values Peggy’s generosity and talents.
Peggy supports the Associates and Sisters through prayer, presence, participation, and financial contributions.
A life-long educator in both public and private institutions, Peggy is now in “semi-retirement,” teaching research and statistics to doctoral students. A National Board-certified counselor, Peggy continues to serve on the ADMTEI board and volunteers at a fair-trade Ten Thousand Villages store.
In keeping with her interest in fair trade, Peggy participates in a local chapter of the global organization Dining for Women. “Each month, the group gathers for a potluck dinner and learns about a project in a developing/emerging country,” she explained. “These projects always seek to develop the capabilities and skills of women and girls so that they can continue with the project after their period of funding expires. The money we save by having the potluck instead of eating in a restaurant is dedicated to the projects.”
Peggy said she most resonates with General Chapter Enactment that focuses on creating resilient communities. Peggy has been more involved recently in advocacy and activism, particularly on issues relating to immigration and diversity. She plans to be active in upcoming marches and demonstrations.
In addition to all these activities, Peggy stays up to date on issues through such publications as The Nation, National Catholic Reporter, and Mother Jones, and by listening to BBC, PBS, and National Public Radio.
Peggy met her husband, John, in graduate school and they married in 1980. John completed 35 years in his second career as an educator before his retirement. He volunteers with the Fulton County Historical Society. They live in Wauseon, Ohio, and each summer travel to Kennebunkport, Maine.
Peggy enjoys reading and sewing. “I like to explore medieval history, especially the Cathars and the Knights Templars, and to study behavioral finance and economics,” she said. She has also traveled to 27 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, France, and Spain. A highlight for her has been participating in the Dominican Colleges and Universities Colloquium-sponsored study trip to Fanjeaux, in France.
Scholar, educator, activist, volunteer, advocate, demonstrator, bookworm, seamstress and explorer – Peggy indeed lives a rich Dominican life!