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Why I'm an Associate
by Denise Dudley
I grew up in the Boston area and was taught by the Sisters of Charity from 1960 to 1969. My mom's sister was a nun in the Presentation of Mary Order, and my mom's best friend is celebrating 75 years as a vowed member in the Good Shepherd Order. Wonderful women, outstanding orders!
After moving to Florida and settling in the Winter park area, I joined St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church. There I met Sister Rosemary Finnegan, an Adrian Dominican Sister. I was embraced with her spirit, her compassion, and her kindness to me. That was about 25 years ago! I became an Associate in 2003, and am an Associate, because I caught that spirit!
Yes, there were and will be bumps in the road, but with the guidance of the Sisters, my spiritual director, and the Director of Associate Life, the stepping stones of life will lead me to the balance that I have been searching for in my church life, my spiritual life, and my Associate life!
"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire." - St. Catherine of Siena
Why I'm an Associate
by Mary Lach
Growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, did not afford me very many opportunities to meet Adrian Dominican Sisters, but I did meet Grand Rapids Dominicans at Aquinas College. I began to realize that I was challenged and inspired by the Sisters I had as professors, especially Sister Theresa Houlihan, OP, my philosophy professor, and Sister Thomasine Bugala, OP, my German professor. Eventually, I studied in Germany where I stayed with Sister Thomasine at the Motherhouse - yes, the Motherhouse -- in Regensburg. Little could I imagine that I would some day meet Adrian Dominican Sisters, who were one of the groups represented on the wall of the convent.
I began to work part time at a parish in Clinton Township, Michigan, and there I met Sister Arlene Kosmatka, who has been my spiritual director for 25 years. I worked with Audrey Wentz, one of our first Associates. She persuaded me to consider Associate Life. When I signed the document to be known as an Associate, I only knew Arlene and Audrey, but I felt right at home in Adrian. I began to attend retreats and programs there.
I have been involved in many ministries at our parish but eventually I began to realize that the relationships I made in the Mission Group I have been privileged to participate in (Peacemakers) and the friendships I made through Arlene and Audrey were helping me to grow and bringing me life. I am proud to be an Associate and I have made so many wonderful friends and met amazing women who have mentored and nurtured me. I have so many opportunities to learn through the many social justice issues the Congregation is engaged in and by the many challenges.
The one big drawback is that, because many of the Sisters are older, I have had to say good-bye to many friends, which brings grief and sadness. However, there is risk in all relationships and I find the benefits of Associate Life are worth the challenges.