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By Sharon Bock, Associate
If you followed the Associate Life, Adrian Dominicans Group on Facebook this past summer, you may have seen the creative and moving posts that Tibi Ellis shared about her pilgrimage to the Lands of Dominic. She visited the Dominican convent in Fanjeaux, France; Jacobins, the Dominican monastery where the remains of St. Thomas Aquinas rest; and the house of Pierre Seilhan, where Dominic established the Order. In words, photos, and video clips, she brought all of us ever closer to our remarkable heritage as Dominicans.
Tibi’s own Dominican heritage originated with her mother, a Dominican Tertiary. From the time she was a small child in Venezuela, she was grounded in Dominican values and charism.
Tibi met the Adrian Dominicans when she lived in Las Vegas, and became an Adrian Dominican Associate about eight years ago. While in Nevada, she was in a mission group with vowed members. This experience deepened her understanding of the Congregation and the individual Sisters. Tibi later moved to Palm Beach, Florida, where, she said, “The first thing I did was look for a mission group.”
Now actively involved in that mission group, she is inspired by the “amazing women” who provide an example for her to follow. She also participates regularly in a “partners” group of Associates, in which they work together in specific ministries and charities.
The group recently launched Dominican Spirit and Sole, a chartered non-profit organization with a mission to provide shoes for impoverished children. They focus on aiding the Adrian Dominican Sisters working in a rural area of the Dominican Republic.
Tibi has also been involved in the formation house and chapel in the Dominican Republic. During her visits, she deepens her relationship with Sisters Rosa Monique Peña, OP, and Carol Ann Gross, OP.
A Eucharistic Minister at her parish in Singer Island, Florida, Tibi also is a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, which helps to support Christians in the Holy Land. She provides financial support to the Adrian Dominican Congregation and to seminarians living in Rome during their preparation for the priesthood.
Seeking truth, to her, means staying informed on the national economy, education, immigration and health care issues, and using her background in politics to maintain dialogue on these concerns.
Tibi said she most identifies with the Enactment on diversity, deepening relationships, and inviting others to vowed and Associate life. “Our nation and our world are more diverse than ever [so] our Congregation must be on the forefront of diversity and inclusion,” she said.
With all of her involvements, Tibi maintains a high level of activity with her family, friends, and community. Although she is semi-retired from her career as a health care executive, she operates her own business as a political strategist and advocate on health care and elder care issues. She also enjoys the opportunity to travel in ministry to Europe and the Holy Land and is a golf and music enthusiast.
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