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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.
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!