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By Sharon Bock,
Like many Associates, Theresa Fuller has a long history with the Adrian Dominican Sisters, going back to her earliest school days: kindergarten! And the memories don’t end there. Theresa went to All Saints, a grammar school, and Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, California, in the San Francisco Bay area.
The circle was unbroken when Theresa decided to enter the Adrian Dominican Sisters after graduation, choosing Sister Jane Catherine, OP, her kindergarten teacher, as her sponsor. Of her days as a vowed member, Theresa writes, “I loved what being in the convent taught me: adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. That was the greatest gift of all.”
Theresa withdrew from the Congregation, but not from her devotion to the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Although it wasn’t until the 1990s that she first heard about the Associate program, she immediately welcomed the opportunity to become affiliated with the Congregation again. “I joined right away as I missed my Sisters,” she said, adding that she looks forward to seeing them at Mission Group gatherings. She shares spiritual and emotional support, and, as occasions permit, makes financial contributions to the Congregation.
Theresa loved teaching. Her early experience teaching K-8 children dance steps for spring concerts and her talent for directing plays at the Kino Institute in Arizona paved the way for her subsequent profession as a dance and music therapist. Through this ministry, she touched so many lives: patients in mental health services and in a jail ward, elderly clients at convalescent hospitals, and those in recovery from substance abuse.
Now that they are retired, Theresa and her husband, Bill, volunteer at Birthright of San Lorenzo, a crisis pregnancy center. Bill is President of the Board and Theresa is Co-director of Daily Activities. Together they work diligently in many aspects of the organization: fundraising, marketing, public speaking, volunteer training and one-to-one contacts with the women who seek assistance at the center. Theresa also provides resource information to homeless individuals, guiding them to places where they can get food and other forms of assistance.
Theresa’s dedication to Birthright is a concrete example of her commitment to reverencing life. She empowers women who face difficult life choices, encouraging them to give birth even in discouraging circumstances. Through this work, as well as her interactions with others, Theresa makes peace and seeks – and speaks – truth.
Theresa is also a lector and Eucharistic minister at her parish. She spends time in weekly Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and attends Bible studies and lectures on Christian life and spirituality.
Theresa and Bill love to travel. They travel by car to visit friends and go sight-seeing throughout the country. They have enjoyed several cruises, including visits to the Holy Land, Egypt, Europe, Iceland, and the Scandinavian countries, and they hope to travel to Australia.
At this writing, Bill is undergoing medical treatment and is listed on the Adrian Dominican prayer request site. We send best wishes and loving prayers to both Theresa and Bill.
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!