Sister Monica Charles, baptized Donna Mae Stankus, was born at St. Bernard Hospital in Chicago on July 6, 1936. She was the only child of Charles C. and Mercedes (Fair) Stankus. Her mother expected the baby to be a boy and had chosen a boy’s name and even a blue layette. Her parents finally decided to name their baby girl Donna.
In her autobiography, Sister Monica shared the following about her early life and the reason her family moved to Henderson, Nevada.
When I was five, mother decided that I was too little to go to kindergarten so I began first grade at St. Ethelreda School with the Mercy Sisters. When I was in the sixth grade, the doctor told my mother that she was a prime candidate for TB and the family should consider moving to a warmer climate. I left the 6th grade during Easter break and we started driving west, finally ending up in Las Vegas. Because Dad was a vet we could get temporary housing in Victory Village in Henderson, diagonally across Boulder Highway from St. Rose de Lima Hospital. This was in 1948. The hospital opened in 1947. In a few weeks we bought a home in Las Vegas and Dad got a job as an electrician.
Read more about Sister Monica Charles (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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Sister Michael Claire Wilson, baptized Barbara Lynn Wilson, was born on December 22, 1933, in Detroit. She was the first of five children born to Joseph and Evelyn (Schulte) Wilson. Both parents were born in Detroit. Her father was a lawyer-accountant.
Barbara had been educated in a public grade school and was attending Dominican High School when she received her parents’ permission to transfer to St. Joseph Academy and enroll in the Congregation’s Preparatory Program that began in 1943. After graduating from the Academy in June 1949 she entered the postulate on September 8, 1949, at the age of fifteen. At reception the following year in August she received her religious name Sister Michael Claire.
Following profession on August 9, 1951, Sister Michael Claire was missioned to St. Joseph School in Homewood, Illinois, where she taught for seven years. In February of her last year at St. Joseph (1959), she was reassigned to study at Siena Heights College and to finish her undergraduate studies. She received a bachelor’s degree in the summer of 1959.
Read more about Sister Michael Claire (pdf)
I have chosen you; you have not chosen Me.
Sister Jean Edward, baptized Violet Ellen Selcke, was born on March 6, 1915, in Chicago. She was the fourth of six children born to Edward and Mary (Heffernan) Selcke. Her three older brothers were Edward, Lawrence and Raymond. Six years after Violet’s birth, Lucile and Margaret were born.
In her autobiography, Sister Jean Edward wrote:
It was great fun having two sisters. We spent enjoyable time together visiting Garfield Park Conservatory, Riverview Park, the Chicago Civic Opera House and the Art Institute. Swimming and picnics were our favorites. Even though we spent time doing many pleasant things, my parents provided time for us to have piano lessons.
Read more about Sister Jean Edward (pdf)
Sister Maris Stella Beaufait, the seventh child of Joseph E. and Matilda Ida Louise (Couchez) Beaufait, was born on October 24, 1922, in Grosse Pointe, Michigan.
She was baptized Mary Jane in honor of her paternal grandmother, Mary Jane Lennon. In her autobiography, Sister Maris Stella wrote:
My mother and father both came from farming families. My father was the fifth generation of Beaufaits in the Detroit area. Louis Beaufait, my great, great, great grandfather, was born in France in 1733 and came to Detroit in 1761. He played an important part in the early history of the city. His son, Louis, who was a colonel in the War of 1812, was the owner of a farm which bordered the Detroit River and extended back across Gratiot Road. Beaufait Avenue in Detroit was a part of what was his farm.
My mother was raised on a farm in St. Clair Shores at [what is now] Thirteen Mile Road and Harper. Mother came from a large family, six boys and six girls. Only one of my uncles married and he late in life. They all worked on the farm and my Aunt Margaret kept house for them.
Read more about Sister Maris Stella (pdf)
Our Adrian Dominican cemetery with its circular headstones is a beautiful place of rest for women who gave their lives in service to God—and a peaceful place for contemplation and remembrance.
We will post memorial reflections on our faithfully departed Sisters and Associates. If you would like to reflect on a Sister or Associate who has gone before us, please send your reflections – no more than 500 to 600 words – to
We invite you to meet some of the wonderful women who have recently crossed into eternity.