Sister Marianne O’Neill was born on May 28, 1936, in Chicago, the youngest of three children born to David and Frances (Whitty) O’Neill. Her two older brothers were Whitney and David. The family lived on the South side of Chicago, just one block from St. Laurence Church.
In her autobiography, Sister Marianne wrote the following about her family and her early life.
My mom and dad were both born in Chicago. My oldest brother Whitney was born in 1927 and David, my other brother, was born in 1932. My dad worked at Carnegie Steel in South Chicago for thirty years. My mother did not work but when all of us were grown, she worked for Children’s Activities in downtown Chicago at Christmas time.
I loved all my teachers at St Laurence School. I went to Aquinas High School and graduated from there in 1954. Again, I had just wonderful teachers. At that time we had all nuns except for the drama and gym teachers. As you can see the only influence I had were the Dominican Sisters. I did have cousins who were BVMs and I saw them every summer but I never had the idea to enter their congregation.
Read more about Sister Marianne (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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Sheila Nadine Flynn was born on January 29, 1929, in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. She was the second child and only girl born to Edward Patrick and Marie Agnes (Aeno) Flynn. Her mother was injured during the birthing process and had to wear a body cast for one year. According to Sister Sheila, this injury did not slow her mother down because, “she was a woman not easily overwhelmed by trials.”
In her autobiography, Sister Sheila wrote the following about her parents:
Mom’s parents were poor French Canadian farmers who migrated to Northern Michigan with their seven children in search of better lands and a better life. The harshness of farm life soon challenged my mother to leave home and seek an education and a different life for herself. During this time she obtained an education and became a convert to Roman Catholicism. Dad was an Ohioan. He was the youngest child of a family of ten children. Dad never spoke a great deal about his parents. By profession he was a salesman. He spent thirty-five years of faithful service to Prudential Life Insurance and moved up the ladder of success through this business.
Read more about Sister Sheila (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Anderson Funeral Home, Adrian.
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)
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)
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.