In Memoriam


(1930-2019)

Sister Mary Schmagner was in first grade at St. Philip Neri School in Chicago when a Dominican priest visited her class to tell the children about being a missionary in China. It so inspired the little girl that not only was she ready right then to become a missionary and go to China, but she even wrote a composition for class stating, “The Navy says, ‘Join the Navy and see the world.’ I say, ‘Join the Dominicans and save the world.’”

Her zeal only lasted until second grade, however, because at that point she discovered boys and “there was no more thought of religious life until my senior year at Aquinas,” she wrote in her life story.

Mary Elizabeth Schmagner was born in Chicago on August 15, 1930, to John and Elizabeth (Sorauf) Schmagner. John was born in Hurley, Wisconsin, of German immigrant parents, while Betty came from Ironwood, Michigan, the child of immigrants from Trieste (which today is part of Italy). The two married in Chicago and settled on the city’s South Side in St. Laurence Parish; three years later, Mary, who was to be their only child, was born.

“Ours was a happy home,” Sister Mary wrote. “Since there were no siblings to rub off the raw edges, my parents supplied a formation with love and discipline to prepare me for life’s challenges. I like to think of myself as SPOILED with love but unselfish.”

Read more about Sister Mary (pdf)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. 

 

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(1939-2019)

Both of Sister Patricia Brady’s parents were born in Northern Ireland, Francis Joseph Brady in County Down and Mary Margaret Quinn in County Tyrone. The two met in Toronto, Canada, having immigrated there to seek better opportunities than existed in their homeland, and married and settled down in Montreal, Canada. It wasn’t long, however, before the young couple returned to Toronto, where their oldest child, Francis Leo, was born.

A few years later, Sister Pat’s father went to Chicago to find work, and when he got a job in the stockyards there, Mary and their son joined him in the United States. Later, he went to work for the Chicago Transit Authority as a streetcar conductor, and spent the rest of his working life in various positions with the CTA.

Within a year of their arrival in the States, the couple welcomed another baby into the family, a boy they named Kevin. Sadly, however, Kevin died of diphtheria before his second birthday. Pat was born on March 12, 1939, receiving her name because of her arrival coming just before St. Patrick’s Day. Two years later, Daniel was born, and then ten years went by before another girl, Colleen, came into the family, followed by Mary four years after that.

Because the family moved often, Sister Pat attended four grade schools around Chicago, one of them twice: St. Felicitas, St. Columbanus, St. Felicitas again, Little Flower, and finally St. Kilian. This variety of schools brought her into contact with three congregations of Sisters: IHMs, Mercy Sisters, and the Adrian Dominicans who taught at St. Kilian’s. When it came time for high school, she chose the Adrian Dominican-operated Aquinas High School, which required an hour-plus ride on city buses each way, over another school that was within walking distance of home.

Read more about Sister Patricia (formerly Sister Francis Kevin) (pdf)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.



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(1929-2019)

An era in Adrian Dominican history ended when Sister Jeanne Burns, the last surviving member of the General Council that was elected at the 1968 Chapter of Renewal to serve with Sister Rosemary Ferguson, died on July 18, 2019.

Sister Jeanne was born on March 3, 1929, in Chicago to Thomas and Laura (Mackey) Burns. Thomas worked for the Consumers Ice and Coal Company, and when Jeanne was almost five years old the family moved to Rockford, Illinois, when Thomas was transferred there as manager. She was the youngest of eleven children in the Burns family; her five brothers and five sisters were John, Robert, Thomas, William, James, Frances, Lorraine, Rosemary, Betty, and Catherine.

In an extensive autobiography written as a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) requirement, Sister Jeanne remembered her childhood as a happy one and that she was always aware of her parents’ love even though they were not especially demonstrative in their affection. She said she could only recall being spanked twice: once when three of them were jumping on a bed and broke it, and once when she ate her sister’s Valentine cinnamon hearts.

Read more about Sister Jeanne (pdf)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. 

 


Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link).


(1934-2019)

“Tonight, we gather to celebrate the life of a woman who was quiet, gentle, fun to be with, loved nature, and loved her family.”

So began the eulogy for Sister Patricia Dolan delivered by Sister Rosemary Asaro, Holy Rosary Chapter Assistant, at Sister Patricia’s wake service.

Sister Pat was born February 16, 1934, in Chicago to William and Catherine (Newton) Dolan. Both Bill and Catherine were natives of Buffalo, New York; Bill’s ancestors had arrived in the mid-1840s to work on the Erie Canal, while Catherine’s maternal grandmother had arrived alone from Scotland at the age of eighteen. Grandma Newton married and had five children before her husband died when Catherine was just ten years old. Catherine had to leave high school after her first year in order to help with the family finances through her job as a telephone operator. As for Bill, he was a Canisius College graduate who went on to a forty-four year career with the Federal Sign and Signal Company.

Catherine and Bill met at a dance and married in Buffalo in 1928. They moved to Chicago soon thereafter and settled in St. Laurence Parish before moving to St. Ailbe Parish around 1931. Four children came into the family: Margaret in 1929, Bill in 1932, Pat in 1934, and Maureen in 1937.

Read more about Sister Patricia (pdf)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.

Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link).


Cemetery of the Adrian Dominican Sisters

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. 


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