One of the Adrian Dominican Sisters to come out of America’s Southwest was Sister Madonna Marie Black, born Marian Loretto Black on March 15, 1926, in Kingman, Arizona.
Marian was the third of Arthur Francis and Mabel (Van Marter) Black’s ten children. The other children – five girls and three boys – were Virginia, Don, Leo, Viola, Katherine, Charles, Mai, Helen, and Fran. Katherine died suddenly at age three.
Arthur came to Kingman from Kansas, while Mabel was born in California. When the two first met, she was teaching in a one-room schoolhouse and he was working in a local mine. After they married in 1916, she gave up her teaching career to raise their family.
Both Mabel and Arthur were artistically and musically talented. As a girl, Mabel played in the Van Marter Juvenile Band, an ensemble directed by her grandfather that consisted of young family members and other Kingman residents. She played cornet and was the only girl in the band. In her married life, she sang and played piano, while Arthur could play violin and harmonica.
“Home life, in my ‘growing-up’ years, was like living in a Music Conservatory and Art Studio – all at the same time – with lots of family competition for me!” Sister Madonna Marie wrote.
Read more about Sister Madonna Marie (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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Sister Robert Irene Buchanan, formerly known as Mildred Marilyn Buchanan, died on Thursday, February 13, 2020, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 92 years of age and in the 68th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.
Sister was born in Detroit to Robert and Irene (Whitty) Buchanan. She graduated from Immaculata High School in Detroit and received a bachelor’s degree in history from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian.
Sister Robert Irene spent 19½ years in education in Clawson and Romeo, Michigan; Douglas, Arizona; Cincinnati, Ohio; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Oakland, California. She also taught Special Education for 13 years in Santa Cruz County, California. Sister was a medical records clerk for nine years at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, California.
Sister Robert Irene became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in 2006. Sister was preceded in death by her parents and her twin sister, Sister Mary Luke Buchanan, a Franciscan Sister; her sisters: Geraldine Urburtis; Dolores Buchanan; Shirley Tohlen and Sharon Wentworth and her brothers: Robert Buchanan, Jr and Tom Buchanan. She is survived by loving nieces and nephews and her Adrian Dominican Sisters.
Welcome of Sister Robert Irene will be on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. in the Dominican Life Center lobby; the Wake will follow from 6:15 to 7:00 p.m. in the Rose Room. The Reception of the Body and Vigil Prayer will be at 7:00 p.m. in St. Catherine Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. Both the Vigil Prayer and the Mass of Christian Burial will be live streamed. The Rite of Committal will be in the Congregation cemetery.
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Anderson-Marry Funeral Home, Adrian.
Left: Twins Mildred (Sister Robert Irene) and Virginia (Sister Luke) with their younger sister, Shirley
Right: The Buchanan sisters are, from left, Sharon, Sister Robert Irene, Franciscan Sister Luke, and Dolores.
Sister Robert Irene Buchanan ministered as medical records clerk at Dominican Hospital, Santa Cruz, California.
From left: From left, Sisters Gloria Lerro, Robert Irene Buchanan, and Julie Hyer at Dominican Oaks, Santa Cruz, California, 2000. Sisters Jane Robert Stuckel (left) and Robert Irene Buchanan
From left: Sister Robert Irene stands in front of a nursing station at the Dominican Life Center. Sister Robert Irene Buchanan, left, and her twin, Franciscan Sister Luke Buchanan
Members of the 2011 Diamond Jubilarian Crowd are: back row, from left, Sisters Nancy Fischer, Barbara Hehr, Patricia Walsh, Mary Louise Head, Joan Weitz, Helen Belsito, Anne Beauvais, and Celeste Mary Bourke; middle row, from left, Sisters Mary Alice Naour, Helen Laier, Thomas Leo Monahan, Patricia Dolan, Angela Susalla, June Racicot, Patricia Spangler, and Attracta Kelly (Prioress); and front row, from left, Sisters Marilyn Foster, Marion Coppe, Betty Lou Myers, Robert Irene Buchanan, Mary Alan Stuart, Mary Catherine Nolan, and Jane Robert Stuckel.
“She had the heart for hard conversations. Truth telling. Denise’s heart, her courage, showed through at every stage of her life.”
These words by Sister Mary Ann Dixon, in her homily for Sister Denise Devitt, drew upon the Gospel reading Sister Denise had chosen for her funeral: John 20:19-22, which includes Jesus’ exhortation “do not let your hearts be troubled.”
“The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for ‘heart,’” Sister Mary Ann said. “In one of its earliest forms, the word ‘courage’ meant ‘to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.’ That [Sister Denise] did! She spoke her mind and it revealed her heart, her strong heart.”
Sister Denise was born Catherine Denice (but was always known as Denise) Devitt on June 17, 1937, in Chicago. Her parents were Thomas, a homicide detective with the Chicago Police Department, and Irene (Mackey) Devitt. She was the older of two children in the family; her sister Pat was born four years after her.
Read more about Sister Denise (pdf)
Apologies for a technical error that prevented the Vigil Service for Sister Denise from being recorded.
Agnes Ann Peplinski was born March 14, 1932, in Parisville, Michigan, to Matthew and Lucy (Zmich) Peplinski. Parisville, which is an unincorporated community within Paris Township in Huron County, at the tip of Michigan’s “Thumb,” was one of the first Polish settlements in the United States, and both sets of Agnes’ grandparents were immigrants to that locale from Prussia, making them a combination of Polish and German.
Like many other Huron County residents, Matthew was a farmer. He and Lucy had eighteen children in all, two of whom died in infancy; Lucy herself died in April 1947. Agnes attended grade schools in Forestville, Minden City, and Port Sanilac, Michigan, and graduated from Sandusky High School in Sandusky, Michigan, in May 1950.
She wrote in her letter to Mother Gerald seeking entrance to the Congregation that she had come to know the Adrian Dominican Sisters through summer school programs in Port Sanilac; Sister Mary Richard Rea had taught her particular class, and it was at that time, in eighth grade, that she knew she wanted to enter religious life. A high school retreat at Dominican High School in Detroit cemented her choice of which community it was to be.
Read more about Sister Agnes (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.
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