In Memoriam


(1920-2019)

My views on missionary life have certainly changed over the years, since at the beginning I thought I was ministering to the poor in Pamplona, but as time went on I realized that I was being ministered to by my Pamplona friends. Several theologians and writers are asking the same question: What do we learn from the poor of the world?

These words are found in the life story of Sister Mary K. Duwelius, who spent more than three decades ministering in the Dominican Republic and Peru in addition to serving migrant populations during her many years in south Florida.

Dorothy Catherine Duwelius was born on June 26, 1920, in Elkhart, Indiana, to John and Mabel (Ness) Duwelius. She was one of four children, along with her brother Kenneth and two younger sisters who were identical twins, Eileen and Arlene. “Both our parents were happy, holy, and hard-working,” she said. “Mother kept everything under control and we children knew how to settle down when advised to do so.”

Sister Mary K.’s lifelong commitment to social justice and the poor may well have come from her Depression-era upbringing, instilled by her parents. A railroad track ran directly behind their home, and those riding the trains often knocked on the back door asking for something to eat – and could always find a meal there.

Life in the Duwelius home revolved around activities in the family parish, St. Vincent’s in Elkhart. John was an usher and active in many church groups, while Mabel “was a great organizer of ice cream socials, dinners and card parties” in the parish. All the children attended the parish school. “Each day we would devoutly pray before class and then break forth loudly singing ‘Cheer, cheer for Old Notre Dame,’” Sister Mary K. said. “I didn’t find this strange and for years thought that this was done in all Catholic schools in the world.”

Read more about Sister Mary K. (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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(1946-2019)

A large white house on Lakewood Avenue on the east side of Detroit, in St. Ambrose Parish, was home to Robert and Mary Jo (Pease) Plummer and their family of seven boisterous children including Mary Ellen, the second oldest. Eighteen years separated the oldest, Bill, and the youngest, Liz. In between, in addition to Mary Ellen, came Cathy, John, Margaret, and Virginia.

Robert and Mary Jo were both Montana natives (Missoula and Butte, respectively) who met as students at the University of Montana. The pair married and moved to Boston, where Robert, who had entered officers’ training with the U.S. Navy, studied sonar technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Eventually, he was in the submarine service in the Pacific during World War II.

After the war, the couple moved to the Detroit area, where Robert went to work for the U.S. Rubber Company, now Uniroyal. When Sister Mary Ellen was born on September 14, 1946, the family lived in a small house in what is now Harper Woods, but when she was four years old they moved to the home on Lakewood.

“It was there that we roller-skated for hours (our driveway was the best in the neighborhood!), played house, raked leaves, grew gardens, made snow people (and had great snowball fights!), and bumbled our way through school and adolescence toward adulthood,” Sister Mary Ellen wrote in her life story.

Read more about Sister Mary Ellen (pdf)

make a memorial gift

Memorial 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).

 


(1928-2019)

Lorraine Morin was two weeks shy of her thirty-third birthday when she finally took a step she’d been discerning almost half of her life: she wrote to Sister Patrick Jerome Mullins, the Congregation’s novice mistress at the time, asking to be admitted.

“It may be that, now that I can no longer fight it, it is too late,” she wrote.

But the General Council gave its permission, and on June 26, 1962, Lorraine arrived in Adrian from her home town of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to become a postulant.

Lorraine was born on October 10, 1928, in Somerville, Massachusetts. Both of her parents, Joseph Morin and Adelaide Ouellette, were natives of St. Helene, Quebec who had immigrated to Massachusetts, Joseph’s family to Salem and Adelaide’s to Lowell.

Joseph was a mill foreman and Adelaide a dressmaker when the couple married in June 1913. At some point Joseph became a barber, for Sister Lorraine spoke in her life story about how her father would give his clients “haircuts and a couple of hundred dollars’ worth of counseling.”

Read more about Sister Loraine (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).

 


(1929-2019)

“Something good is to come for these two babies!”

According to Sister Grace Flowers’ twin sister Dorothy, those were the words spoken by a Sister of St. Francis who had cared for the two babies and their mother when the girls were born at St. Francis Hospital in Miami, Florida. The nun had placed the twins on the hospital chapel’s altar when they and their mother were ready to be discharged, and made that fateful prediction.

Dolores, the future Sister Grace, and Dorothy were born on December 16, 1929, to John and Mary (Hatton) Flowers. They were the youngest of John and Mary’s four children; first came Catherine, then Margaret, then the twins. Only three years separated all the girls, and with them being so close in age they did many things together. Sadly, however, Catherine died in 1937 just before her eleventh birthday.

The Great Depression was just getting under way when the twins were born, but “we were not poor because we always owned our own home and had a car,” Grace said in her autobiography, “but we did not have unnecessary things. Mother worked as a registered nurse and my father always had a job.” In Grace’s application to enter the Congregation, she listed John’s job as supervisor for the Miami Transit Company.

Dorothy and Dolores attended public school from grades one through four, until the parish, St. Mary’s, opened its school, and both girls completed their elementary and secondary schooling there. Dolores then enrolled at Barry College (University), which is how she first came into contact with the Adrian Dominican Sisters. She had thought about religious life off and on already, but when she observed the way the Dominicans lived their community life, she knew it was the Congregation for her.

Read more about Sister Grace (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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