In Memoriam


(1920-2017)

Sister Joanne O’Connor, formerly known as Helen Susan O’Connor and, in religious life as Sister Mary Joannes, died on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 96 years of age and in the 78th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation. 

Sister Joanne was born in Chicago to Daniel and Corinne (Barry) O’Connor. She graduated from St. Joseph Academy in Adrian and received a Bachelor of Philosophy degree in English from Barry College (University) in Miami, Florida and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian. Sister was also certified for pastoral care by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.

Sister Joanne spent 32 years ministering in education in Miami Beach and Miami Shores, Florida; Detroit and Adrian, Michigan; and Chicago, Illinois. She ministered in higher education for nine years at Barry College (University) in Miami Shores, Florida, and for 11 years at Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian, Michigan. She also taught at Dominican High School and Rosary High School, both in Detroit, for a total of six years. 

Sister was a nuclear medicine technician at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, California, for five years; Co-Provincial for Holy Cross Province in Oakland, California for three years; and Tribunal Advocate for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, California, for 14½ years. 

Sister Joanne became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in 2012. She is survived by a sister, Joan Panaro, of Santa Rosa, California. She was predeceased by a sister, Sister Helene O’Connor, also an Adrian Dominican Sister. 

Rite of Committal (burial) was held on March 9 in the Congregation Cemetery. A Memorial Mass will be on Monday, March 13, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. in St. Catherine Chapel, followed by the Ritual of Remembering at 1:30 p.m. in the Rose Room of the Dominican Life Center. Both the Memorial Mass and the Ritual of Remembering will be live streamed.

make a memorial giftMemorial 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.

 

   
LEFT: The O’Connor children: back row, from left, Daniel, Jr., 11; Mary, 13; and Catherine, 5; and in front, from left, Helen (the future Sister Joanne), 2; John, 9; and Corinne, 7. RIGHT: Sister Joanne at her first Communion, May 6, 1937

 

   
RIGHT: From left, Sisters Mary Jean Walsh, Rita Cecile Boyle, and Joanne O’Connor prepare to leave for Washington.

 

   
LEFT: Sister Joanne, facing the camera, at a Chapter Assembly in 1988. RIGHT: Working on a statue of St. John

 

   
LEFT: Sister Joanne, left, with her close friend, Sister Mary Margaret Beh

 

At Barry College with one of the Stations of the Cross that she designed and executed for Barry

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

 


(1928-2017)

Sister Donna Wencel, formerly known as Sister Frederick Mary Wencel, died on March 3, 2017 at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 88 years of age and in the 71st year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

Sister Donna was born in Wayne, Michigan, to Frederick and Martha (Klebba) Wencel. She graduated from St. Joseph Academy in Adrian and received a Bachelor of Home Economics degree from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian and a Master of Arts Education degree in classroom teaching from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant.  

Sister Donna ministered for 51 years in elementary education in Chicago, Illinois; Sturgis, Iron River, Ubly, and Ruth, Michigan; Marblehead, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; and La Jolla, California. She was principal for five years at St. John School in Ubly. 

Sister Donna became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in 2014. She is survived by a grand-nephew, Randy Wencel, of Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Welcome of Sister Donna will be on Monday, March 6, 2017, 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 Funeral Mass will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. Both the Vigil Prayer and the Funeral will be live streamed. The Rite of Committal will be in the Congregation cemetery.

make a memorial giftMemorial 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.

 

 

Vigil for Sister Donna (Frederick Mary):


Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.

 

 

   
LEFT: Sisters Kathleen Clausen (left) and Donna prepare for a 2003 trip to Copenhagen, provided by their parish.

 

   
LEFT: Sisters Kathleen Clausen (left) and Donna Wencel. RIGHT: Members of the Veritas Mission Group are, back row, from left, Sisters Maureen Keeler and Barbara Mason and Myrna Colbert, Associate, and front row, from left, Sisters Donna Wencel, Joan Dwyer, Margaret Reardon, and Kathleen Clausen.

 

   

 

   
LEFT: Sister Donna works on one of her quilts. RIGHT: Sister Donna with her father and her horse Topper during her first home visit

 

Sister Donna’s first mission, St. Matthew, Chicago, in 1949. Shown are: back row, from left, Sisters Marie Alexius Ruder, Mary Celine Nemshak, Frederick Mary (Donna) Wencel, Marie Michel Allain, and Raymond Marie Scanlon, and front row, from left, Sisters Amie Marie Holthoefer and Marie Carmelita Brown. 

 

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

 


(1930-2017)

Sister Diane Erbacher, formerly known as Sister Mary Carlanne Erbacher, died on January 31, 2017, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 87 years of age and in the 66th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

Sister was born in San Jose, California to Charles and Anne (Loretta) Foltz Erbacher. She graduated from Holy Cross High School in Santa Cruz, California, and received a bachelor’s degree in music (piano) from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian and a master’s degree in music education from University of Southern California in Los Angeles. 

Sister Diane spent 54 years ministering in elementary and music education in Harvey, Illinois; Tucumcari, New Mexico; Casa Grande and Tucson, Arizona; and Oakland and San Francisco, California. This includes her service of 40 years as teacher and principal of St. Brendan’s School in San Francisco, California. 

Sister Diane became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian in January 2017.

Welcome of Sister Diane will be on Friday, February 3, 2017, 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 Funeral Mass will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel on Saturday, February 4, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. Both the Vigil Prayer and the Funeral will be live streamed. The Rite of Committal will be in the Congregation cemetery.

make a memorial giftMemorial 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.

 

Download article about Sister Diane from the Bulletin of St. Brendan's Parish: http://www.stbrendanparish.org/_modules/document.php?action=download 

 

Vigil for Sister Diane (Mary Carlanne):


Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.

 

Funeral for Sister Diane (Mary Carlanne):


Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.

 

   
LEFT: Members of the 2010 Diamond Jubilee crowd are: back row, from left, Sisters Carol Johannes, Rina Cappellazzo, Joseph Eugene Fogarty, Barbara Hubbard, Mary Mackert, and Mary Louise Gass; middle row, from left, Sisters Joan Marconi, Diane Erbacher, Paul James Villemure, Charlotte Francis Moser, Mary Anthony Marelli, and Kathleen Sutherland; and front row, from left, Sisters Theodora McKennan, Mary Jo Sieg, Florence Marie Viaches, Michael Claire Wilson, Barbara Ann Mason, and Donna Markham (Prioress).

 

   
LEFT: Sisters at St. Louis Bertrand Convent, Oakland, California. RIGHT: From left, Sisters Elizabeth Clare Schindler, Diane Erbacher, and Madonna Black

 

   
LEFT: Sisters Diane Erbacher (left) and Christine Ostrowski with the Do family, sponsored by their parish. RIGHT: Sisters Christine Ostrowski (left) and Diane Erbacher

 

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

 


(1920-2017)

Sister Marie Sheila, baptized Mary Arlene Beatty, was born on August 21, 1920, in Lansing, Michigan. She was the third of seven children born to Howard and Agnes (Torpey) Beatty. Two of her brothers, Billy and Robert, died in infancy: Billy in 1919 and Robert in 1922. Sister Sheila thought both deaths could have been related to the flu epidemic that swept the country after World War I. 

In her autobiography, Sister Sheila gave a detailed account of her parents. The following are a few highlights. 

My mother was born in Duro, Ontario, Canada, and received most of her education at Loretto Abbey School in Toronto. By the time she was eighteen she was living alone in Lansing. She studied nursing for a year but ended up working as a private secretary. My father was from a Methodist family in Petoskey, Michigan. He worked on a farm to pay for his education in electrical engineering at Michigan State University. After he was baptized Catholic, my parents married and lived in Lansing, where my father found a job doing research on car motors and styling at REO Motor Car Company. [REO were the initials of the founder, Ransom Eli Olds.] When the company was sold to General Motors my father lost his job and we moved to Petoskey and lived with my grandparents until 1921 when my father found a job in Saginaw. It was here that my father began his high school teaching and coaching career that lasted for the next forty years. 

Read more about Sister Marie Sheila (pdf)

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

 

 

Vigil for Sister Marie Sheila:


Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.

 

Funeral for Sister Marie Sheila:


Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.

 

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. 


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.

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