“We come with awfully heavy hearts this evening to celebrate the life of Jude, our sister, our friend, our aunt, our cousin. She was one of us for a long time, and she was taken very quickly.”
So began the remembrance of Sister Jude Van Baalen by her Chapter Prioress, Sister Kathleen Klingen, at the Vigil Service held in Adrian on November 16, 2017. The “heavy hearts” to which Sister Kathleen referred had been made even more so by the unexpected and sudden circumstances of Sister Jude’s passing: only days before, she had suffered a brain bleed and been taken to a Chicago emergency room. From there, she was brought to Adrian, where she died on November 14.
Born Judy Marie Van Baalen on November 6, 1939, in Detroit, Jude, as she always preferred to be known, was the second child of Edward and Susan Lucille Flanagan Van Baalen. She had an older brother, Paul, and over time four more children – Susan, Marc, Edward, Mary, and Ann – were born into the family. As more little Van Baalens came into the world, the family moved to successively larger houses around the city, and as a result, Sister Jude attended four parochial schools: Gesu, Blessed Sacrament, St. John the Apostle, and St. Philip Neri.
Her high school years, however, were spent at Dominican High School, which brought her into contact with the Adrian Dominicans and planted the seeds of religious life. She wrote to Mother Gerald Barry on March 3, 1957, near the end of her senior year at Dominican High, requesting entrance into the Congregation, and became a postulant that June. When she was received into the novitiate in December, it was with the religious name Sister Jude Marie. One of her sisters, Susan, followed her into the Congregation in 1959.
Read more about Sister Jude (pdf)
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).
I'd like to view Jude's wake service. I saw her funeral in real time. The download arrow to start it seems to be missing. Many thanks, Jean
Hi, Jean. The recorded wake will be posted on Sister Jude's obituary (here) in about a week or so.
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.