“I am not worried because I know that my God will walk with me through this as He has all my life. We will take this one day at a time.”
Those words, written by Sister Rose Celeste O’Connell in her autobiography the day after she was diagnosed with cancer, sum up her attitude about not only her battle with the disease but toward the rest of her life’s challenges as well.
Sister Rose Celeste was born Mary Ann Theresa O’Connell on January 10, 1939, in Chicago, Illinois, to Thomas Eugene and Edna Bernadette (Dion) O’Connell. Three children came into the family: a son, Thomas, who died soon after birth; Mary Ann; and Elinor, born when Mary Ann was eight years old.
The extended family on both Thomas’s and especially Edna’s sides were quite close, and gatherings with relatives were commonplace. But both Thomas and Edna worked as Mary Ann was growing up, and as a result she spent much of her time either with older adults, especially her paternal grandmother, or alone.
Read more about Sister Rose (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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Sr. rose taught me when she was at st Jude’s in Detroit. I had seen her a few times thru the years. She was a blessing when my dad walked out. She was a blessing for my mom and me. Her last email she said she had cancel. She told me her life story. Just wonder if a holy card could be sent to me. 8260 Myers Lake ave. Rockford michigan 49341. I am devastated. Was going to visit on our way to my son’s for mother’s day. Figured she was with family.
Hi, Suzanne. Yes, our Office of Information will send you the holy card in the mail. Thank you for reaching out. - Ashley, Communications
Dear Elinor, Thomas & Suzy,Thinking of you and wishing you peace & comfort as you remember Sister Rose, who was a wonderful woman and loved dearly.
My best memory of Sister Rose Celeste was a few years ago when I arrived in Adrian needing a fistful of documents in order to sell the duplex in the Dominican Republic. She spent most of a day with us searching out and preparing what we needed. She made it seem like fun though I know she must have had other things to do. We were so privileged to have such a joyful servant secretary.
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.