How self-controlled the dawn!
Sister Aileen McClain, baptized Elizabeth (Betty) Rae, and born April 24, 1930, in Chicago, was the fifth daughter born to Vincent and Helen (Rache) McClain. Five years later, the McClain girls – Helen, Patricia, Aileen, Jeanne, and Betty – welcomed the birth of Vincent Thomas, their only brother.
Betty’s parents were both born in Illinois. After their marriage they settled in St. Kilian Parish, where all their children began their elementary education. In her biography, Betty wrote, “My father was a property manager at a bank and provided a good life for his family.”
Betty was still in grade school at St. Kilian when two of her sisters entered the Congregation: Helen, known as Sister Ellen Vincent, entered at the end of her first semester at St. Joseph College in 1936. Patricia, known as Sister Helen Thomas, entered the postulate in January 1939. In her biography Betty wrote, “I always dreamed of becoming a sister someday.” The fact that she now had two sisters who were Adrian Dominicans only intensified her desire.
Read more about Sister Aileen (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).
A great loss to all who knew her. I enjoyed my friendship with Sister Betty and visits for 27 years. Bless you always.
Dearest Betty, May you rest in peace and enjoy the eternity you worked so hard to attain in your 67 years as an Adrian Dominican. Growing up on Loomis Street, trips to Adrian when it was a working farm, visits in Michigan, Chicago and Florida... oh, so many fond memories. Enjoy your reunion with Mom, Dad, Helen, Pat, Aileen, and Jeanne. You can rest knowing I am never without my Lourdes Water you insisted I carry. Bless you dear sister. I miss you so already.Your brother, Vince
Sister Aileen was my grandmother's sister and my family always referred to her as Aunt Betty. We used to visit Aunt Betty and Sister Rose in Vero Beach when we took vacations to FL when I was young. It was always a big event when she would come to Chicago. She was a kind and wonderful woman and will be missed by all who knew her.
God bless you dear Sister Aileen, You were such an important part of my life ~ I will remember you always and keep you in my prayers. Your gentle spirit was such an important role model for me...knowing you had been a first grade teacher like myself, I looked up to you so. As the principal of Trinity Catholic School, you were like a mother to me. I learned so much from you and always sought out your approval. May the dear Lord bless you and keep you now. I know His angels are there with you, singing "Well done, my good and faithful servant."Love and prayers
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.