Sister Ellen Murphy, formerly known as Sister Marie Aquino Murphy, died on Thursday, April 11, 2019, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 82 years of age and in the 64th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.
Sister Ellen was born in Detroit to Joseph and Cecilia (Kenney) Murphy. She graduated from Dominican High School in Detroit and received a bachelor’s degree in history from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian and a master’s degree in European history from De Paul University in Chicago.
Sister spent 35½ years ministering in elementary education in Detroit, Michigan; Chicago, Homewood, Elmhurst, Wilmette, and Oak Lawn, Illinois; and Fort Wayne, Indiana. This includes seven years as principal of Queen of Angels, Chicago; three years as principal of St. Joseph, Wilmette; and nine years as principal of St. Catherine of Alexandria, Oak Lawn, all in Illinois. She also spent five years as principal of St. Vincent de Paul in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Sister Ellen was the administrative assistant for a short time for the Dominican Midwest Chapter of the Adrian Dominican Sisters in Burbank; ministered in spiritual development for CenterPointe in South Holland for three years; was program coordinator for Women’s Center Project, Westchester for one year, all in Illinois. She was also regional coordinator for Catholic Association of Student Councils at Notre Dame, Indiana, for one year.
Sister Ellen became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian in 2013. She was preceded in death by her parents and a first cousin, Sister Celine Therese McMahon, OP, also an Adrian Dominican Sister. She is survived by her Adrian Dominican Sisters.
Welcome of Sister Ellen will be on Tuesday, April 16, 2019, 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 Mass of Christian Burial will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 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.
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Anderson-Marry Funeral Home, Adrian.
Left: Sister Ellen Murphy with her parents
From left: Sisters Joyce Rybarczyk, left, and Ellen Murphy in Watervliet, Michigan, where Sister Joyce ministered on a reservation. Staff members of St. Catherine of Alexandria School and Parish, Oak Lawn, Illinois are, from left, Sisters Helen Sorich and Ellen Murphy; Father Mark Walter; Father Joseph O’Brien, Pastor; Byrnie Smierciak, Director of Religious Education; and Sister Kathleen Harkins.
Sisters Patricia Walter (left) and Ellen Murphy stand in front of CenterPointe Women’s Center. Sisters Norlee McDonnell (left) and Ellen Murphy
From left: Members of the Sophia Mission Group celebrate Christmas, early 2000s. Shown are, standing, from left, Sisters Ellen Murphy, Peter Anthony Schulte, and Mary Alice Hoff and seated, from left, Sisters Jean Keeley, Sally Fergus, and Juliann Flynn. Standing in the Dominican Midwest Chapter Office are, from left, Sisters Louise Borgacz, Helen Therese Mayer, and Ellen Murphy.
Chatting in the Dominican Life Center lobby, from left, are: Sisters Mary Singer, Mary Ellen Youngblood, Theresa McCall, Joan Sustersic, Peter Anthony Schulte, and Ellen Murphy.
Members of the 2004 Golden Jubilee June Crowd are: back row, from left, Sisters Marianne O’Neill, Ellen Murphy, Marlene Ptaszynski, Marilyn Francoeur, Clarice Moyle, Esther Kennedy, Margaret Andrezik, Rose Ann Schlitt, Jeanne Marie Stickling, Gail Himrod, and Norlee McDonnell and front row, from left, Sisters Evelyn Piche, Teresita Ruiz, Mary Ann Letzgus, Ellen Schmitz, Therese Reynolds, Rose Irene Calvert, Joan Baustian, Kathleen Watt, Virginia Kleckner, and Janet Capone (Prioress).
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Sister Mary Daria Herbella, formerly known as Ida Mae Herbella, died on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 92 years of age and in the 67th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.
Sister Mary Daria was born in Springerville, Arizona, to Dario and Eladia (Dominquez) Herbella. She graduated from Round Valley High School in Springerville, Arizona, and received a bachelor’s degree in English from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian; a master’s degree in English from the University of San Francisco; and a master’s degree in religious education from St. Thomas University in Houston, Texas.
Sister ministered for 30 years in elementary, junior high, and high school education in Detroit, Michigan; Los Angeles, Oakland, and Santa Cruz, California; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Trinidad, Colorado; and Kingman, Douglas, Casa Grande, and Flagstaff, Arizona, including six years as principal in Flagstaff.
Sister Mary Daria was a pastoral assistant for 17 years in Albuquerque and Los Lunas, New Mexico; and Pinetop, Arizona. She was a physical exercise aide for three years at the Maria Health Care Center in Adrian.
Sister became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian in 2009. She was preceded in death by her parents; six sisters: Amelia, Elizabeth, Mary, Dolores, Genevieve, and Jacqueline; and two brothers: John Francis and Charley. She is survived by a sister, Barbara Kasner of Huntington Beach, California.
Welcome of Sister Mary Daria and the Viewing will be on Friday, April 5, 2019, at 9:15 a.m. in St. Catherine Chapel in the Dominican Life Center. The Mass of Christian Burial will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel on Friday, April 5, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. The Rite of Committal will be in the Congregation cemetery. The Ritual of Remembering will be held on Friday, April 5, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. in St. Catherine’s Chapel. Both the Mass of Christian Burial and the Ritual of Remembering will be live streamed.
Right: From left, Sister Mary Daria, her father Dario, and her sister Barbara (Bobbie Jo)
From left: Sister Mary Daria gives Sister Mary Edwardine Schairer a ride in her wheelchair. Sister Mary Daria in Kingman, Arizona
From left: Sisters Mary Donalda Fredricks, left, and Mary Daria Herbella at Holy Cross Convent, Santa Cruz, California. Sisters Mary Daria Herbella, left, and Charlotte Moser at the General Council farewell celebration, June 2016
From left: Sister Mary Daria and Father Oliver Curran in front of St. Mary of the Angels Church, Pine Top, Arizona. From left, Cathy Moeller, Sister Mary Daria’s student, and Sisters Marie Luisa Vasquez, Maria Daria Herbella, and Marie Carmen Gonzales
From left: Sister Mary Daria serves as Music Director and pastoral minister at Risen Savior Parish, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Sister Mary Daria’s crowd: back row, from left, Sisters Mary Daria Herbella, Elisa Joan Doherty, Thérèse M. Haggerty, Agnes Peplinski, Rita Brunett, and former Sister Elaine LeVotte and, seated from left, Sisters Anne Liam Lees, Marian Edward Guethlein, and Catherine Ahern
Members of the 2001 Golden Jubilee August Reception Crowd are: back row, from left, Sisters Elisa Joan Doherty, Dolores Slosar, Celine Marie Regan, Judith Ann Lieder, Anne Liam Lees, and Marie Wiedner; middle row, from left, Sisters Thérèse M. Haggerty, Julianne Wolny, Catherine Ahern, Agnes Peplinski, Jeannine Holway, Clara Ann Budenz, and Elizabeth Lynch; and front row, from left, Sisters Marian Edward Guethlein, Nancy Hanna, Dolores Marie Dolan, Mary Daria Herbella, and Rita Brunett.
“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)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
When he was in his early twenties, James McKillop of Coalridge, Scotland, left his homeland for Australia to find work. Five years later, restless, he sailed to New Zealand for a new adventure and took up residence at a boarding house there. As it so happened, at about the same time a young lass from Wishaw, Scotland, Catherine Buchanan, came to New Zealand to find work to help support her mother, and rented a room at the same boarding house.
Three years later, James and Catherine got married, and a year after that the young couple moved to the U.S. and settled in Detroit, where James worked as a maintenance man. When Catherine became pregnant with their first child, she returned to her hometown so that her mother could help with the birth, and so it came to be that their oldest daughter, whom they also named Catherine, was born in Wishaw on September 10, 1931.
Mother and daughter returned to Detroit when little Catherine was about eight months old. Over time, five more children were born: Marguerite, Patricia, James, John, and Joseph. The family lived in St. Rose of Lima Parish until 1942 and then moved to nearby Grosse Pointe, where Catherine finished grade school and high school at St. Paul’s.
Read more about Sister Catherine (pdf)
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.