June 7, 2018, Caldwell, New Jersey – About 40 students from 13 Dominican colleges and universities “caught the fire” of the Dominican charism May 22-27, 2018, as they attended the annual Dominican Colleges Preaching Conference at Caldwell University, sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell.
“The theme of Dominican Young Adults (DYA) USA is ‘catch the fire,’” noted Sister Mary Soher, OP, Director of Campus Ministry for Dominican University of California. Sister Mary, an Adrian Dominican Sister, brought two students from Dominican University to the conference, and led the opening presentation, “Dominican Spirit in Song.”
Also attending the event were Adrian Dominican Sisters Mary Jones, OP, Director of Mission Education and Heritage Development at Siena Heights University, Adrian, who brought two students with her; Nancy Murray, OP, who portrays St. Catherine of Siena in a one-woman show; and Sara Fairbanks, OP, Director of Vocations for the Adrian Dominican Congregation.
The conference introduced students to Dominican saints as well as to the Dominican family throughout the world: Friars; cloistered nuns; Sisters who serve in active ministries; Associates, lay women and men who are committed to a particular Congregation of Dominican Sisters; the Dominican Laity, who are connected to the Friars; Dominican Volunteers; and Dominican Young Adults, which has chapters at several Dominican colleges and universities throughout the United States, as well as among young adults who are past college.
In addition, the students learned about and experienced the different ways that Dominicans preach – not only from the pulpit, but also through service in response to the signs of the times and through the arts. The conference concluded with Mass, during which the various college groups proclaimed their action plans for when they return to their school in the Fall, as well as their personal action plans.
Sisters Sara Fairbanks, Mary Jones and Mary Soher took time to reflect on the 2018 conference and its impact on the students from Dominican colleges and universities – each looks toward her involvement in late June in the Dominican High Schools Preaching Conference at Siena Heights University in Adrian.
“I really enjoy working with other Dominicans in the Dominican family to hand on our preaching charism to our college students,” Sister Sara said. “I take delight in teaching college students the art of liturgical preaching. It does my heart good to hear our young people sharing their spirited and insightful reflections on the Word from their own particular experience of the world.”
Sister Mary Jones said the group was the most diverse that she’s encountered at the conference. “Not only women and men but different cultures,” she said, but first-time participation by some of the universities. She was also impressed by the students’ excitement at meeting various members of the Dominican family – including a cloistered Dominican nun who had graduated from Caldwell University. “The students were asking great questions: What’s a normal day for you as a Sister? How is it that you don’t wear a habit?”
“One of the highlights always is the sending-forth Mass, when you hear everybody’s commitment, including our own, and know that these students are very much on fire with our charism and are looking forward to implementing their plans,” Sister Mary Jones said. “”Their energy is always so amazing.”
Sister Mary Soher agreed. “The students really got into it. They were inspired to learn more about other schools and how they live out the Dominican ideals or pillars…. They came back with ideas of ways to better deepen their relationship with God.” Students also inspired one another to greater involvement in the Dominican family, she added. “Some students are already part of Dominican Young Adults USA and three or four schools are now interested in starting their own DYA chapter.”
Feature photo: Attending the 2018 Dominican Colleges Preaching Conference were: front, from left, Siena Heights students Rochelle Chezick and Alex Wilkinson and back row, from left, Adrian Dominican Sisters Nancy Murray, OP, Mary Jones, OP, Mary Soher, OP, and Sara Fairbanks, OP.
June 6, 2018, Adrian, Michigan – Co-workers with milestone years of service to the Adrian Dominican Sisters were invited to walk the red carpet as they were honored at the Congregation’s Annual Service Awards and summer picnic. Together, the Co-workers who were honored have given 460 years of service.
Janice Faulhaber, a Food Services Co-worker, was recognized in a special way for 45 years of service to the Congregation. Julie Rodgers, Resident Services, was honored for working for the Congregation for 30 years.
Marking 25 years were Denny Lahart, Maintenance; and Annie Taylor, Nursing.
Celebrating 20 years with the Adrian Dominican Sisters were Debra Blohm and Janine Zimmerman, Office of Financial Services; and Tiffany Brown, Brenda Gallippo, Carrie McCarty, and Kristi Scholz, Nursing.
Co-workers who spent 15 years in service were Susan Kreighbaum and Dawn Miller, Nursing; and Richard Rodgers, Maintenance.
Celebrating 10 years as Co-workers were Kristine Cooper, Portfolio Advisory Board; Gina Ku and Karen McMordie, Support Services; and Rachel Ramos and Charlotte VanSickle, Nursing.
Co-workers who have served the Congregation for five years are: Sister Beverly Bobola, OP, Archives; Jennifer Hunter, Campus Administration; Jennifer Kopke, Dominican Life Center Administration; Wendy Garcia and Crystal Hosler, Environmental Services; Karen Beyer, Office of Financial Services; Theresa Booth, Food Services; Jason Cox, Maintenance; Sarah Byrd, Deborah Coon, Otreace Cooper, Elva Flores, Stephanie Garza, Brandy Jezierski, Sue Kane, Yvonne Sanders, Kandace Senkewitz, Katie Tiede, Sherrill Whittern, and Lisa Winkler, Nursing; Jan Bourg, Office of Information; Brad McCullar, Technology; David Dickerson, Transportation; and Krystal Baker, Weber Center.
Feature photo: Susan Kremski, right, Director of Food Services, stands with Janice Faulhaber, who has worked for the Adrian Dominican Sisters for 45 years.