February 23, 2018, Adrian, Michigan – As the March 5, 2018, deadline for the termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) approaches with no immigration legislation in sight, the Adrian Dominican Sisters are joining national Catholic actions on behalf of the young Dreamers.
At stake is the welfare of about 800,000 Dreamers, young U.S. residents who came to the United States as children. Many of the Dreamers, protected by the DACA program, contribute greatly to their communities in the United States and have experienced no other home. President Donald Trump rescinded the DACA program in September 2017, stating that it was up to Congress to pass legislation to protect the Dreamers from deportation by March 5, 2018.
Noting the urgency of the situation for the Dreamers, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has called for a Catholic Call-In Day on Monday, February 26. “Our faith compels us to stand with the vulnerable, including our immigrant brothers and sisters,” the USCCB leadership wrote in a statement. “We have done so continually, but we must show our support and solidarity now in a special way. Now is the time for action.” Watch a video produced by the USCCB.
On Monday, Adrian Dominican Sisters, Associates, and Co-workers on the Motherhouse campus are participating in the National Call-in Day for Dreamers. They are asking all concerned citizens to join them in calling their House Representative and two Senators (U.S. Capital Switchboard, 202-224-3121), and Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House (202-225-3031), urging them to protect the Dreamers from deportation, provide a clear and narrow path to citizenship, and avoid damages to existing protections for families and unaccompanied minors.
On Tuesday, four Adrian Dominican Sisters will represent the Congregation at a Catholic Day of Action with Dreamers on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., sponsored by a broad coalition of Catholic organizations. Congregation representatives are Sisters Elise D. García, OP, General Councilor; Attracta Kelly, OP, Director of the Congregation’s Immigration Assistance Office; Corinne Sanders, OP; and Heather Stiverson, OP. They will be among several hundred other Catholic Sisters, clergy, and lay leaders standing in solidarity with the Dreamers. The day will begin with a brief press conference, followed by a time of song, prayer, and visits by participants to their elected legislators.
Feature photo: From left, Sisters Elise García, OP, Corinne Sanders,, OP, and Attracta Kelly, OP, receive a blessing at the end of Mass on February 26 for their participation in the Catholic Day of Action with Dreamers in Washington, D.C. on February 27. Also representing the Congregation will be Sister Heather Stiverson, OP, who ministers and resides in Detroit.
February 22, 2018, Adrian, Michigan – This summer, when Adrian Dominican Sisters and Co-workers enjoy their cool rooms and offices, they might be further comforted in knowing that the air-cooling system is also helping the environment – and taking the Congregation a step further in its sustainability plan.
By April, a new, more energy-efficient chiller system is expected to be completely operational. The system will cool the buildings through water cooled by ice manufactured by the chiller during times of less demand. Manufacturing the ice during the off-peak period realizes a significant savings over making ice during the daytime hours, when the costs per kilowatt hour are significantly higher.
Sister Corinne Sanders, OP, Adrian Dominican Sisters Director of Sustainability, and Joel Henricks, Director of the Motherhouse Facility and Grounds Department, took time recently to explain the former heating and cooling system and the new system.
“The bottom line is, we’re replacing two old chillers with one new chiller that creates ice during the night to save large electrical costs during the day,” Joel said. The chiller acts as a thermal storage system, which, like a battery, creates and stores the energy – in this case, cool air – during the off-peak time of the day to be used during the hottest periods of the day, when the electricity would cost more. Read a detailed explanation of energy storage.
The former system involved three chillers – one large, air-cooled chiller that ran constantly to serve the needs of the Maria and Weber Center buildings, and two water-cooled chillers, which worked only in the warmer months to serve the Regina residence building and the Madden Hall, which houses administrative offices. In the colder months, the Regina and Madden buildings were heated with a boiler.
Heating and cooling for Regina and Madden were handled by two pipes, one to push the heated or cooled water to the buildings and one to return the water back to the chiller or boiler. This caused some problems when the weather changed, Joel explained, because of the complexity of changing from the boiler to the chiller – and because of the natural time it takes for water to cool down or heat up.
Joel said the water-cooled chillers were 27 years old, at the point of having to be rebuilt or replaced. This gave the Motherhouse the opportunity to opt for a more environmentally friendly and efficient system, Joel said. The old water-cooled chillers made use of the R22 refrigerant, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined depletes the ozone, adding to global climate change. “The new units are made with a more environmentally friendly refrigerant – 134A,” he added.
Work on the chiller project began in December and is expected to be complete in April, Joel said. The work was contracted through Adrian Mechanical, which has worked with subcontractors such as Krieghoff-Lenawee.
This summer, while the boiler is offline, it will be made more sustainable through a stack economizer, Joel said. Currently, he explained, the boilers blow off 350-degree air as an exhaust. “A big heat load is wasted and blown off into the atmosphere,” he explained. “The new system puts another heat exchanger in the exhaust stack to pull the exhaust heat out and use it to heat water.” Currently, water is heated through use of steamers. The new system will be more efficient and will reduce the use of fossil fuel, Joel said.
The work on the chillers is one of the projects recommended in a 2017 meeting on ways to make the Adrian Dominican Sisters Motherhouse Campus more sustainable. The meeting was in response to one of the Adrian Dominican Congregation’s 2016 General Chapter Enactments, to “sacrifice to mitigate significantly our impact on climate change and ecological degradation.”