March 11, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – Five Associates of the Adrian Dominican Sisters have agreed to take on the new task of serving on Associate Life’s newly-formed Advisory Board.
Associates are men and women, at least 18 years of age, who make a non-vowed commitment to partner with the Adrian Dominican Sisters. While maintaining their own lifestyle and remaining financially independent, Associates participate in various spiritual, social, and ministerial experiences with the Sisters, as well as attending Congregational events. Associate Life is a way to live out the Dominican charism (spirituality) of seeking truth and preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ through a non-vowed commitment.
“The idea for the Advisory Board came out of a need that we’ve had the last few years of trying to figure out how to respond to the distinct charism of Associates,” who live out the Dominican spirituality in different ways than do their vowed Sisters, said Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life and herself an Associate.
Serving on the Advisory Board with Mary Lach; Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP, Director of the Formation Department; and Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, General Council Liaison to Associate Life, are the following Associates:
Connie Brady, of Ben Lomond, California, a retired registered nurse and case manager, first met the Adrian Dominican Sisters through her work at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, California. As chair of the Peace and Justice Committee of her parish, St. John’s Catholic Church in Felton, California, she coordinates outreach to people who come to St. John’s on Thursdays to be treated by Dominican Hospital’s Mobile Wellness Clinic.
“It became evident that many of the folks who came for care were also hungry,” Connie explained. She and a group of committed parishioners prepare and serve about 120 lunches every Thursday.
An Associate since 2007, Connie chaired Partners III – the annual gathering of Associates in Adrian – and serves as a Representative of Associate Life (RAL).
Jacci Brown, of Waterford, Michigan, spent 10 years as a vowed Adrian Dominican Sister in Chicago and, after leaving the community, moved to Detroit. She has served as a religion teacher and then as principal for four years at Beahan Junior High School in Farmington; Religion Department Chair at Marion High School, Birmingham; Assistant Director for Catechetics for the Archdiocese of Detroit; and an adjunct faculty member at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and Saints Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake.
Jacci’s work as a grief counselor has included giving a workshop on loss to the Sisters at the Dominican Life Center. An Associate since 2011, she chaired Partners II and is co-chairing Partners IV.
Deb Carter, of St. Joseph, Michigan, retired this past Fall from Siena Heights University after working there for 33 years. In her last position, which she held since 2000, Deb served as Dean of the College for Professional Studies, overseeing Siena’s seven degree completion centers, a nationally recognized online program, and the Theological Studies Program in the Diocese of Lansing. She is Dean Emerita, holding the rank of Assistant Professor of the Liberal Arts.
An Associate since 1995, Deb is interested in unifying Associates through educational opportunities, using technology to help Associates communicate with one another, and involving Associates in local service projects.
Carol Johnson, of Decatur, Illinois, is part of the tightly knit group of 13 Associates in the St. Louis area. After volunteering as a music minister at Holy Family Parish in Decatur, she became involved in music ministry at neighboring St. Thomas the Apostle Parish. She interrupted this ministry to study at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, and recently retired as music director at St. Thomas. She serves on the parish council and, for the past nine months, on the parish’s Year of Mercy Committee.
A RAL, Carol hopes to bring the model of the St. Louis Associates to other Associates, especially those who live near few Sisters in active ministry. She is also interested in helping Associates connect with one another.
Trudy McSorley, of Adrian, spent nearly 20 years as a vowed member and 40 years in ministry at Siena Heights University, where she served as Assistant Professor of Theater and Director of the Child Drama Program, Dean for Students, and Assistant to the President for Mission Education.
Her experience includes presenting workshops in storytelling, journaling, and theater techniques. Trudy is a spiritual director at Weber Center, as well as a retreat director and a hospice volunteer. She has served on several boards, including St. Joseph Academy and Catholic Charities of Lenawee County. Trudy hopes to share her expertise and develop ways that the Associates can grow in the Dominican charism.
For information about becoming an Adrian Dominican Associate, contact Mary Lach at 517-266-3531 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 10, 2016, Chicago, Illinois – In the Spring months of 2016, Sister Jamie Phelps, OP, PhD, has been and will be recognized for her 50 years of dedicated service to the Church in various ways – from her own study and teaching of theology and preaching to her service through writing and lecturing, psychiatric social work, community organizing, spiritual direction, and pastoral ministry.
Sister Jamie received the How Beautiful Are Their Feet Award during a special dinner at the 2016 Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference (SDPC) for social justice, held February 15-18 in Houston, Texas. Founded in 2003, SDPC is a cross section of African American faith leaders and their congregations. The organization’s mission is to “nurture, sustain, and mobilize the African American faith community in collaboration with civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders to address critical needs of human and social justice within local, national, and global communities.”
Sister Jamie will also receive an honorary doctorate – her first – from Aquinas Institute of Theology, a Dominican graduate school located in St. Louis, Missouri, during its May 6 commencement exercises. In a letter to Sister Jamie, Rev. Seán C. Martin, President, noted that the Board of Trustees had voted unanimously to award her “the Doctorate of Human Letters, honoris causa, in recognition of your many accomplishments as a theologian and as a member of the Dominican family.”
Sister Jamie noted that these recent awards “are part of the hundredfold God promises for those who attempt to follow in the Way of Jesus. While one does not do ministry to garner recognition or awards, it is nice when your ministry is affirmed by others. To God be the glory!”
An Adrian Dominican Sister since 1959, Sister Jamie is currently a freelance theologian and lecturer, facilitating Bible study at St. Ambrose and St. Thomas the Apostle Parishes in Chicago. She served for eight years as the Director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies and the Katherine Drexel Professor of Systematic Theology at Xavier University in New Orleans. Before that, she had taught theology in the Chicago-based Catholic Theological Union (CTU) from 1986 to 1998 and Loyola University, 1998 to 2003. Sister Jamie has also served as a visiting professor of theology at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, from January to May, 2003, and twice at the University of Notre Dame: in 2005-2006 and 2012-2013.
Sister Jamie has also been engaged in other ministries: theology instructor in a catechetical training program for African American Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago; a psychiatric social worker and community organizer at Chicago Child Care Society; a theology teacher at Aquinas High School in Chicago; and a pastoral associate at three Catholic parishes in Chicago: St. Columbanus, Holy Cross, and St. Laurence.
Through the years, Sister Jamie has also written and lectured extensively on a variety of topics, such as African American Catholics, the mission of the Church, religion and human rights, evangelization, religious life, and the Christology.
Sister Jamie hold’s a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Siena Heights College (now University) in Adrian, Michigan; a master’s in social work from the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle, Chicago; a master’s in theology from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota; and a doctorate in systematic theology from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.