August 10, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – The joy of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, Associates, Co-workers and guests as they celebrated the Feast of their founder, St. Dominic, was enhanced as they also witnessed the Ritual of Reception of Sister Katherine Frazier into the novitiate. Father James Hug, SJ, Motherhouse chaplain, was the presider.
Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP, Director of Formation, welcomed the assembly to the Liturgy and Ritual, which took place on August 8, 2016, in St. Catherine Chapel at the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse. This year’s Feast of St. Dominic falls within the 800th Jubilee Year of the founding of the Order of Preachers, the Dominicans.
During the brief ritual, Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress of the Congregation, formally examined Sister Katherine on her desire to “be received into the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of Adrian as a novice, and to experience more fully [their] way of life in faithful observance of [their] Rule and Constitution.” Sister Katherine, who had spent the past year as a candidate of the Congregation, also declared her willingness to study and reflect on the Constitution as she continues her mutual discernment with the Congregation.
As a first-year novice, Sister Katherine will spend the coming 10 months in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate, an effort of about 17 congregations of U.S. Dominican Sisters. With Sisters from other Dominican congregations, Sister Katherine will participate in a program designed to provide novices with “a quality experience of Dominican community life, study [and] ministry.”
Sister Katherine entered the Congregation as a Candidate a year ago on the Feast of St. Dominic. She spent her candidacy year coming to know the Adrian Dominicans better, while studying the Congregation’s identity and history and ministering in Adrian and Detroit, Michigan, and in New Orleans.
Sister Katherine is the older of the two daughters of Lee and Lynne (McKenna) Frazier, of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Before entering the Congregation, she had ministered as coordinator of the Bishop Donald Trautman Catholic House at Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania. She holds a B.A. from St. Mary’s of Notre Dame, Indiana, and an MPhil in world archeology from the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England.
Sister Katherine’s Rite of Reception was the first initial formation ritual that Sister Pat officially presided over since she took office on July 2, 2016. “This year we celebrate 800 years of [St. Dominic’s] founding the Order of Preachers: men and women who for 800 years have been bringing good news to mountain tops and in the city streets,” Sister Pat said in her reflection.
Noting the joyful spirit of St. Dominic, and his work of compassionately refuting the heresies of his day that the material world is evil, Sister Pat speculated that St. Dominic would pray that his modern-day followers would preach “a salvation of liberation, compassion, and wholeness.” At the same time, she said, he would want today’s Dominicans to “address the heresies of individualism and excessive consumption that are at the root of so much separation and alienation.”
Sister Pat challenged the Sisters to live out St. Paul’s mandate to St. Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1-8: to preach at all times, “whether convenient or inconvenient” and to “be self-possessed at all times; to put up with hardship; to perform the work of an evangelist; to fulfill your ministry.”
Sister Pat spoke with great optimism about the future of the Adrian Dominican Congregation – if members truly lived out Paul’s mandate, trusted in God enough to give themselves fully to the ministry, and lived out the Enactments of the recent February 2016 General Chapter.
“It just might be possible that we are facing into the most significant moments of our communal life,” she said. “What if, by living out [the Enactments] and giving them communal expression, our best years are not behind us, but truly ahead of us,” she said. “It is conceivable that our journey of individuated ministerial competencies and significant experience with collaboration and partnerships has readied us to embrace what the world is asking of us today: to be willing to sacrifice anew for the sake of the future.”
With that optimistic and challenging message – together with the joy of the 800th anniversary of the Order and the reception of Sister Katherine – the assembly continued the Liturgy in a spirit of joy and true celebration. The Liturgy included a special Litany of Dominican Saints, as well as special Dominican hymns.
The spirit of celebration continued throughout the day with a special reception for Sisters, Associates, and Co-workers, and a festive dinner.
August 9, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – The Adrian Dominican Sisters join with their Black Catholic brothers and sisters – clergy, Sisters, and deacons – in affirming that “Black Lives Matter” and in their message: “Scripture and Catholic social teaching cry out for justice and equality in our relationship with one another.”
The National Black Sisters’ Conference issued a July 15, 2016, statement deploring the violence in the United States and, in particular, the shooting deaths of Anton Sterling and Philando Castile by police. Standing in solidarity with all who seek peace and justice for families of all who are killed, the Sisters’ Conference also formed a “strong and cohesive voice in support of the dignity of all persons,” as well as for criminal justice reform.
Adrian Dominican Sister Jamie Phelps, OP, is on the board of the National Black Sisters’ Conference.
The Black Catholic Joint Conference reiterated much of the Sisters’ statement, and called for all Catholic bishops, clergy, religious, and lay parishioners to “speak out against racism and injustice that perpetuates dysfunctional behaviors.” They concluded with a prayer for “strength to be forgiving people and understanding people holding on to what we believe is right” and for “perseverance to devote our energies to the task of making peace.”
The Black Catholic Joint Conference is made up of the National Black Sisters’ Conference, the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, and the National Association of Black Catholic Deacons.