November 28, 2018, Adrian, Michigan – Go to the peripheries, wherever that is. Be in the peripheries, whether in an institution or on mission and offer loving accompaniment to those you find there.
That was the message that Father Bruno Cadoré, Master of the Dominican Order, sent to the Adrian Dominican Sisters, Associates, and Co-workers assembled in St. Catherine Chapel on November 26 – and those who were watching through broadcast or live stream.
But that message of challenge – as well as support, encouragement, and affection – was conveyed on Father Bruno’s behalf by Father Christopher Eggleton, OP, Socius for the United States. Father Bruno’s plans to visit the Adrian Dominican Sisters were changed abruptly when he was prevented from entering the United States.
Father Bruno was represented by Father Chris, a member of the St. Martin de Porres (Southern) Province, and Father Louis Morrone, Vice Provincial of the St. Albert the Great (Central) Province.
“Friar Bruno is very much in love with what he does because he’s very much in love with his Dominican life, with God, and with his sisters and brothers in the Dominican family,” Father Chris said. “He is one who will not exclude anyone and he feels that at the heart of our spirituality as Dominican women and men is that no one should be excluded. … He is absolutely convinced that each person is part of the Body of Christ and that the Body of Christ must be respected and loved and pulled into the community.”
Father Chris emphasized the need for unity among all members of the Dominican family: friars, nuns, sisters, laity, and associates. “We remember always that we are sisters and brothers in Christ and St. Dominic and St. Catherine and the living saints in Dominic, as is our call,” he said. As a united family, he encouraged he Sisters to “go to the peripheries,” to evangelize all people who are on the margins or in some way left out of the care of society.
“I tell you now on Father Bruno’s behalf that he loves you – we love you,” Father Chris told the Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates. He added that Father Bruno is appreciative of the many decades that Adrian Dominicans have been serving people on the peripheries.
In his homily during the Mass that followed his talk, Father Chris continued with the theme of ministering at the periphery and finding mission wherever you are. He told the story of a young man, Jonathan, who he had met on Death Row for murdering two young men. Through the presence of Father Chris, a Franciscan chaplain, and a chapter of Dominican Laity who served at the prison in Texas, Jonathan converted to Catholicism and became a member of the Dominican Laity. He began counseling other prisoners, listening to them, and accompanying them to their executions.
For the next 10 years – until his own execution on October 7, 1998 – Jonathan “evangelized where few could enter,” Father Chris said. “He knew that he had a mission, and his mission was right there in that periphery, in that place, at that time. He was fired up with the Holy Trinity, with the Blessed Mother, and with his brothers and sisters on death row.”
Father Chris encouraged Sisters and Associates to notice the good in their ministries. “Wherever you are, in whatever periphery you’re missioned, let us notice the good that is there, the hope people offer, and the hope that we offer, united as one in Jesus Christ, in his Blessed Mother, and in our St. Dominic, St. Catherine, and the cavalcade of saints transformed into great preachers.”
Founded in 1206 by St. Dominic de Guzman, the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) minister throughout the world, on every continent except Antarctica. The Dominican family includes Friars; cloistered Nuns; apostolic Sisters; Dominican Laity, who are associated with the Friars; Associates, who are connected to individual Congregations of Dominican Sisters; and special groups such as Dominican Young Adults, Dominican Volunteers; Dominican High School Preachers; and Dominican College Preachers.
For information on becoming a vowed Adrian Dominican Sister, contact Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, 517-266-266-3532 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Sister Mariane Fahlman, OP, 517-266-3537 or email@example.com. For information on becoming an Adrian Dominican Associate, contact Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life, at 517-266-3531 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feature photo: Father Christopher Eggleton, OP, Socius for the United States, speaks to Adrian Dominican Sisters, Associates, and Co-workers on behalf of Father Bruno Cadoré, Master of the Order.
From left, Sister Patricia Harvat, OP, and Sister Elise García, OP, General Councilors; Father Louis Morrone, OP; Father Chris Eggleton, OP; Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Congregation; Sister Mary Margaret Pachucki, OP, Vicaress and General Councilor; and Sister Frances Nadolny, OP, Administrator and General Councilor.
August 30, 2017, Adrian, Michigan – A few weeks after the third anniversary of their displacement from their homes on the plain of Nineveh in Iraq due to the threat of ISIS, the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena of Iraq are beginning to return home – to face new challenges.
Sister Marie Therese Hanna, OP, former Prioress and member of the community’s General Council, gave an update on the lives of the Sisters following Mass August 30 at St. Catherine Chapel at the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse.
“Today we see the marvelous work of God,” she said. “The rebuilding process started. Many of the families returned to their homes in the two Christian cities, Telskuf and Qaraqush.” The Sisters are also beginning to return, living in small houses because of the extensive damage done to their convents, and are planning to open private schools.
For the past three years, the Sisters had been living as internally displaced persons in the Kurdish area of northern Iraq, reaching out through schools, clinics, and their very presence to other refugees also living in difficult situations. The Sisters and other residents of the Nineveh Plains area were able to return to their homes after the recent liberation of the area by Iraqi forces. However, they found their homes to be severely damaged.
Sister Marie Therese noted that her community faces external and internal challenges: destruction of their communities, the difficulty of change by leaving behind the lives they had led for three years.
“What matters to us is to understand the will of god in our uncertain circumstances,” she said. “It is not important for us to have buildings or projects, but have mission and serve our people and accompany them because we have the same fate.”
In the past three years – with its drama, challenges, and hope – the Dominican Sisters felt the “powerful prayer” of their Dominican family in the United States. “On behalf of our Sister Clara, our Prioress General, and the Council and the Sisters, I want to thank you, Sister Patricia [Siemen], the Councilors, and each of you for your love, prayers, solidarity, and concern.”
For more information on the situation of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, of Iraq, read the update written by Sister Clara Nas, OP, Prioress, on the third anniversary of the ISIS attack, August 6, 2017.
Feature photo: Sister Marie Therese Hanna, OP, seated, left, met with the General Council of the Adrian Dominican Sisters: Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, seated right, and, standing, from left, Sisters Elise García, OP, Mary Margaret Pachucki, OP, Patricia Harvat, OP, and Frances Nadolny, OP.