By Sister Mary Jean Williams, OP
Director of Mission Integration, Regina Dominican High School
April 3, 2017 – Thanks to a mini-grant for National Catholic Sisters Week, four Regina Dominican High School freshmen traveled from Wilmette, Illinois, to provide a day of service for the Adrian Dominican Sisters at the Dominican Life Center. Regina Dominican was founded and is sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters.
The students’ weekend trip to the Motherhouse included several events. The students gathered after their arrival on Friday evening with the Dominican Young Adults (DYA) of Siena Heights University. The DYA described the experience and advantage of attending a Dominican university, the culture and community spirit, and ways of living the Dominican pillar of service.
Early Saturday, Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Sisters from A Nun’s Life arrived to videotape the girls and four Sisters who had ministered at Regina Dominican High School. During the interviews, students asked questions about religious life and what each Sister enjoyed doing in her free time.
“We had a delightful time with you, the students and the Sisters, this past Saturday in Adrian,” said Sister Maxine Kollasch, IHM, co-founder of A Nun’s Life Ministry. “We continue to be deeply impressed by the young women’s composure and their understanding of vocation and discernment.”
In the interviews, the Sisters in turn asked the girls about service projects, if they had ever thought about being a Sister, and why they chose to attend Regina Dominican.
Before lunch, the Sisters who had ministered at Regina Dominican met with the Reginites and related favorite memories and funny stories. One of the students mentioned that she could identify with the Dominican roots of Regina Dominican because she met a Sister who was at the school when it first opened.
After lunch, many of the Sisters came to the Rose Room to play games, enjoy an ice cream social, and have their wheel chairs washed. As the students escorted Sisters back to their rooms, they took the opportunity to visit some of the Sisters who couldn’t attend the activities and to learn about their call to religious life. The students then spent their free time visiting the Sisters and exchanging stories.
Saturday evening, the group reflected on their day of service and their many exciting and positive experiences. They realized that even though some Sisters were physically unable to participate in the activities, they are happy, have good caregivers, spent their life in ministry for love of God, and now have the opportunity to spend more time in prayer. The students plan to share their experiences at school during Dominican Week in April.
On Sunday morning, members of the General Council and other Sisters met the students for breakfast. The students then assisted in setting up St. Catherine Chapel for Mass. The students took the opportunity before and after Mass to say good-bye to the Sisters they had visited.
“It was so pleasant meeting the young women from Regina Dominican,” Sister Helen Therese Mayer, OP, wrote in an email. “You are to be congratulated. The students certainly are self-possessed for their age. ... Thanks for bringing them to visit. Perhaps one or two, of them will come see Adrian again.”
By Aidan Reedy
Regina Dominican High School Communications Coordinator
March 3, 2017, Wilmette, Illinois – Regina Dominican High School’s Leadership Institute recently hosted a panel discussion on “Executive Orders and the Travel Ban: Separating Fact from Fiction.”
Panel members were Professor Ann M. Lousin, a constitutional law expert from The John Marshall Law School; Regina Dominican chaplain Father Peter Wojcik; and Noor Abdelfattah ’15, a Loyola University psychology major researching anxiety in youth. Dr. Linda A. Liang, Director of the Leadership Institute, moderated the discussion.
Professor Lousin explained constitutional law and details of the recent travel ban as well as similar bans in U.S. history. Father Wojcik spoke about Catholic Charities’ work in resettling a large number of refugees, adding that he prays a ban like this current one is not necessary. Dr. Liang mentioned strategies for civil discourse and Noor spoke to the students about handling stress and anxiety through writing and meditation. Students were then able to ask questions.
Dr. Liang provided a handout to students with a simple "LEARN" model that they could follow when anticipating a difficult conversation, or one in which emotions can run high:
Listen to the other's point of view without judgment.
Empathize with the other person.
Ask questions. Get the facts.
Neutralize feelings and emotions, or agree to disagree.
Grounded in the Dominican value of veritas (truth) and caritas (love), Regina Dominican’s Leadership Institute focuses on the students’ strengths to listen, inspire, and empower others to be the best that they can be and to make a difference in the world. Students initiated this panel in response to recent political events. It provided a unique educational opportunity to apply the lessons from textbooks on history and contemporary issues to life.
Feature photo: Panelists Noor Abdelfattah (left) and Professor Ann M. Lousin discuss the travel ban. Photo by Aidan Reedy
Reprinted with permission from the February 26, 2017, Panther Parent e-newsletter.