By Sister Mary Jean Williams, OP
Director of Mission Integration,
Regina Dominican High School
May 9, 2017, Wilmette, Illinois – Regina Dominican High School completed its Dominican Week by presenting the Regina Dominican Veritas Award to Olivia Janickas, a senior, and Mary Schanel Stenson, Mathematics Department Co-Chairperson, Student Council Co-Moderator and WYSE and Mathletes Coach. The presentation took place during the Liturgy honoring St. Catherine of Siena.
The Veritas Award was established to commemorate the 800-year jubilee of the Order of Preachers. The faculty and staff nominated a senior and a colleague who, like St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena, exemplify a commitment to preach the Gospel message boldly and embrace and encourage a life of service to others.
Before the award presentation, Maggie McNaughton, one of the student Dominican preachers, shared her reflection, “Living the Dominican motto: Laudere, Benedicere, Praedicare.”
Sister Jean Williams, OP, Director of Mission Integration, shared comments from those who nominated Olivia Janickas and Mrs. Schanel Stenson.
“Olivia, those who nominated you recognized you as being empathetic, kind, compassionate, respectful, and willing to help anyone,” Sister Jean said. “You have been a model student since you transferred to Regina Dominican. You seek to excel in the classroom and are a conscientious worker. You always greet everyone with a smile. You openly proclaim your faith and set a powerful example of integrity and you have provided many hours of service to others. You embody Veritas and Caritas.”
To Mrs. Schanel Stenson, Sister Jean said, “Mary, you were recognized for exemplifying the spirit of the Dominican charism in your interactions with students, colleagues, and parents. You are a compassionate teacher who encourages your students and brings out the best in them. Your daily positive attitude and care and concern for others are attributes that impact the life and community of Regina Dominican.” She added that the teacher’s dedication to the student is “phenomenal, and you are a leader in our community for both students and adults.”
Ms. Patricia McDonell, last year’s recipient, presented the Veritas pin, a certificate, and gifts to Olivia and Mrs. Schanel Stenson, whose names are now engraved on the award’s perpetual plaque in the chapel.
Feature photo: From left are Elizabeth Schuster, Regina Dominican High School President; Meg Bigane, Regina Dominican High School Principal; Olivia Janickas and Mary Schanel Stenson, this year’s Veritas Award recipients; Patricia McDonnell, Regina Dominican High School Assistant Principal, Academic Dean, and 2015-2016 recipient.
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.”