August 19, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – The nearly 70 Adrian Dominican Associates and Sisters who gathered at Weber Center August 12-14, 2016, for Partners IV, found a quieter, more contemplative focus in the annual gathering of Associates. Centered on the theme of seeds, the gathering provided input, moving prayer services, and the opportunity to reflect on the Enactments of the 2016 General Chapter.
Adrian Dominican Associates are women and men, at least 18 years of age, who make a non-vowed commitment to the Adrian Dominican Sisters and their mission and vision. While maintaining their own lifestyle and remaining financially independent, they participate in various spiritual, social, and ministerial experiences with the Sisters, and attend Congregational events.
Roberta Clemak, Associate, co-chair of the planning committee, elaborated on the weekend’s theme in her welcoming talk, “Who’s to say you haven’t already planted a seed, nurtured a seed, and helped a seed to take root?”
The group was also welcomed by Jacci Brown, Associate, co-chair, and by Mary Lach, Associate, Director of Associate Life. Associates from the Florida Mission chapter planned and led the prayer services.
Members of the newly formed Associate Life Advisory Board took the opportunity to introduce themselves. Associates who serve on the Board are Chairperson Connie Brady, Jacci Brown, Carol Johnson, Deb Carter, and Trudy McSorley.
The program on Saturday offered ample opportunities for nurturing the seeds of the Dominican charism. Sister Anneliese Sinnott, OP, long-time professor of theology at Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, presented the background and principles of Catholic social teaching. The teaching is traced to Rerum Novarum (On the Conditions of Labor), an 1891 document by Pope Leo XIII and further developed through papal encyclicals and documents written by bishops. Catholic social teaching focuses on principles such as dignity of the human person, preferential option for the poor, and solidarity.
Amy Palmer, Development Director, led participants on a virtual tour, through videos, of the Dominican Life Center Reflective Garden. Set to be dedicated at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 25, the garden was especially designed to give retired Sisters a safe place to enjoy the outdoors.
Arlene Bachanov, Associate and Co-worker in the History Department, gave a presentation on To Fields Near and Far, the latest history volume of the Congregation, which she co-authored with Sister Nadine Foley. The book focuses on 1933-1961, the years that Mother Gerald Barry led the Congregation. During her talk, Arlene focused on the growth in the Congregation during those years and on the Sisters’ willingness to go wherever they were sent, knowing the faith that Mother Gerald had in them.
Associates were given time to contemplate the 2016 General Chapter Enactments and to discern their call to continue as Adrian Dominican Associates.
Participants gathered in St. Catherine Chapel for the Ritual of Acceptance into Associate Life for Mary Veen. Mary, of Cheboygan, Michigan, entered the Adrian Dominican Congregation in 1957 but left to marry and raise a family. She is active in the Cheboygan Catholic Community through ministry at funerals and as a Eucharistic minister, lector, sacristan, faith-sharing group leader, and leader of Sunday Communion services in the absence of a priest.
“It is my desire to reconnect with the Adrian Dominican spirit, which continues to pervade my daily life,” Mary said. She was mentored by Associate Joyce Frugé.
Mary Lach then led the Associates in a brief ritual of recommitment.
During the closing session on Sunday, the Associates heard from their new General Council Liaison, Sister Patty Harvat, OP, who introduced herself and gave a brief reflection on the illuminated life of Dominicans. She shared her working definition of preachers: “He or she deals out to his or her people his or her life, a life passed through the fire of thought. Our Enactments provide that fire of thought.”
July 11, 2016, Detroit, Michigan – All are invited to a special celebration of St. Mary of Magdala, Apostle to the Apostles and Patron of the Order of Preachers, the Dominicans. The special event will take place from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 24, 2016, at St. Suzanne Our Lady Gate of Heaven Church, 9357 Westwood, Detroit.
The formal celebration will be followed by a strolling reception among displays of Dominican ministries and the Dominican family. All are invited to bring a finger food to pass.
This year’s celebration coincides with the 800th Jubilee of the Founding of the Dominicans. St. Dominic organized the order of Friars in 1216 – years after he had founded convents of contemplative women. The Order was part of a broad reform movement which saw traces of God in the simple message of the Gospel and in the everyday lives of men and women. St. Mary of Magdala was named the official patron of the Dominicans early in the Order’s history, in 1297.
This year’s celebration – sponsored by the Dominican Center for Religious Development – will include song, prayer, and the presentation of a short, original play, “The Women Came First,” giving voice to the first women of the Dominican family. Featured in the play will be Deb Carter, Adrian Dominican Associate and Dean Emerita of the College for Professional Studies, Siena Heights University, Adrian; Trudy McSorley, Adrian Dominican Associate and retired Dean for Students at Siena Heights; and Adrian Dominican Sister Anneliese Sinnott, OP, recently retired Professor of Systematic Theology and former Dean at Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit.
The playwright, Adrian Dominican Sister Cheryl Liske, OP, is a community organizer in the Gamaliel national network. For years, she has also been involved in researching the stories of the first Dominican women, whose lives have been largely unknown in history.