March 14, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – The Adrian Dominican Sisters opened their doors to Lenawee County community members, donors, Co-workers and their families, staff members of Siena Heights University, and other interested guests March 9. An Evening with the Adrian Dominican Sisters, a special event for National Catholic Sisters Week, gave Sisters, Associates, Co-workers and guests a unique opportunity to get to know one another.
In her opening address early in the evening, Sister Attracta Kelly, OP, Prioress of the Congregation, presented a brief history and background of the Adrian Dominican Congregation. She also emphasized the special relationship the Congregation has to their local neighbors.
“While we as Adrian Dominican Sisters value relationships and collaboration with people across the globe, since 1884 we have known and been part of Lenawee County,” Sister Attracta noted. “We are proud to call Lenawee County and the City of Adrian home.” In turn, she invited her guests to feel at home on the campus of the Congregation’s Motherhouse. “You are welcome to join us at any time,” she said. Our doors are open. We have no gates, so feel free please to come and join us at any time.”
Adrian Mayor Jim Berryman presented a proclamation for National Catholic Sisters Week, reiterating the strong relationship between the Adrian Dominican Sisters and their home town, Adrian, Michigan. “Adrian and the Dominican Sisters have a 137-year history together,” Mayor Berryman noted. “The City of Adrian is a stronger community because of the Dominican Sisters.”
Before the two-hour event began, Sara Bingham, of WLEN Radio, offered a remote broadcast from the Adrian Room of Madden Hall, where the refreshments and information tables were set up. She invited community members to attend the open house and conducted brief interviews with a number of representatives of Adrian Dominican programs: Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP, Formation Director; Sister Maria Goretti Browne, OP, on the Sisters; Associate Arlene Bachanov on the Congregation’s history; Erin Dress, Human Resources Director, on employment opportunities; Sister Peg O’Flynn, OP, on Weber Center; Sister Carleen Maly, OP, on the Adrian Rea Literacy Center; Jennifer Hunter and Ashley LaVigne on the campus; Sister Carol Coston, OP, on permaculture; and Amy Palmer on development.
Throughout the evening, guests were invited to meet the Sisters and learn about their lives, browse the various information tables, take part in a guided tour of the Motherhouse, and enjoy refreshments and companionship with others.
An Evening with the Adrian Dominican Sisters was funded by a grant from National Catholic Sisters Week to enable local community members to come to know the Congregation and the presence of the Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates among them. Held March 8-14 every year, the week gives people throughout the United States the opportunity to become more aware of Catholic Sisters and the role they play in Church and in society.
Read a related article by Lonnie Huhman in the Daily Telegram.
By Sister Janice Brown, OP
May 27, 2015, Grand Rapids, Michigan – Sister Carleen Maly, OP, director of Adrian Rea Literacy Center at the Adrian Dominican Motherhouse, was named the 2015 Literacy Champion. The award ceremony took place during the annual gathering of adult educators in the State of Michigan, held at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids.
Staff members from three of the Adrian Dominican-sponsored literacy centers – Adrian Rea Literacy Center in Adrian and Siena Literacy Center and Dominican Literacy Center, both in Detroit – attend this conference, joining 400 other participants. For the past four years, the memory of Sister Marie Damian Schoenlein, co-foundress of the Dominican Literacy Center.
Diane Duthie, Director of Education and Career Success (formerly Adult Education and Life Long Learning) presented the award to Sister Carleen. Ms. Duthie began with a few words about the woman who inspired the Literacy Champion Award. “Sister Marie’s passion to empower others with the gift of literacy exuded from her being,” she said. “Her enthusiasm was catching, and few would leave a conversation with her and not want to do something about literacy themselves, either as a volunteer tutor, a contributor, or an advocate.”
Ms. Duthie noted that “Sister Marie was very much a trailblazer. She believed that adult literacy was important because if a parent can’t read, they can’t teach their kids to read and the spiral of poverty will continue. She believed in people, and believed that education empowered the individual through practical skills and awakened them to an awareness of their own potential as God’s creature.”
Ms. Duthie then went on to describe the courage and dedication of Sister Carleen Maly, this year’s Literacy Champion. Sister Carleen was surprised and honored and, in her acceptance, pledged to “continue to walk in solidarity with people who are poor and challenge the structures that impoverish them.”
Sister Carleen has always been an advocate for those who are on the margins of society. Her role as Director of Adrian Rea Literacy Center has deepened her understanding and love for those who struggle with basic reading, writing, and math. Knowing that education is an equalizer, Sister Carleen works towards justice and peace by giving the tools of reading and writing in English to those who have very few choices in life. She works with individuals who desire to improve their life and the lives of their families through the gift of reading.
In a lovely turn of events, Dianne Duthie was also recognized as a Literacy Champion. She deeply appreciated Sister Marie Damian Schoenlein and the Adrian Dominicans and has been an advocate for the adult learner her entire career. She believes that any adult can learn under the right circumstances. Dianne plans to retire this year.
Thank you, Dianne and Sister Carleen, for all you do in adult education.