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Adrian Dominican Associates Form Advisory Board

March 11, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – Five Associates of the Adrian Dominican Sisters have agreed to take on the new task of serving on Associate Life’s newly-formed Advisory Board. 

Associates are men and women, at least 18 years of age, who make a non-vowed commitment to partner with the Adrian Dominican Sisters. While maintaining their own lifestyle and remaining financially independent, Associates participate in various spiritual, social, and ministerial experiences with the Sisters, as well as attending Congregational events. Associate Life is a way to live out the Dominican charism (spirituality) of seeking truth and preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ through a non-vowed commitment.

“The idea for the Advisory Board came out of a need that we’ve had the last few years of trying to figure out how to respond to the distinct charism of Associates,” who live out the Dominican spirituality in different ways than do their vowed Sisters, said Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life and herself an Associate.  

Serving on the Advisory Board with Mary Lach; Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP, Director of the Formation Department; and Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, General Council Liaison to Associate Life, are the following Associates:

 

Connie Brady, of Ben Lomond, California, a retired registered nurse and case manager, first met the Adrian Dominican Sisters through her work at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, California. As chair of the Peace and Justice Committee of her parish, St. John’s Catholic Church in Felton, California, she coordinates outreach to people who come to St. John’s on Thursdays to be treated by Dominican Hospital’s Mobile Wellness Clinic.

“It became evident that many of the folks who came for care were also hungry,” Connie explained. She and a group of committed parishioners prepare and serve about 120 lunches every Thursday.

An Associate since 2007, Connie chaired Partners III – the annual gathering of Associates in Adrian – and serves as a Representative of Associate Life (RAL).


Jacci Brown, of Waterford, Michigan, spent 10 years as a vowed Adrian Dominican Sister in Chicago and, after leaving the community, moved to Detroit. She has served as a religion teacher and then as principal for four years at Beahan Junior High School in Farmington; Religion Department Chair at Marion High School, Birmingham; Assistant Director for Catechetics for the Archdiocese of Detroit; and an adjunct faculty member at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and Saints Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake.

Jacci’s work as a grief counselor has included giving a workshop on loss to the Sisters at the Dominican Life Center. An Associate since 2011, she chaired Partners II and is co-chairing Partners IV.

 


Deb Carter, of St. Joseph, Michigan, retired this past Fall from Siena Heights University after working there for 33 years. In her last position, which she held since 2000, Deb served as Dean of the College for Professional Studies, overseeing Siena’s seven degree completion centers, a nationally recognized online program, and the Theological Studies Program in the Diocese of Lansing. She is Dean Emerita, holding the rank of Assistant Professor of the Liberal Arts.

An Associate since 1995, Deb is interested in unifying Associates through educational opportunities, using technology to help Associates communicate with one another, and involving Associates in local service projects.

 


Carol Johnson, of Decatur, Illinois, is part of the tightly knit group of 13 Associates in the St. Louis area. After volunteering as a music minister at Holy Family Parish in Decatur, she became involved in music ministry at neighboring St. Thomas the Apostle Parish. She interrupted this ministry to study at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, and recently retired as music director at St. Thomas. She serves on the parish council and, for the past nine months, on the parish’s Year of Mercy Committee.

A RAL, Carol hopes to bring the model of the St. Louis Associates to other Associates, especially those who live near few Sisters in active ministry. She is also interested in helping Associates connect with one another.

 

 

Trudy McSorley, of Adrian, spent nearly 20 years as a vowed member and 40 years in ministry at Siena Heights University, where she served as Assistant Professor of Theater and Director of the Child Drama Program, Dean for Students, and Assistant to the President for Mission Education.

Her experience includes presenting workshops in storytelling, journaling, and theater techniques. Trudy is a spiritual director at Weber Center, as well as a retreat director and a hospice volunteer. She has served on several boards, including St. Joseph Academy and Catholic Charities of Lenawee County. Trudy hopes to share her expertise and develop ways that the Associates can grow in the Dominican charism.


For information about becoming an Adrian Dominican Associate, contact Mary Lach at 517-266-3531 or associates@adriandominicans.org.


Adrian Dominican Sisters Elect Leadership, Set Direction for Next Six Years

March 4, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – The Adrian Dominican Sisters, during Session II of their General Chapter, held February 18-26, 2016, elected new leaders and set their direction for the next six years. 

Session II began on February 18 with an opening ritual and the calling of the delegates. Sister Attracta Kelly, Prioress, gave the opening address, offering encouragement to the delegates as they began their work together. “With open, strong, clear and full hearts, we can help each other grow into our highest aspirations if we encourage each other to understand that the tension between what is and what could and should be is not to be feared but to be embraced as a source of vital energy for new life.” 

Sister Attracta Kelly, OP, Prioress of the Congregation, lights the Christ Fire in the first session of General Chapter II, February 18.

The delegates also heard from Dr. Mary E. Hunt, PhD, founder of Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER), who spoke on “Cosmic Catholicism: A New Calling for a New Order,” and from Jim Haudan, CEO of Root, Inc., who in a recorded interview spoke on catalyzing change. 

On the evening of the first day, the delegates gathered for the Mass of the Holy Spirit, asking the Spirit to guide them in their deliberations and elections. The Most Rev. Earl Boyea, Bishop of Lansing, presided.

The 199 delegates approved four enactments to set the Congregation’s overall ministerial direction for the next six years. The 2016-2022 enactments focus on responding to …

  • the world’s spiritual longings by creating opportunities for spiritual enrichment and reflection; 

  • the violence against Earth that places our common home in jeopardy by reducing our fossil fuel use and consumption of products that have a significant negative impact on the environment; 

  • the racism, violence and intolerance of diversity that fuel marginalization by pledging our lives and resources to facilitate and participate in creating resilient communities with people who are relegated to the margins;

  • the desire to nurture our rich diversity by deepening relationships with one another, inviting others to vowed and Associate life and expanding collaborations for the sake of the Mission.
Elected to the General Council are, from left: Sisters Frances Nadolny, Patricia Siemen, Elise García, Patricia Harvat, and Mary Margaret Pachucki.

The delegates then elected a Prioress and General Council to lead the Sisters and Associates to live out the enactments. The newly elected Prioress (president) and General Council, who will formally take office on July 1, 2016, are:

  • Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress-Elect of the Congregation. Sister Pat is the founder and director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at the Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Florida. The Center seeks to develop a philosophy and practice of law that respects the natural world in its own right. She previously served as Vicaress/General Councilor of the Congregation, from 1992 to 1998, as a civil rights lawyer, and as a community organizer.

  • Sister Frances Nadolny, OP, Administrator/General Councilor-Elect. Sister Fran is the Director of the Congregation’s Ministry Trust Office, which oversees the awarding of grants to organizations in which Adrian Dominican Sisters minister or volunteer. Before that, Sister Fran had served for six years as Chapter Prioress (“Major Superior”) for the Sisters in the Detroit-based Great Lakes Dominican Mission Chapter. She had previously served in the Archdiocese of Detroit as Director of the Department of Education and Superintendent of Schools.

  • Sister Patricia Harvat, OP, General Councilor-Elect. Now the Vice President of Dominican Catholic Identity at St. Mary’s Dominican High School in New Orleans, Sister Pat has also served as Director of Lay Ministry Formation for the Hispanic Ministry Office of the Diocese of Cleveland.  From 1993 to 1999, she served as Director of Formation for the Adrian Dominican Congregation. Sister Pat has also ministered in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Peru, and the Philippines.

  • Sister Mary Margaret Pachucki, OP, Vicaress/General Councilor-Elect. Currently President of Regina Dominican High School in Wilmette, Illinois, Sister Mary Margaret has also served as the national coordinator for literacy and numeracy in South Africa; school and curriculum consultant for the Diocese of Toledo; principal; and high school and elementary school teacher.

  • Sister Elise D. García, OP, General Councilor-Elect. The Director of Communications for the Adrian Dominican Sisters, Sister Elise previously co-founded and co-directed Santuario Sisterfarm, an ecology center in Texas dedicated to cultivating biodiversity and cultural diversity, and was the founding editor of Sor Juana Press, publisher of the Dominican Women on Earth series. 

The incoming Prioress and General Council will succeed Sister Attracta Kelly, OP, Prioress of the Congregation; Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, Vicaress/General Councilor; Sister Kathleen Schanz, OP, General Councilor; Sister Corinne Sanders, OP, Administrator/General Councilor; and Sister Rosemary Abramovich, OP, General Councilor.

The packed schedule of Session II also allowed time for delegates to gather informally over meals and breaks. In addition to daily Eucharistic Liturgies, at which one of their Dominican Brothers presided and one of the delegates offered a reflection on the Scriptures, the delegates gathered for socials and dances. Composer and singer Sara Thomsen, whose music was incorporated into many of the Chapter’s prayers and rituals, gave a special concert on the evening of February 23. A highlight of the Chapter was a Sunday Liturgy on February 21 celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Dominican Order, the Order of Preachers, with preaching by Congregation historian and former Prioress, Sister Nadine Foley, OP.


 

 

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