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.”
December 9, 2016, Wilmette, Illinois – Regina Dominican High School students have hosted a number of special activities during the festive season that runs from Thanksgiving through Advent.
Hearing of the report by Catholic Charities USA that 46 million Americans live in poverty, the school community brought in 22 boxes of food and baby formula for the annual Thanksgiving food drive. This donation will be given to Catholic Charities, which will make a difference in the lives of those who live in poverty.
Classes took up the challenge to be the leader in bringing the most items during the six-day collection. The next opportunity to partner with Catholic Charities for the holidays is the Christmas Giving Tree Program.
Sister Donna Markham, OP, the first woman to serve as President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, is a Regina Dominican alumna.
Through the school’s Giving Tuesday program, generous donors contributed enough money for six full-year tuitions. Regina Dominican’s Giving Tuesday goal was to “Fund 4 Years” by raising $27,800 – the equivalent of two years of tuition – to receive a matching amount. In the end, the campaign raised $59,000, in addition to the matching gift of $27,800 – enough for six tuitions.
Regina Dominican Preachers – students who had participated in the Dominican High Schools Preaching Conference – created a multi-media prayer service to begin the Season of Advent. The service included the description of the meaning, symbols, and tradition of the Advent wreath.
As each of the four candles and a Christ candle were placed in the Advent wreath, the assembly sang the words, “O come, O come, Emanuel.” Members of the assembly raised their hands to bless the wreath and reflected on a Scripture reading to enter into the Advent spirit.
The Advent wreath was then taken to the student entrance at the school, where it will remain during the weeks of Advent.
Article submitted by Sister Mary Jean Williams, OP