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Sister Marilín Llanes, OP, Professes First Vows

April 11, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – In a ritual that resonated with the joy of Easter and new life, Sister Marilín Llanes, OP, professed her first vows with the Adrian Dominican Sisters. The Liturgy – attended by Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates and Sister Marilín’s family members and friends – took place April 10 in St. Catherine Chapel at the Adrian Dominican Motherhouse. 

Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP, Director of Formation, welcomed Sisters and special guests from Adrian and Detroit, and from as far away as Chicago, Minnesota, and the Dominican Republic, as well as family members who attended or who were to watch via live stream. 

As Sister Marilín lies prostrate, the assembly sings the Litany of Dominican Saints.

A member of the Adrian Dominican Congregation from 1988 to 1995, Sister Marilín entered the discernment process for Readmission on August 8, 2015, the Feast of St. Dominic. A native of the province of La Habana in Cuba and an only child, she immigrated to the United States at the age of six with her parents, Nancy and Ricardo Llanes. 

Sister Marilín grew up in the Miami area and earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Barry University, sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. She also holds a master’s degree in counseling from St. Mary’s University and a graduate degree in school psychology from Trinity University, both in San Antonio, Texas. After serving as a school psychologist in the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas, since 2004, she now brings that ministry to the Joliet, Illinois, School District.

After the readings, Sister Elise García, OP, offered a reflection on the call to follow Jesus – a call not only to Sister Marilín but to all who have “chosen to follow the way of Jesus through a vowed commitment to religious life.” Those in religious life are called to live a “communal way of the early disciples” and to live so that others may have the abundant life followed by Jesus. “It is a continuous self-emptying and dispossession,” she said. She held up as an example the Dominican Sisters of Iraq, who are “living that dispossession in ways that we can hardly imagine”: as refugees, living in a community of refugees in Northern Iraq and striving to spread the good news of the Resurrection in a worn-out community. 

Sister Elise, communications director for the Adrian Dominican Congregation, noted the “ever-more radical and counter-cultural response” of religious life today in a world filled with violence, hatred, “economic hardship and environmental devastation.” Those who choose religious life today, she said, are “responding with a clear-eyed awareness” of the greater global challenges in the world and the smaller numbers in religious life. 

Sister Mary Jane congratulates Sister Marilín.

Sister Elise noted that impact that Sister Marilín had had on her when they first met 25 years ago. “Marilín’s generous sharing of her vocation was one of the guiding lights that illuminated my path,” she said. “How wondrous that today, in the slow work of God from all eternity, our paths should come together again at this joyful moment!”

During the Rite of Profession, Sister Attracta formally questioned Sister Marilín on her willingness to “unite [herself] more closely to God by a bond of religious profession,” live a life of charity, and “center [her] ministerial activity in contemplation.” Sister Marilín then stated her intent to “enter into a deeper commitment with my loving God and my dear Adrian Dominican Sisters” and invited the Holy Spirit to “create in me a clear, open, strong, full, and joy-filled heart.” 

After lying prostrate during the singing of the Litany of Dominican Saints, Sister Marilín professed her vow, promising obedience to God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Dominic, and Sister Attracta and her lawful successors, “according to the Rule of St. Augustine and the Constitution of the Sisters of St. Dominic of the Congregation of the Most Holy Rosary.” The Rite continued with the presentation of the Congregation logo to Sister Marilín and the signing of the profession documents by Sister Marilín, Sister Attracta, and Sister Marilín’s two witnesses: Sisters Mary Jane Lubinski, OP, and Rosa Monique Peṅa, OP.

“I am delighted to affirm your profession as a Dominican Sister of Adrian,” Sister Attracta said. “The profession by which you vow your future to God is a confirmation of the acceptance of a call received in faith. It strengthens your attachment to God as the first and most important in your life. Our entire Congregation is truly blessed to share faith and life with you.”

 

Sister Marilín Llanes, OP, First Vows

 


Sister Attracta blesses Sister Marilín’s logo… …and presents it to her. Watching are Sisters Mary Jane Lubinski, left, and Sister Rosa Monique Peňa.

From left, Sisters Mary Jane, Marilín, and Rosa Monique listen as Sister Attracta affirms Sister Marilín’s profession.
Sister Lorraine Réaume, formation director, processes out of the chapel with Sister Marilín.

Katherine Frazier, candidate (right), serves as cantor during the recessional hymn. Behind her are members of the choir.
Sister Xiomara Méndez-Hernández’s service as liturgical dancer captures the joy of the occasion. 

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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