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.
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 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
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.