August 11, 2015, Adrian, Michigan – The spirit of St. Dominic, the Joyful Friar, permeated St. Catherine Chapel during liturgy August 8 as Adrian Dominican Sisters, Associates, and friends gathered to celebrate his feast day and to welcome two women into the discernment process to follow the life of the Adrian Dominican Sisters.
Sister Lorraine Reaume, OP, new Formation Director, captured the spirit of the day as she welcomed the assembly to the Liturgy and explained the two brief rituals that would take place.
The Mass began with the Rite of Entrance into Candidacy of Katherine Frazier, who had for the past year been a pre-candidate in the initial formation process. After Sister Maribeth Howell, OP, former Formation Director, formally testified as to Katherine’s readiness for the next step, Sister Attracta Kelly, OP, Prioress of the Congregation, called her forward.
“In faithfulness you have listened to God’s call and have responded with a ‘yes’ to continue in a relationship of mutual discernment for vowed membership,” Sister Attracta told Katherine. “We welcome you into our midst to share faith and life with us.” Sister Attracta presented Katherine with a copy of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Mission Statement, as well as the image of her name’s sake, Dominican mystic and Church reformer St. Catherine of Siena. The picture had once belonged to the late Sister Cathryn Deutsch, OP.
The older of two daughters of Lee and Lynne (McKenna) Frazier, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Katherine has most recently served coordinator of Bishop Donald Trautman Catholic House at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. She holds a B.A. from St. Mary’s of Notre Dame, Indiana, and an MPhil in world archeology from the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England. As a candidate, she will live in Siena House, the formation house, study the identity and history of the Congregation, and serve in ministries on the Motherhouse campus.
The second rite took place after the Liturgy of the Word. After Marilin formally asked for “our Creator God’s love and wisdom” as well as reception into the re-admissions process, Sister Attracta formally questioned her on her resolve to “follow Jesus according to the evangelical way of life given to us by our Father Dominic and to experience more fully our renewed way of life in faithful observance of our rule and constitutions.”
After presenting Marilin with a copy of the Adrian Dominican Constitution, Sister Attracta prayed that “this time of discerning readmission be one of continued growth, continued unfolding of your great love for her, and a deepened understanding of your call.”
A native of the province of La Habana in Cuba, Marilin, an only child, immigrated at the age of six to the United States with her parents, Nancy and Ricardo Llanes. She grew up in the Miami area and earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Barry University, sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Marilin 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. A member of the Congregation from 1988 to 1995, Marilin has served as a school psychologist in the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas, since 2004.
Sister Xiomara Méndez-Hernández, OP, currently a chaplain with Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican hospitals in Henderson, Nevada, also moved forward in the initial formation process. She recently renewed her vows at St. Rose Dominican. A more detailed article on this special event will follow.
“Marilin and Katherine are joining us in a very special way today,” Sister Lorraine noted in her reflections on the Scriptures. “They’re deepening their own discipleship by choosing to walk in this particular path of Dominic. Religious life is not necessarily in season today. It is certainly not a common choice, but it is a good choice and a good path in which to live the call to discipleship.”
Sister Lorraine also reflected on the discipleship of all who follow Jesus in the path of St. Dominic. As disciples, she said, Jesus calls us the “Salt of the Earth.” In Jesus’ time, she said, salt “was used for seasoning and for the very essential preservation of food. …It was seen as a sign of something incorruptible, lasting, and trustworthy. So in that sense, salt is the sign of a true disciple. …Followers of Jesus – and that includes us – improve the quality of human existence and preserve it from destruction.”
The Liturgy, celebrated by Father James Hug, SJ, was followed by a festive dinner. The feast of St. Dominic was the culmination of an event-packed three days. August 6, the Feast of the Transfiguration, also marked the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and the one-year anniversary of the flight of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, of Iraq, from their convents due to the persecution of ISIS. The event was marked at the Adrian Dominican Motherhouse by a solemn procession and prayer service. That evening and for much of the day on August 7, a group of Adrian Dominican Sisters from the seven Mission Chapters gathered to discuss the recommendations for the Congregation’s 2016 General Chapter, during which religious congregations elect their leadership and set the focus for the next six years.