June 26, 2019, Adrian, Michigan – Adrian Dominican Sisters celebrating their Diamond Jubilee – 60 years in the Congregation – gathered from throughout the country June 19-22, 2019, at the Motherhouse for four days of prayer, activities, joy, renewal of friendships, memories, and reflection. In all, 22 Sisters celebrated their Diamond Jubilee.
The Diamond Jubilarians are Sisters Sean Eileen Allgeyer, OP, Beverly Bobola, OP, Mary Jean Clemenger, OP, Delores DeBets, OP, Teresa Disch, OP, Mary Ann Ferguson, OP, Dorothy Glaister, OP, Jo Ann Jauquet, OP, Jean Keeley, OP, Joan Krajewski, OP, Christa Marsik, OP, Joan Christine Meerschaert, OP, Mary Kay Moran, OP, Emilie Petelin, OP, Peter Anthony Schulte, OP, Sarah Ann Sharkey, OP, Mary Emidio Singer, OP, Susan Van Baalen, OP, Joan Marie Weithman, OP, Helen Wilson, OP, Jane Zimmerman, OP, and Rosemary Zuccaro, OP.
Also honored during that time were Jubilarians living and ministering in the Philippines: Sisters Estrellita David, OP, and Arsenia Marie Puno, OP, marking their Golden (50-year) Jubilee and Sister Rowena Marie Cruz, OP, celebrating her Silver Jubilee, 25 years as a Dominican Sister.
Jubilarians marking 80, 75, and 70 years of religious life were honored at a celebration in May.
The Jubilarians were formally welcomed during an opening program and reception June 19, 2019, by Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress; members of the General Council; members of the planning committee; and Sisters and friends. They met with the General Council for brunch the next day and attended a concert by composer and musician Sister Magdalena Ezoe, OP, that evening. But much of the early week offered the Jubilarians time to gather with friends, pray, rest, and enjoy the Motherhouse grounds and the surrounding area.
The Jubilarians paused on June 21 to remember and honor the deceased members of their Jubilee crowd. During the Mass for Deceased Jubilarians in St. Catherine Chapel, Jubilarians and friends carried forward flowers to represent those who were being honored.
“The readings of today’s memorial Liturgy invite us to remember and invoke the spirit of seven Jubilarians – all Adrian Dominican Sisters who left us too soon to somehow live forever in God’s presence,” said Sister Susan Van Baalen, OP, Diamond Jubilarian, in her reflection. She compared the unique flowers that had been brought forward to represent the deceased Jubilarians with the uniqueness and diversity of the Jubilarians themselves. “How rich, how beautiful is the diversity of their gifts and their works,” she said.
Sister Susan spent much of her reflection describing the lives of the deceased Jubilarians and the rooms in Heaven to which she imagined they were escorted, according to their specific call as Adrian Dominican Sisters.
The deceased Diamond Jubilarians are:
The presider at the Mass for Deceased Jubilarians was Father Ian Bordenave, OP, who was taught in second grade by Diamond Jubilarian Sister Mary Jean Clemenger, OP. He also took two courses of preaching from Sister Joan Delaplane, OP, at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Missouri.
Father Ian was also the presider at the Jubilee Mass the following day, which was the highlight of the Jubilee Week as Jubilarians and guests celebrated their year of Jubilee.
“Jubilee is such an appropriate time of giving thanks and remembering our first response to our call as Dominican Sisters of Adrian … a response that led to our women giving 60 years of Dominican life,” Sister Patricia Siemen, noted. “Each of you has been blessed by so many people and places. … You’ve poured out your love among seminarians, helping to form their spiritual lives; among prisoners in federal prisons … among those in parishes and schools, hungry for God’s word and your passionate presence; among those who are sick, materially poor, and in need of education.”
Paraphrasing the words of St. Paul to the Philippians, Sister Patricia expressed her gratitude and that of the Congregation to each of the Jubilarians by name. She also challenged the Jubilarians and all of the Adrian Dominican Sisters present to remain close to God so that they could carry out God’s work. Read the full text of her reflection here.
“The words from our Adrian Dominican Constitution remind us of the heritage we bear in carrying forth the mission of Jesus, to bring reconciliation, justice, peace, mercy, and love at all times, to all peoples, and to Earth herself,” she said. “To do this intentionally requires that we are in an alignment and in an intimate relationship with the Beloved,” so that God’s grace can flow through us.
The Jubilarians were then invited to continue their commitment by renewing their vow to Sister Patricia: “To the honor of Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I make profession and promise obedience to Almighty God, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to our holy father, St. Dominic, and to you, Sister Patricia Siemen, and to your 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 until death.”
The celebration continued after Liturgy with a festive dinner for the Jubilarians and their special guests. The week was planned by the Jubilee Committee: Co-workers Krystal Baker, Jan Bourg, Susan Kremski, and Jeanette Desgrange, and Sisters Virginia Corley, OP, Joy Finfera, OP, Patricia Harvat, OP, and Joan Sustersic, OP.
Even before the Jubilee Week, the 2019 Jubilarians had the opportunity to reflect on what the Jubilee Year meant to them. Sister Christa Marsik, OP, wrote that she was inspired to enter the Congregation by the lives and purposefulness of her Adrian Dominican high school and college teachers. “Living that mission daily has its rewards and challenges, but I have never been disappointed. God is always there!”
“Religious life is such an amazing gift,” Sister Jane Zimmerman, OP, wrote. “The Mission of Jesus is what we’re about. We’re meant to be co-creators with him of God’s justice and peace. Religious life has freed me up to do that.”
Clockwise from left: Sister Rosemary Zuccaro, OP, places a flower in a vase in memory of deceased Jubilarian Sister Diane McMeekin, OP. Sister Christa Marsik, OP, a Diamond Jubilarian, adds her welcome to the Jubilee Mass. Jubilarian Sisters Dorothy Glaister, OP, left, and Peter Anthony Schulte, OP, present the offertory gifts.
July 13, 2018, San Fernando, Philippines – Members of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter, based in San Fernando, the Philippines, gathered June 30 to celebrate the Transfer of Leadership of Chapter Prioress to Sister Rosita Yaya, OP. Sister Rosita was elected in April 2018 to that position, succeeding Sister Zenaida Nacpil, OP, the first Chapter Prioress of the Remedies Chapter.
The Our Lady of Remedies Chapter had at one time been a separate congregation of Dominican Sisters. At the request of Bishop Emilio Cinense, the Adrian Dominican Sisters in 1961 took on the formation of the first members of the Congregation based in the Philippines. The community became an independent congregation in 1972. In 2011, at the request of the Filipino Sisters, Our Lady of Remedies merged with the Adrian Dominican Sisters and became a Mission Chapter within the Adrian Dominican Congregation. Sister Zenaida was elected as the first Chapter Prioress in 2012.
Sister Rosita saw her election as a “graced moment,” particularly because it had taken place on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018. “Jesus is assuring me, ‘Do not be afraid. I am here with you. I am alive,’” she said. “With this assurance, we continue to live out our preaching mission, guided by the 2016 General Chapter Enactments, centered in the context of our Philippine situation.”
Sister Rosita hopes that the Sisters in her Chapter will remain “centered in the risen Christ” as they continue their pastoral ministry, “empowering our poor brothers and sisters, in becoming self-reliant communities, especially those we serve: the Aetas, the indigenous peoples; the street children; the families of victims of extra-judicial killings; those in family and life ministry; the people on the move; and migrant workers in Norway.”
As Chapter Prioress, she hopes to “explore possibilities of deepening our relationship with our North American Sisters,” and to work closely with the Prioress, General Council, and Leadership Council in implementing the General Chapter Enactments.
Sister Rosita was involved in leadership for the Remedies Congregation several times. She served on the Council from 1994 to 2000 and from 2004 to 2007. No stranger to Adrian, Michigan, she traveled there with her Congregation’s Council to discuss the possibility of the merger between the two Dominican Congregations. She also served as the Remedies Congregation’s Vocation Director and a Formator of Novices and Postulants.
At the time of her election in April, she was School Head of the Dominican School of Apalit. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in education with a major in guidance and counseling, both from the University of the Assumption in San Fernando, and a doctorate in education management from the University of St. Tomas in Manila.
From left, Sisters Patricia Harvat, OP, General Councilor; Sister Rosita Yaya, OP, newly elected Chapter Prioress; Sister Zenaida Nacpil, OP, outgoing Chapter Prioress; and Mary Margaret Pachucki, OP, Vicaress and General Councilor after the April 1, 2018, election of Sister Rosita.