April 29, 2020, Adrian, Michigan – For many people around the world, 2020 will mark the year of the COVID-19 virus and the many fears and challenges that it brought about. But 2020 is also a special year for 69 Adrian Dominican Sisters. It marks their Jubilee in religious life, whether 25, 50, 60, 70, or 75 years.
In the midst of sheltering in place and physical distancing, Sisters have found creative ways to celebrate their Jubilees this year.
Before most areas imposed shelter-in-place orders, Sister Patricia (Michael Dominic) Erickson, OP, celebrated her Diamond (60-year) Jubilee with nine other Sisters from the Diocese of San Diego, California. The diocese’s 21st Annual Appreciation and Jubilee Celebration for Women Religious included Mass and dinner. Bishop Robert W. McElroy and Auxiliary Bishop John P. Dolan presided over the celebration.
Sister Pat, a nurse practitioner, came to San Diego to offer her medical services to migrants who had applied for asylum in the United States but were forced to stay in Mexico while awaiting their hearing. “I miss going to the shelters and wonder every day how the migrants in Tijuana are,” she said.
Before this ministry in San Diego, Sister Pat had served as a nurse in Florida, caring for unaccompanied children from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras who were awaiting sponsors in the United States while staying at a specially designated Air Reserve Base in Florida.
At the Jubilee Celebration of the Diocese of San Diego are, back row, from left, Bishop Robert W. McElroy; Sisters Judith Sheridan, SMSM, Lilia Vega, SJS, Rosemary Nicholson, RJM, and Kathleen Warren, OSF, and Auxiliary Bishop John P. Dolan; and front row, from left, Sisters Maureen Kelley, RSM, Patricia Erickson, OP, Katharina Contreras, TM, Angelina Robles Larios, HCJS, Maria Luisa Pelayo, SJS, and Guadalupe Jimenez, TM. Photo by Denis Grasska, The Southern Cross Newspaper
In the Detroit area, Sister Mary Kay (Mark Christine) Homan, OP, received an impromptu, heart-warming Jubilee celebration when Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates drove through the parking lot of her apartment complex in Warren, Michigan, A Mass and dinner scheduled for Friday, April 24, was postponed.
“COVID-19 can take away a lot of things, but it can’t ever take away our spirit, love, and care for each other,” said Sister Mariane Fahlman, OP, who coordinated the event. “Seventeen cars processed through the Burg apartment complex, horns blaring and faces covered in masks, with broad smiles.”
In her 60 years in religious life, Sister Mary Kay ministered as a teacher, principal, high school president, pastoral associate, and member of the Congregation’s General Council. Now she brings Communion to the homebound, visits hospital patients, and tutors weekly at the Dominican Literacy Center in Detroit.
“I made the decision to enter at a young age but I found I had to keep making the decision,” she said. “It has been a good decision for me, one I never regretted. I have made dear friends and have felt great support throughout my life.”
The Congregation’s celebration of the 2020 Adrian Dominican Jubilarians is suspended until 2021. The Adrian Dominican Congregation also honors the memory of the 2020 deceased Jubilarians, who would have celebrated 80, 75, 70, 60, and 50 years of religious life.
From left: Sisters Pat Magee, OP, left, and Mary Kay Homan, OP, enjoy the celebration. Associate Carol Hofer participates in the drive-by Jubilee celebration.
Feature photo (top): From left, Sister Patricia Erickson, OP, Sister Rosemary Nicholson, RJM, and Bishop Robert McElroy at Jubilee Mass. Sister Pat reads intercessions in Spanish and Sister Rosemary in English. Photo by Denis Grasska, The Southern Cross Newspaper
September 3, 2019, Adrian, Michigan – Sister Elise García, OP, General Councilor for the Adrian Dominican Sisters and President-elect of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), speaks about a variety of topics in a recent interview. Ever the bridge in her childhood and as a Sister, she talks of the many influences of her life, why she left her name in for election with the LCWR, and her views of religious life and the transitions ahead. Read the entire interview, written by Dan Stockman and published in the National Catholic Reporter’s Global Sisters Report.
Feature photo: Sister Elise García, OP, President-elect of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) speaks during a press conference at a Catholic action for Immigrants, held in Washington, D.C., in 2018.