August 6, 2018, Adrian, Michigan – In an atmosphere of great joy and celebration, Sister Katherine Frazier, OP, made her First Profession of Vows August 5, 2018, in St. Catherine Chapel, which was packed with Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates, Dominican Sisters from other Congregations, family members, and friends.
| NOTE: The video of the First Profession is at the very bottom of this article. |
During the Rite of Profession, Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress of the Congregation, formally examined Sister Katherine on her willingness and readiness to “unite [herself] more closely to God by a bond of religious profession.” Sister Katherine then stated her intent to profess vows with the Adrian Dominican Sisters to answer God’s call in her life.
“I desire to share faith and life with my Sisters and to carry into the world alongside them the mission of Jesus,” Sister Katherine said. “Having started this adventure three years ago as a candidate and then as a novice, I want to see where God is leading us next, trusting that God’s plans for the future are always good.”
After lying prostrate during the Litany of the Saints, Sister Katherine professed her vow, promising obedience to God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Dominic, Sister Patricia and her lawful successors. The Rite continued with the presentation of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ logo to Sister Katherine and signing the profession documents by Sister Katherine; Sister Patricia; Father Greg Heille, OP, presider; and Sister Katherine’s two witnesses, Sister Joan Delaplane, OP, and Sister Mary Soher, OP.
“I am awed to have been called to the Adrian Dominican Sisters, and I am grateful for each Sister who has come into my life for being an example of loving and faithful service,” Sister Katherine wrote to members of the assembly. “I look forward to seeing what adventures God will lead us on in the future.”
Sister Katherine entered the Adrian Dominican Congregation in 2015 and spent her first year as a candidate, coming to know the Adrian Dominican Sisters better; studying the Congregation’s Constitution, history and identity; and ministering in Adrian and Detroit, Michigan, and in New Orleans, Louisiana. Sister Katherine spent the next year, her canonical novitiate year, at the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate in St. Louis, Missouri. In the past year, as a second-year novice, Sister Katherine studied at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.
Sister Patricia Walter, OP, preached during the liturgy and focused on the message of the Gospel as an alternative vision to that of the dominant culture – and the role of preachers as “subversives,” people who preach a vision deeper than the message of popular culture. Basing her message on that of theologian Walter Brueggermann, Sister Patricia said when a culture understands the world without any reference to God, “what the preacher, what the faith community is called to do, is to help people to see, to notice, to name, to re-imagine the world as if God’s will counted, as if God is an actor in it. This is our good news, our truth, which is seen as fake and certainly as alternate. Preaching this is subversion.”
Just as the Israelites became people on a mission, and the disciples, in response to Jesus, became a people on a mission, Sister Patricia said, Sister Katherine’s call is to join a community on a mission, the Adrian Dominican Sisters, a community of the holy preaching, the Order of Preachers.
“The good news is that alternative reality, that alternative subversion, that vision of God’s reign and what the world would really be like if God’s will were done on Earth as it is in Heaven,” Sister Patricia said.
Sister Patricia added that St. Paul’s vision – that we are all part of one another – is also an alternative vision in our world today. “[This is] good news, the joy of living in mutual affection, with deep respect, with giving and receiving, with mutuality, with trying to discern the will of God: to rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. This is a joyful invitation Paul gives us, a joyful imagining – so much better than being polarized.”
The older of the two daughters of Lee and Lynne (McKenna) Frazier, Sister Katherine hails from Fort Wayne, Indiana. At the time of her entrance, she had ministered as the coordinator of the Bishop Donald Trautman Catholic House at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Sister Katherine will minister in the area of Mission Integration at Regina Dominican High School, an all-girls school sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters and located in Wilmette, Illinois. Her role will be to keep members of the Regina Dominican Community aware of and help them live out the Mission of the Congregation.
Sister Katherine begins her new life as a vowed Adrian Dominican Sister with a sense of optimism and hope. The Adrian Dominican Sisters “give me the gift of the example of their lives lived in the mission of God,” she said. “Their example of trusting in God’s provident care is a continual reminder that God’s plan for us is larger than we can imagine.”
As Sister Katherine looks to the future of religious life, she said, “I am confident in the foundations and work that has been done before me by Adrian Dominican Sisters and women religious from other congregations. Having met and had conversations with other younger women religious, I find hope because God continues to call us to work in the mission and that young men and women are still open to hearing this call.”
For more information on how you or a single Catholic woman in your life can become an Adrian Dominican Sister, please contact Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, at 517-266-3532 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Sister Mariane Fahlman, OP, at 517-266-3537 or email@example.com. Information is also available at http://adriandominicans.org/BecomeaSister/EnteringtheLife.
July 7, 2017, Adrian, Michigan – At a time when many worry about the future of religious life, Sister Katherine Frazier, an Adrian Dominican novice, gave an encouraging vision of a new group of women who are responding to God’s call and facing their future as Sisters with courage and hope.
Sister Katherine, who is at the Adrian Motherhouse for the summer, took the opportunity July 6 to speak to those on campus about her recent experience at the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate (CDN) in St. Louis, Missouri. “The [canonical novitiate] year was definitely a confirmation that this is the community where I belong,” she told the Sisters.
Sister Katherine shared the experience with two novices from the Dominican Sisters of Peace: Sisters Ana González and Margaret Uche, as well as two Co-directors, Sisters Joye Gros, OP, a Dominican Sister of Peace, and Megan McElroy, OP, a Dominican Sister of Grand Rapids.
The CDN was established more than 25 years ago to give novices of U.S. Congregations of Dominican Sisters a rich novitiate experience and a sense of the larger Dominican family. Currently, 17 Congregations participate.
Sister Katherine recounted the novices’ busy weekly schedule: Morning and Evening Prayer together every day, worship at the local parish of their choice on Sundays, and ministry for four hours on Mondays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the novices attended classes at Aquinas Institute of Theology and at the novitiate, including a specific course on vowed life and Foundations of Preaching. Wednesdays brought them together with novices from a variety of women’s and men’s communities for prayer and workshops. Each week concluded with a day of reflection on Fridays and some free time on Saturdays to catch up on cleaning and other chores.
Throughout the year, the novices also took turns cooking meals for one another and met weekly with their director as they continued discernment for vowed life. In addition, they hosted panels of Dominicans who spoke about their own experiences living out the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
Sister Katherine spent her ministry time at the Mary Ryder Home, which provides housing for older women who, for various reasons – including addictions, mental issues, and developmental disabilities – are unable to live on their own. “I helped them with various activities, such as games, and accompanied them on shopping trips,” Sister Katherine said, adding that one of the difficulties of the novitiate year was the limited time she could spend in ministry. “It was hard to be there for just four hours and to know that the needs were so much greater than I was able to provide for,” she said.
The novitiate year also included key experiences that deepened Sister Katherine’s understanding of Dominican life and of the Dominican family: a trip to a motherhouse in Kentucky, which was the first U.S. foundation of Dominican Sisters; the Dominican Preaching Colloquium, sponsored by Aquinas Institute to celebrate the Order’s 800-year Jubilee; and a road trip that involved visits to several communities of Dominican Sisters in the East.
During facilitated house meetings, Sister Katherine said, the novices engaged in discussions of difficult topics, such as the future of religious life, given the smaller numbers of women entering. “I think the biggest fear is the fear of the unknown, not being entirely sure what the future will look like,” she said. Yet, “each of us felt called to be in the novitiate. Each of us felt called to be in the place where we were. I think there was also a sense that the future is a call to trust.”
Sister Katherine’s own vision of the future includes greater collaboration among Dominican Congregations and an outward perspective. “The future will involve an outward focus … always looking outwards to the needs of the world around us.”
Sister Katherine’s second year as a novice will focus on study at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and community life with local Adrian Dominican Sisters.
Watch the video of Sister Katherine’s presentation.
At the novitiate in St. Louis are, from left, Sister Joye Gros, OP, Co-director; Sisters Ana González and Margaret Uche, novices from the Dominican Sisters of Peace; Sister Katherine Frazier; and Sister Megan McElroy, OP, Co-director.