December 30, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – As we near the countdown to another calendar year, let us take some time to review the 10 most memorable events for the Adrian Dominican Congregation in 2016.
General Chapter 2016
After nearly two years of contemplative and collaborative study and preparation, about 200 delegates to the second session of the 2016 General Chapter gathered at the Motherhouse in Adrian, Michigan, February 18-26, to set the direction of the Congregation for the next six years. After input and much work together, four Enactments were approved and a Prioress and General Council were elected to lead the Congregation in living out those Enactments.
St. Luke’s N.E.W. Life Center Responds to Flint’s Water Crisis
When the water of Flint, Michigan, was found to be contaminated with lead co-workers at St. Luke’s N.E.W. Life Center found ways to offer special services to the troubled community. The Center – founded by Sister Carol Weber, OP, and Sister Judy Blake, CSJ – responded in a variety of ways, from serving as a water distribution center to offering support and nutrition classes to mothers of young children. Sister Carol also found hope and support from a community meeting, called and attended by President Barack Obama.
Adrian Dominicans Stand in Solidarity with Those Seeking Justice
Throughout the year, groups of Adrian Dominicans participated in various events in solidarity with people who are seeking justice. A group of Adrian Dominican Sisters from the Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter, based in Pampanga, the Philippines, joined a protest with 3,000 indigenous peoples from their country. Participants set up camp at the University of the Philippines to raise awareness of their efforts to reclaim self-determination and liberation. Six Adrian Dominican Sisters and one Dominican Volunteer traveled to Nogales, Arizona, to join in the School of the Americas (SOA) Watch’s first-ever Convergence at the Border, which called attention to increased militarization of U.S. borders. Three Adrian Dominican Sisters were part of a contingent of U.S. Dominican Sisters who spent a weekend in solidarity with Native Americans who were encamped at Standing Rock in protest the Dakota Access Pipeline being constructed on sacred tribal land.
Dominicans around the World Celebrate 800th Jubilee
For Dominicans throughout the world, 2016 was a year-long Jubilee of the founding of the Order of Preachers by St. Dominic. Among the many celebrations taking place during this year was “Living our Legacy: A Dominican Conference in Celebration of 800 Years of Preaching,” attended by three Adrian Dominican Sisters.
Reflective Garden Brings Joy to Retired Sisters
Thanks to the generosity of numerous donors, the Dominican Life Center Reflective Garden was built in the summer and dedicated in August. The garden was designed with the special needs of memory-loss Sisters in mind to give them a safe and beautiful place to enjoy nature.
Adrian Dominicans Dedicate Formation House in Dominican Republic
The Adrian Dominican Sisters renovated a 100-year-old house in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and dedicated it as a House of Formation. The house is open to women in the Dominican Republic who are discerning a call to the Adrian Dominican Sisters, women who are in formation, and for those who seek a place for spiritual growth and renewal. Read more.
Siena Heights University Opens St. Joseph Academy Building to Education Students
After receiving the old St. Joseph Academy building from the Adrian Dominican Congregation, Siena Heights University renovated the first floor and dedicated it to the Department of Education. In gratitude for the gift of the building, the faculty and students in the Education Department hosted an open house for Adrian Dominicans to showcase the new facilities.
St. Rose Dominican Hospitals Plans Four New Neighborhood Hospitals
Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Hospitals announced plans to build four new neighborhood hospitals in the Las Vegas area to increase access to health care in these areas. The first of the four is scheduled to be dedicated in the first quarter of 2017.
Associate Life Creates Advisory Board
An Advisory Board was created for Associate Life, the organization that coordinates Adrian Dominican Associates, as a way to respond to the specific Dominican charism of Associates. Made up of five Associates, the Director of Associate Life, the Formation Director, and the General Council liaison to Associate Life, the Advisory Board first met in the Spring of 2016 and reported on its accomplishments and goals during an August gathering of Associates.
Adrian Dominican Sisters Present on Global Stage
In the past year, three Adrian Dominican Sisters have taken part in global events. Sister Donna Markham, OP, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, was part of the U.S. delegation to the canonization in Rome of St. Teresa of Calcutta. Sister Mary Priniski, OP, participated in the Global Seminar on Sustainable Development and the Future of Work in the Context of the Jubilee of Mercy, in Rome in early May. Sister Cheryl Liske, OP, attended the third World Meeting of Popular Movements, held in Rome in November to help advise Pope Francis on how to address the challenges faced by poor people and Earth.
October 31, 2016, Dallas, Texas – Three Adrian Dominican Sisters were among a joyous crowd of Dominican Friars, Sisters, and Laity attending “Living our Legacy: A Dominican Conference in Celebration of 800 Years of Preaching.”
The conference, sponsored by the Dominican Friars of the Southern Province, USA, was October 21-23 at the University of Dallas. Representing the Adrian Dominican Sisters were Sisters Patty Harvat, OP, General Councilor; Kitty Bethea, OP; and Mary Fran Fleischaker, OP.
The weekend included the opening keynote address, “In the Company of the Poor,” by Father Gustavo Gutiérrez, OP, a Dominican Friar and theologian from Peru, most known for his ground-breaking work in liberation theology. This was followed by a panel discussion by Father Gutiérrez; Father Bruno Cadoré, OP, Master of the Order; and Dr. Paul Farmer, MD, PhD, founding director of Partners in Health. The weekend also included an address by Father Bruno and several break-out sessions.
“The weekend was an amazing experience of shared Dominican life,” Sister Mary Fran said. She appreciated the input by leaders in the Dominican family and in theology. She also appreciated the emphasis on the witness of St. Martin de Porres and St. Rose of Lima throughout the Americas, and the “strong emphasis on solidarity with those who are poor, voiceless, and marginalized.”
However, Sister Mary Fran added, “The major impact was the interaction between all the members of the Dominican Family, all celebrating together the 800th anniversary of the Order. That happened through prayer, meals, study sessions, and informal encounters.”
Sister Patty was also impressed by the weekend. For her, the highlights were “hearing and seeing Gustavo Gutiérrez speak once again about our vocation to accompany the poor and most vulnerable. Just to be in his presence is so inspiring.” Sister Patty was also impressed by the words of Father Bruno, “words of wisdom, of creatively and compassionately moving into the future.”
Feature photo: Father Bruno Cadoré, OP, Master of the Order, poses with, from left: a Dominican Sister from Vietnam and Adrian Dominican Sisters Kitty Bethea, OP, Patty Harvat, OP, and Mary Fran Fleischaker, OP.