August 10, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – The joy of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, Associates, Co-workers and guests as they celebrated the Feast of their founder, St. Dominic, was enhanced as they also witnessed the Ritual of Reception of Sister Katherine Frazier into the novitiate. Father James Hug, SJ, Motherhouse chaplain, was the presider.
Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP, Director of Formation, welcomed the assembly to the Liturgy and Ritual, which took place on August 8, 2016, in St. Catherine Chapel at the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse. This year’s Feast of St. Dominic falls within the 800th Jubilee Year of the founding of the Order of Preachers, the Dominicans.
During the brief ritual, Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress of the Congregation, formally examined Sister Katherine on her desire to “be received into the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of Adrian as a novice, and to experience more fully [their] way of life in faithful observance of [their] Rule and Constitution.” Sister Katherine, who had spent the past year as a candidate of the Congregation, also declared her willingness to study and reflect on the Constitution as she continues her mutual discernment with the Congregation.
As a first-year novice, Sister Katherine will spend the coming 10 months in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate, an effort of about 17 congregations of U.S. Dominican Sisters. With Sisters from other Dominican congregations, Sister Katherine will participate in a program designed to provide novices with “a quality experience of Dominican community life, study [and] ministry.”
Sister Katherine entered the Congregation as a Candidate a year ago on the Feast of St. Dominic. She spent her candidacy year coming to know the Adrian Dominicans better, while studying the Congregation’s identity and history and ministering in Adrian and Detroit, Michigan, and in New Orleans.
Sister Katherine is the older of the two daughters of Lee and Lynne (McKenna) Frazier, of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Before entering the Congregation, she had ministered as coordinator of the Bishop Donald Trautman Catholic House at Gannon University, 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.
Sister Katherine’s Rite of Reception was the first initial formation ritual that Sister Pat officially presided over since she took office on July 2, 2016. “This year we celebrate 800 years of [St. Dominic’s] founding the Order of Preachers: men and women who for 800 years have been bringing good news to mountain tops and in the city streets,” Sister Pat said in her reflection.
Noting the joyful spirit of St. Dominic, and his work of compassionately refuting the heresies of his day that the material world is evil, Sister Pat speculated that St. Dominic would pray that his modern-day followers would preach “a salvation of liberation, compassion, and wholeness.” At the same time, she said, he would want today’s Dominicans to “address the heresies of individualism and excessive consumption that are at the root of so much separation and alienation.”
Sister Pat challenged the Sisters to live out St. Paul’s mandate to St. Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1-8: to preach at all times, “whether convenient or inconvenient” and to “be self-possessed at all times; to put up with hardship; to perform the work of an evangelist; to fulfill your ministry.”
Sister Pat spoke with great optimism about the future of the Adrian Dominican Congregation – if members truly lived out Paul’s mandate, trusted in God enough to give themselves fully to the ministry, and lived out the Enactments of the recent February 2016 General Chapter.
“It just might be possible that we are facing into the most significant moments of our communal life,” she said. “What if, by living out [the Enactments] and giving them communal expression, our best years are not behind us, but truly ahead of us,” she said. “It is conceivable that our journey of individuated ministerial competencies and significant experience with collaboration and partnerships has readied us to embrace what the world is asking of us today: to be willing to sacrifice anew for the sake of the future.”
With that optimistic and challenging message – together with the joy of the 800th anniversary of the Order and the reception of Sister Katherine – the assembly continued the Liturgy in a spirit of joy and true celebration. The Liturgy included a special Litany of Dominican Saints, as well as special Dominican hymns.
The spirit of celebration continued throughout the day with a special reception for Sisters, Associates, and Co-workers, and a festive dinner.
By Sister Mary Soher, OP
July 21, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – “The Dominican story is only kept alive by live Dominicans.” These words by Dominican scholar Edward Schillebeeckx, OP, could be heard echoing from Adrian, Michigan, the gathering site of the 18th Annual Dominican High Schools Preaching Conference. Students from 23 high schools – including two from Australia – gathered at Siena Heights University June 24-29, 2016, to discover and deepen the preacher within.
Using the 800th Jubilee Celebration of the Order as a theme, conference attendees met Saints Dominic, Catherine of Siena (Sister Nancy Murray, OP), Martin de Porres, and Rose de Lima (Sister Xiomara Méndez-Hernández, OP); learned about the interfaith mission of the Order; and connected with Dominican family members, including Associates, Laity, Volunteers, and Young Adults, in addition to the Sisters and the friars.
As proof of the intercultural nature of the gathering, a rosary procession was prayed in five languages – German, Spanish, Vietnamese, Polish, and Arabic – with a rosary shared by the nuns of Mary the Queen Monastery in Fatima.
Students learned about the signs of the times by studying such social justice issues as human trafficking, domestic violence, and becoming aware of the need for respect for elders and hearing an update on the United Nations’ Agenda 2030. The students also lived out what they heard through a special service day that led to encounters with children, seniors, people suffering from economic poverty, and those regaining their homes. They also had the opportunity to improve the local land through permaculture techniques.
During the conference, Dominican Sisters of Adrian prayed for specific students and met with them during a special ice cream social before the students hit the dance floor. Adrian Dominican Sisters also helped the students in their final day of the conference. Among the presenters teaching the students to pray through the arts were Sister Nancy Murray, OP, Moving in the Spirit; Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP, liturgical reaching; Sister Sue Schreiber, OP, water colors; Sister Maria Browne, OP, Morovian stars; Sister Aneesah McNamee, OP, origami peace cranes; and Sister Luchy Sori, OP, liturgical movements.
And what is Jubilee without a cake? The final night of the conference concluded with a banquet, complete with a cake fit for an 800-year celebration. “The Dominican tradition is something that should be celebrated,” one student commented. “To survive 800 years in a society where most things can’t even last 10 days is worth appreciating!”
The following morning, at the commissioning ceremony that took place during liturgy with the Adrian Dominican Sisters, the high school groups shared how they plan to continue to live the Dominican charism within their school communities in the coming academic year.
“Before this conference, I knew I was a preacher, but I didn’t know how to be a preacher,” said Emma Bonnet of Mount St. Dominic Academy, Caldwell, New Jersey.
“This conference was not only faith-furthering but also life-changing,” proclaimed Kate Gartrell, of St. Agnes Academy, Houston, Texas. “I now know in my heart what it means to be Dominican.”
Songiemar Garcia Curbelo, from Colegio San Antonio, Isabela, Puerto Rico, stated, “It’s a spiritual awakening, when you least expect it!”
The Dominican High Schools Preaching Conference is a program of the newly formed Dominican Youth Movement USA, the umbrella organization that connects today’s youth and young adults to the Dominican tradition of preaching and the participant’s own call to preach.
A big thank you to all the communities of Sisters and Friars who collaborated for another incredible week of sharing our charism with these young adults.