The summer sun is fading as the year grows old,
And darker days are drawing near.
The winter winds will be much colder
Now you're not here.
I watch the birds fly south across the autumn sky
And one by one they disappear.
I wish that I was flying with them
Now you're not here.
Like a song through the trees you came to love me
Like a leaf on a breeze you blew away...
Through autumn's golden gown we used to kick our way
You always loved this time of year.
Those fallen leaves lie undisturbed now
'Cause you're not here.
---- Songwriters: Jeff Wayne, Gary Anthony Osborne, Paul Anthony Vigrass;
sung by The Moody Blues
In late September, while listening to this song, I was quite overwhelmed. In the course of a short period of time, the Congregation lost five beloved Sisters. One of them was Sister Janet Michael Hudspeth, OP, who had been part of the monthly gatherings of the Great Lakes Associates in Roseville, Michigan. Sister Janet was a former director of Associate Life and was very encouraging. She brought a lot of insight to our meetings, especially about the times when I wasn't part of Associate Life.
We are diminished by the deaths of Sisters and Associates, family members and friends. Often, this loss is very painful. However, the values and spirituality that create our community also sustain us in times of grief and loss. It is truly all about relationships, and we turn to one another for support, prayer, and hope.
Often, hope comes to me through gratitude. Each day I write three things that I am grateful for in my journal. I challenge myself to find one thing each day that I haven't been grateful for before. It is fairly easy to do when there is so much goodness, beauty, and courage in our world. It is often a matter of focus. To what do I wish to give my time and energy?
It is also good to gather with one another to share memories and insights. A few years ago, we organized all the slides our dad had taken on holidays, vacations, and other special occasions. The slides were in mint condition and my son-in-law spent months scanning them and saving the photos onto CDs with music and graphics. There we were, our much younger selves, celebrating our Christmases, First Communions, and birthdays.
It is bittersweet to see our grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who have gone before us. It is also fascinating that some of the events of my childhood, which were difficult or very rewarding, aren't in the memories of my siblings. There we were, sharing the same home, church, family, and neighborhood, and all four of us have different insights and memories. By watching those movies together, we have learned so much about one another, and realized that we are more alike than we thought we would ever be, even though we live very different lives.
And so it is with our lives as Associates. By engaging in our Mission Groups or Sojourner groups, by reading the Congregation's newsletters and emails, by attending assemblies and meetings, we can come to greater awareness of the Dominican charism that we all share. The Enactments challenge us to become more and to go deeper.
All Soul's Day and All Saint's Day, celebrated in early November, remind us that we have been given a rich inheritance. We need to look for inspiration and courage in the lives of those who have died. Relationships do not end with the death of a beloved parent, child, friend, or spouse. They are different, but they have not ended.
In this, the 800th year of the founding of the Dominican Order, we have many opportunities to rejoice in our rich history. For hundreds of years, Dominican saints, Sisters, and Friars contemplated and shared the fruits of their contemplation with us. And now we share the fruits of our contemplation with others.
As I see the leaves turn color and drop to the earth, I know that in April they will return. It is that knowledge that sustains me through the long winter and the darkness.
|Six Adrian Dominicans gathered at the home of Judy Sender, Associate, in Green Valley, Arizona, outside of Tucson. They are, back row, from left: Sisters Barb Kelley, OP; Judith Benkert, OP; and Maurine Barzantni, OP; and front row, from left: Sister Kathleen Nolan, OP; Judy Sender, Associate; and Sister Mary Ann Dardy, OP. Photo by Holly Sammons, Dominican Volunteer
Judy Sender, an Associate in the Dominican West and member of the Rosary Heights Mission Group, hosted six Adrian Dominicans who were attending the School of the Americas (SOA) Watch Convergence on the Border at Nogales, the weekend of October 7-10. Judy was a great hostess and made our time in Arizona quite pleasant.
To learn more about the Convergence on the Border, click here
Kathleen Nolan, OP, of Adrian, Michigan
Maria McCadden, Associate, of Dulce, New Mexico, writes a blog, Grant Us Peace, which shares her experiences of teaching in New Mexico. You can access it
Kudos to Barbara Block, Associate, of Anchorage, Alaska, who was surprised last night at our annual St. Francis Stewardship Awards Banquet with a nomination to be knighted for the Equestrian Order of St. Gregory, a special and infrequently bestowed award for exemplary service to the Holy See and Roman Catholic Church. Archbishop Roger Schwietz, OMI, nominated Barbara. I'm sure it has never been given to anyone in Alaska.
Susan Jayich, Associate, of Anchorage, Alaska
Kudos to Elaine Woods, Associate, of Whitmore Lake, Michigan, who gathered some women interested in Associate Life together at
St. Luke's N.E.W. Life Center
in Flint, Michigan. Mary Lach, Director, was there to give some information. Other Associates donated items for the poor.
From Our Associates
Anawim Mission Group Celebrates Jubilees
Members of the Anawim Mission Group are, from left to right: Sisters Mary Jo O'Hanlon and Diane Erbacher, Sister Elisabeth Lang, Sister Marie Noreen Nolan, Faye Jahnigen, Associate, Connie Brady, Associate; Sisters Christine Ostrowski, Adrienne Piennette, Rita Eileen Dean, and Jane Clark; and Nancy Fortman, Associate.
The Anawim Mission Group combined business with pleasure during our last meeting with a surprise Jubilee celebration for Noreen Nolan, OP, 70 years; Nancy Fortman, Associate, 25 years; and Sister Elisabeth Lang, OP, marking 25 years as an Adrian Dominican Associate and 50 years with her Dominican Congregation in Vietnam.
Everyone participated to make this a day to remember. Mary Jo O'Hanlon, OP, and Sister Noreen secured our meeting space, which was lovingly decorated by Diane Erbacher, OP, and Chris Ostrowski, OP. Breakfast was provided by Rita Dean, OP, and Adrienne Piennette, OP.
After the opening prayer led by Sister Elisabeth, our delegate Sister Adrienne, facilitated the meeting. Connie Brady, Associate, presented Jubilee plaques from Associate Life to Sister Elisabeth and Nancy and read a letter of congratulations from Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life. To conclude our festivities, Faye Jahnigen, Associate, led us in a parody in honor of the Jubilarians.
In addition to Jubilees, our Mission Group has something else to celebrate; our relationships with each other. Every person is an integral part of our group. Our discussions are open, thorough, and inclusive. As caring friends, we trust one another and share ideas freely, even when we have differences. We support one another with prayer, in our ministries, and in our personal lives. We call one another to responsibly live our commitments and we are grateful for the blessing of sharing our life journey.
Connie Brady, Associate, of Ben Lomond, California
Reflections of my first trip back to Adrian in over 40 years
August 11 to 15, 2016
As a Prospective Associate, I arrived in Adrian early to attend Partners IV. With Joyce LaVoy, OP, as my guide, I walked through the Cloister Walk and into the Rec Hall. Before beginning the walk down the main corridor of Madden Hall, I took a deep breath; the buffed, original white and black, one-inch tiles made me smile, remembering the novices burnishing them to a perfect shine.
In my visit to Holy Rosary Chapel, I thought I was in a different, amazing, magnificent world. The altar was down amongst the assembly; the large statue of St. Dominic receiving the rosary from the Blessed Mother was on a lower pedestal. For history's sake, the Mother General's beautifully carved chair and some of the choir stalls were still in the chapel.
We took the elevator downstairs, walked through the refectories with their original red brick, and took the indoor route to Regina Hall. I wanted to walk outside to return to Weber Hall so I could just soak in the beauty of the Motherhouse and all the peaceful surroundings.
The next day, on my way to Sister Joyce's apartment for breakfast, I went through the buildings, down the basement hallway with the low ceilings and the familiar pipes, through the postulants' refectory but I had to ask directions once I was confronted with too many new, unfamiliar hallways in Regina. After breakfast, we walked out to the cemetery, in which Sisters are buried in six large circles of three rows deep. We took a walk through Maria, part of the Dominican Life Center (DLC), and saw St. Catherine Chapel. We also visited with many Sisters who had taught in Florida. They were warm and friendly as if they had seen me yesterday. After lunch in Madden Hall I went upstairs for some quiet time in Holy Rosary Chapel and then spent the afternoon enjoying a walk through the history of our Adrian Dominicans in the pictorial, historical rooms on the main floor.
After the eventful
gathering, I enjoyed a special surprise during Sunday lunch at Madden Hall. Mary Ann Ennis, OP, had gotten two other members of our crowd together: Carol Coston, OP, and Helen Therese Mayer, OP. We touched on our lives and experiences over the years and hope to gather with our entire crowd next August.
After dinner at the Regina Café, Sister Joyce and I slowly walked by each building and took pictures of them. We admired the beautiful statue of the determined, wide-stride Mary ---- "And Mary Set Out, Proceeding in Haste." We went into Lumen Christi Chapel ---- now St. Dominic's Chapel ---- and meandered back to Regina. There, we gave our warm good-bye hugs and promised to keep in touch.
I was excited about coming back to Adrian; I had looked at the website and seen the buildings. But actually being here, feeling the warmth and love and experiencing the quiet prayer life, the beauty, and the simplicity of the Motherhouse was more than I expected.
Sylvia Rafferty, Prospective Associate,
Formerly Sister Joseph Annine, 1954 to 1975
By Sharon Bock, Associate
Those of you in the far reaches on the eastern side of our country may not have had the opportunity to meet Suzanne Slankard, Associate. Suzanne lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a member of the Dominican West Chapter. She greatly cherishes the friendships and spiritual connections she has made with her mission group, Women of the Word.
Meet Susan Jayich...
I learned about Associate Life through Ann Fallon, OP, and Jo Gaugier, OP. As I got to know them, I saw how their faith guided their lives and was impressed by their generosity, kindness, and integrity. In them, I sensed a deep and healthy balance in life and service and devotion to the Mission of Jesus, and a sense of humor! I was drawn to that.
Why I Continue as an Associate
I continue as an Associate because "giving to others the fruit of contemplation" is such a core Dominican value. I treasure this value and need support to maintain it, especially the daily practice of contemplata. Study, varied ways of preaching, and the continual pursuit of truth are also life goals that I value and that are affirmed in Dominican life connections.
Suzanne Morris, Associate, of Long Beach, Indiana
Reflections on the Vision Statement
In the October 2016 issue, Associates were asked to reflect on the Adrian Dominican Vision Statement as we prepare to engage more deeply in the 2016 General Chapter Enactments. Below are some of the responses.
Even though I am not a vowed member of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, the Vision Statement speaks to me in several ways. I am very aware of the many injustices in the world: violence, discrimination, and uncharitable acts.
The challenge to me is to seek out truth (reading reliable materials); strive to make peace when I can (being considerate of others when driving or waiting in lines); and show reverence to life (praying for those who have been hurt in shootings and for people involved in natural disasters and donating when a need arises). I strive to be kinder to others, especially those who I may not agree with or who try my patience.
Jan Huvaere, Associate, Harrison Township, Michigan
In reviewing the Vision Statement in its expanded forms, I realize how much I need a copy near me for regular recitation and recommitment. It is good to have the crisp, clear statement to remind me/us to move and not become apathetic and hopeless and to trust that each of our small actions joined together make a great difference. The Vision Statement is a call to be vigilant, inclusive, and communal as we share God's life in and with the world in all its lively forms.
I'm deeply grateful for the Dominican core value of giving to others the fruit of (our) contemplation. The action words of the Vision Statement ---- confront, challenge, walk with, and claim ---- seem to be filled with the life of the Spirit. Our culture tends to value activity and production in the judgment of a person's worth; it can also value efficiency without empathy.
The prophetic words of the Vision Statement, grounded in the message of the Gospel, have potential to nurture hungry hearts seeking words to live by in and beyond Dominican life. I think my goal is to read and pray with the complete Vision Statement daily or at least weekly and journal how my current and lifelong work in counseling reflects and is fed by it. Additionally, I want to share copies of it with others.
Suzanne Morris, Associate, Long Beach, Indiana
Reflections on the Enactments
For the December and January issues of the e-newsletter, please reflect on the following Enactment. What are some ways that you, as an Associate, can embrace this Enactment? Please send your responses to me by Thursday, November 10, for the December issue and by Saturday, December 10, for the January issue.
Rooted in the Gospel, we recognize our own spiritual longings and those of the world. We commit to deepen our spirituality and to engage with others in prayer and presence in order to witness to the mystery of God in our midst.
- Create opportunities for spiritual enrichment, communal dialogue, and theological studies, informed by the experience of people who are poor; women; racial, religious, and cultural diversity; and the new sciences.
- Promote the Adrian Dominican Sisters campus and other sites as places of reflection, discussion, prayer, study, rest, and conversation.
- Expand our use of online technologies as a means to express our Dominican spirituality.
Schedule for Mary Lach,
Director of Associate Life
Tuesday to Thursday, November 1-3, 2016
Monday to Thursday, November 28-December 1, 2016
Working from home office
in Clinton Township, Michigan
Monday to Wednesday, November 7-9, 2016
Monday to Wednesday, November 21-23, 2016
In Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida
Sunday to Saturday, November 13-19, 2016
Prayers are requested for Patty Seckel, Associate, of Clinton Township, Michigan; John Coleman,
Associate, of Adrian, Michigan; and Elvera Paul, Associate, of Waterford, Michigan.
Mary Bommarito, Associate, of Grosse Pointe, Michigan: for her brother, undergoing cancer treatments.
Mary Lach, Associate, of Clinton Township, Michigan: for Evans, the husband of her niece. He is being treated for a rare cancer.
Sharon Carelli, Associate, of Henderson, Nevada: for her dear husband Charlie, who is being treated for cancer.
Jan Huvaere, Associate, of Harrison Township, Michigan: undergoing medical tests.
11:30 a.m. Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Madden Hall Dining Room
Great Lakes Monthly Associate Gathering
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
St. Basil, Roseville, Michigan
Yes, it is Election Day
---- a great day to gather for prayer.
Ritual of Commitment to Associate Life
3:00 p.m. Monday, November 14, 2016
Barry University Chapel, Miami Beach, Florida
We will be welcoming Christopher (Kit) Starratt, Gerene (Gerry) Starratt,
Carmen McKrink, and Michael Provitera
Presentation on Associate Life to Barry Co-workers
Noon Thursday, November 16, 2016
Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida
Meeting with Prospective Associates
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Boca Raton, Florida
Meeting with Prospective Associates
Friday, November 18, 2016
West Palm Beach, Florida