Eight Women Called to Share Faith and Life with the Congregation

In ceremonies held in July and August, the lives of eight women with diverse backgrounds intersected as they followed God's call to continue discerning vowed life as Adrian Dominicans.

On July 26, Sara Bingham, of Escanaba, Michigan, and Thanh Nguyen, whose home of origin is Vietnam, were received as candidates during Evensong for Peace in Holy Rosary Chapel.

Sara Bingham and Thanh Nguyen
share in each other's joy after
being received as candidates.

Sara was born and raised in Escanaba. After graduating from high school, she felt drawn to the field of education, but changed her major to broadcasting while attending Central Michigan University. She worked at the national public radio station and the local PBS affiliate as a student, and upon completion of her bachelor's degree, accepted the position of news director at WLEN Radio in Adrian. Sara was particularly interested in presenting human interest stories for the station and came to know the Adrian Dominicans while interviewing Durstyne Farnan, OP, and Kathleen Schanz, OP. Regular visits to the Motherhouse soon drew Sara not only to the Congregation but also to Siena Heights University and to her present position as Director of Communications.

"I wish to walk with you, in the tradition of St. Catherine — on two feet, one with love of God and one with love of neighbor ... ", Sara stated. "It is through a mutually challenging and supportive relationship with the Adrian Dominican Sisters that I believe I will grow and come to fully comprehend and use my gifts in our world."

Thanh, and her twin sister Thu, are the third and fourth of seven children who grew up in central Vietnam. During the Communist takeover of the country, the Nguyen family moved to South Vietnam, and in 1992, their father was able to procure papers to emigrate to the United States. Thanh's parents and five of their children resettled in San José, California; one sister remains with her husband and children in Vietnam, and another sister lives in Australia with her husband and children.

Thanh and Thu became acquainted with the Adrian Dominicans while studying with Cecilia Nguyen, OP, for their master's degrees in social work at San Jos State University. The three of them worked together as counselors at the Asian Americans for Community Involvement Center in San José.

"I desire to become an Adrian Dominican Sister. I ask the Adrian Dominican Congregation to support me in my desire to have a deeper relationship with God daily and to perform his will in my life," Thanh stated.

In the presence of Adrian Dominican Sisters, Associates, friends and family, Suzanne Schreiber, OP, professed vows as an Adrian Dominican Sister for one year on August 2 during Evensong for Peace in Holy Rosary Chapel.

Sue Schreiber makes her statement in the presence of Nancyann Turner, OP, and Tarianne DeYonker, OP.

"My intent, my desire," Sister Sue said, "is to go deeper into God, through Jesus Christ, in prayer, study, community and ministry; to bring my gifts into harmony with the mission and vision of the Adrian Dominican Congregation, and to serve on the prophetic edge of our church and world, giving shape, color, texture, and voice to our life in mission. I want to give and receive, be and bring peace, continue to weave threads of relationship, and travel an authentic Dominican spiritual path as did our sisters who have gone before us. My desire is to walk lightly on the earth, and move from my life to our life as a professed Adrian Dominican Sister."

Sister Sue has been a teacher for most of her life at the elementary, high school and college levels. She has taught art, photography and religious studies, and has served as a campus minister. A musician and photographic artist, Sister Sue has shown her work in exhibits and at art fairs. From 1996 to 2001, she was the Assistant Dean of the Institute for Ministry at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

Elise García, Mary Jones and Jackie Stoll made their Rite of Reception into the Novitiate on August 4 in Holy Rosary Chapel. Each was given the Adrian Dominican Constitution as well as a preaching garment, a mark of the Order of Preachers and a symbol of connection with centuries of women and men who have followed in the steps of Dominic to praise, to bless and to preach.

The Congregation witnessed Jackie Stoll, Mary Jones and Elise García
enter the novitiate.

"Through this reception rite, Elise, Mary and Jackie enter more deeply into the process of discernment of vowed life with us and we, in turn, enter more deeply into a relationship of discernment with each woman," said Ellen Burkhardt, OP, Director of Formation. "Elise, Jackie and Mary will each receive a preaching garment and be named our sister today. Even more significant, these women will be connected with men and women, living and dead, associates and vowed members, as well as Dominicans yet to come who love what it means to be Dominican and are called to embrace our life."

Sisters Elise, Mary and Jackie will spend the next year in study, prayer and ministry, exploring Dominican life. Sister Elise will reside in Adrian, while Sisters Mary and Jackie will attend the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate (CDN) in St. Louis. Adrian Dominicans, Associates and co-workers gathered in front of the Motherhouse August 10 to bid farewell and offer their blessings to Mary and Jackie as they departed for their year at the CDN.

During a ceremony in St. Catherine Chapel on August 6, Margaret (Peggy) Coyne, OP, and Lorraine Reaume, OP, made their final profession of vows as Adrian Dominican Sisters. Each was given a ring symbolizing her permanent commitment as a vowed member.

Lorraine Reaume, OP, left, and Peggy Coyne, OP, prepare to profess their final vows.

"It is my intent to say a profound yes in professing my perpetual vows as an Adrian Dominican Sister," Sister Peggy said in her statement of intent. "Inspired, supported and encouraged by the Dominican women of Adrian and nourished by prayer, study, community and mission, I accept the challenge to live as a woman of the Gospel through the vow of obedience. I desire to continue my journey with my Adrian Dominican Sisters for the rest of my life, as we strive to seek truth, make peace and reverence life."

In her statement of intent, Sister Lorraine said: "I intend to live this life commitment to God and the Adrian Dominican Congregation with fidelity, passion, hope and trust. I intend to be faithful to the Dominican pillars of prayer, study, community and ministry and to maintain a spirit of itinerancy. I want to be a seeker of truth and promise to offer myself to be used as God's instrument, preaching boldly through my words and my life until the end of my days. I make this commitment in solidarity with my sisters and promise to continue to share faith and life with you. Ultimately, I seek to become the woman God made me to be, and I rejoice that I have found the path which enables me to say this full yes to our God."

For the past two years, Sister Lorraine has resided in Chicago, where she is studying for a master's degree in theology at Catholic Theological Union. She previously served as a campus minister at Siena Heights University. Sister Peggy is a pediatric nurse at Ranken Jordan Pediatric Rehab Center in St. Louis, where she cares for mentally and physically challenged children. She is pursuing a master's degree in nursing administration through Regis University.