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Adrian Dominicans
Transfer of leadership celebrated July 3

Standing: Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, General Councilor and Vicaress; Sister Attracta Kelly, OP, Prioress; Sister Corinne Sanders, OP, General Councilor and (seated) Sister Julie Hyer, OP, General Councilor and Administrator; and Sister Kathleen Schanz, OP, General Councilor

The Adrian Dominican Sisters marked the transfer of leadership to a new Prioress and General Council during a special Eucharistic Liturgy held on July 3 at St. Dominic Chapel, (formerly Lumen Ecclesiae Chapel), at Siena Heights University. Taking office were Sister Attracta Kelly, OP, Prioress; Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, General Councilor and Vicaress; Sister Julie Hyer, OP, General Councilor and Administrator; Sister Corinne Sanders, OP, General Councilor; and Sister Kathleen Schanz, OP, General Councilor. The new General Council, elected in February during the Congregation’s 2010 General Chapter, will serve for six years.

In Sister Attracta’s reflection during the liturgy, she spoke of the “graceful self-forgetting” of the Blessed Virgin Mary in her “yes” to God. Women who are called to leadership in the Congregation—and the sisters in the Congregation—must demonstrate that same quality in their lives of service and in their efforts towards the transformation of the world. She challenged the Adrian Dominican Sisters to live out the four commitments set forth by General Chapter 2010: to live simply and sustainably, to study worldviews and emerging theologies; to deepen their understanding of diverse cultures and belief; and to claim their moral authority to speak truth in Church and society.

Sister Attracta, a native of Ireland, came to the United States at the age of 18 and ultimately joined the Adrian Dominican Congregation. She served as a teacher and a community leader before being elected to serve on the General Council from 1986 to 1992. While on the General Council, she was moved by the plight of refugees who fled from civil wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua and were refused asylum in the United States. After her term in office, Sister Attracta attended the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University of America to specialize in immigration law. In 2001, she was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court. She served as an attorney, director, and mentor at the Immigrants Legal Assistance Project of the North Carolina Center for Justice for 11 years before being elected Prioress.

Sister Tarianne has taught at the elementary and junior high levels; ministered as a marriage and family therapist and workshop facilitator; directed Beginning Experience International, which offers weekend experiences to help people suffering from divorce, separation, or widowhood; and served as president of Dominican High School and Academy, an Adrian Dominican-sponsored school, until the school was closed in 2005. For the past four years, Sister Tarianne has ministered at the Diocese of Prince George in British Columbia, Canada, as a marriage and family therapist; coordinator of diocesan social justice programs; and core trainer for Returning to Spirit program, which offers reconciliation between the native peoples and the Church’s residential schools.

Sister Julie has spent most of her religious life ministering in the health care field. From 1974 to 1985, she served at Mercy Hospital in Detroit, holding progressively responsible positions. She was interim administrator of St. Rose Dominican Hospital, located in Henderson, Nevada and sponsored by the congregation, from July, 1986 to January, 1987. After a short period of ministering at the Mercy Sisters’ Health Care System in Detroit, Sister Julie took on the responsibilities of the President of Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, California, also sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. She left Dominican Hospital in 2006, then was asked to serve as president and chief executive officer of Salud Para La Gente, a community health care center in Watsonville, California. Her work there involved her in ministry with migrant workers. She holds a bachelor’s of science degree in medical records administration from Mercy College, Detroit; a bachelor of arts in mathematics from Siena Heights College (now University) in Adrian, Michigan; and an MBA with a concentration in finance from the University of Detroit.

Sister Corinne has spent a great deal of her religious life serving the congregation in administrative offices or in sponsored institutions. After making her profession in 1981, she taught and ministered at Kino Learning Center, Inc., a private K-12 school in Tucson, Arizona. From there, she served as the youth minister at St. John the Baptist Church in San Leandro, California. Sister Corinne then served the Adrian Dominican Congregation as Director of Mission and Ministry at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida, and, from 1999 to 2003, as Director of Formation, working with women who were discerning their call to religious life in the initial formation period of their ministries. For the seven years before her election to the General Chapter, Sister Corinne was principal of Rosarian Academy in West Palm Beach. During her tenure, she oversaw the construction of an athletic and fine arts building and the rededication of a chapel for school community worship. Sister Corinne holds a doctorate in organization and leadership.

Sister Kathleen has also served often in congregation-sponsored institutions. After teaching in schools in Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio, and Oakland, California, she was invited to teach at St. Joseph Academy on the Motherhouse campus. She served there for 11 years, first as a teacher and then as the principal. In 1989, Sister Attracta—then on the General Council—invited her to serve in the congregation’s Office of Ministry and Life Planning. From there, she served for eight years as the executive director of Weber Retreat and Conference Center, also sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. During this time, she developed contacts with the Lenawee County and Adrian communities; she served on the board of the Lenawee Chamber of Commerce for six years and was president in 2000. In 2002 she received the ATHENA Award in recognition of her leadership in mentoring women. The next year, Sister Kathleen worked for Athena International, helping to establish that organization in Chicago. She assumes her new leadership role with the Congregation after for serving for six years as executive director of United Way in Lenawee County.

The Adrian Dominican Sisters are a congregation of Catholic women religious in the Dominican Order. The Motherhouse is located in Adrian, Michigan. The congregation has 1,000 sisters and associates in 30 states and five countries who minister in areas of health, education, literacy, pastoral care, and in peace and justice issues. To learn more, visit www.adriandominicans.org.