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Adrian Dominican Sisters Assist Where Needed

The Adrian Dominican Sisters, through the generosity of their prioress, Sr. Donna Markham, OP, have been a visible and lively presence in the New Orleans area. They are here assisting the Eucharistic Missionaries, the St. Mary’s Dominicans, the friars of the Southern Province and the people of New Orleans. They have volunteered their time and energy to help in any way they are needed.

Visiting a family in East New Orleans

Planning the visitations in East New Orleans

One house in ten is occupied and many residents are struggling to rebuid while living in FEMA trailers.

There is a time and a season for everything, says Ecclesiastes. And the image of seasons has deep resonance for Sr. Mary Ann Caulfield, OP. Caulfield is one of several sisters from the Adrian Dominican Congregation who has come to New Orleans recently to assist in the recovery efforts and ministry of the Southern Province. Sr. Mary Ann says that in her time here she sees the people experiencing the seasons of life-- sometimes they experience dryness and difficulty of winter, other times it’s the newness, growth and hope of summer.

Sr. Mary Ann has been missioned to Xavier University of Louisiana to work in Campus Ministry with Jeffery Ott, OP (Chaplain) and the campus ministry staff. She ministers to the needs of the faculty by being a pastoral presence in a time of great chaos and upheaval in their lives. “I wanted to share my gifts of listening and emotional support,” says Caulfield, who is still on sabbatical after being Chapter Prioress for six years. “I thought I could be of some assistance, especially since I lived in nearby Slidell and worked in education there.”

Other Adrian sisters are working with the friars in their various ministries. Srs. Margaret Lane, OP and Marilyn Uline, OP, are ministering with the friars at St. Thomas More Parish at Tulane University. Srs. Carol Johannes, OP, and Celine Regan, OP, work in the community of St. Dominic Parish. Not only here to assist the friars, Sr. Carol Louise Hiller, OP, serves the community at St. Mary’s Dominican High School. Sr. Joan Mary serves the elderly residents, including retired priests and religious at Chateau de Notre Dame. At St. Maria Goretti, a parish in New Orleans East, Srs. Eileen Meyers, OP, Noreen O’Connell, OP, and Mary Elizabeth Crimmins, OP, minister with the Sisters from the Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Dominic in a door-to-door effort to support the people who are rebuilding in the area.

In the outpouring of help to New Orleans, Sr. Donna Markham, OP, sent a letter to the whole congregation asking for sisters to help the Dominican Family and the people of New Orleans. There was a great response to the call, says Sr. Kathy Nolan, OP, Councilor of the congregation who was asked to mission or send the sisters to various Dominican ministries in the city. “The sisters really want to be here,’’ said Nolan. “All of them are very gifted women who bring a diverse set of skills and abilities from their years of ministry.”

The sisters have found their time in New Orleans to be a blessing. “It’s amazing to see the people here at Xavier,” says Sr. Mary Ann. “They have been overwhelmingly open and gracious with their hospitality.” Among the things that have impressed Caulfield the most is the faith of the people here. “These people are living that faith to the fullest in order to get through it. They need God who is greater than all the heartache and tragedy they are going through, otherwise they wouldn’t make it,” she says.

“It’s the faith of the people that keep this city alive,” said Caulfield. “And this is a time for me of reverencing their lives and their witness.”

Jeffrey Ott, OP (St. Martin)



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