Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Lorraine Ferguson funeral information

Dear DIA members,

We will celebrate Sister Lorraine Ferguson’s life on Monday, November 19, 2018 in the chapel of the Most Holy Rosary on the campus of Mount Saint Mary College, 330 Powell Avenue, Newburgh, New York.

There will be a viewing in the chapel beginning at 9:30 AM. The Wake Prayer Service will begin at 10:15 followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM.

Immediately after Mass, Lorraine will be buried in the Dominican Sisters' Cemetery in Newburgh.

A repast will follow at Alexis Diner on Route 9W in Newburgh.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!

Leadership Team
Dominican Sisters of Hope
299 N. Highland Avenue
Ossining, NY 10562-2327

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Death of Lorraine Ferguson

Hello Everybody,
Last evening, I received news that Lorraine Ferguson has returned to the Divine Artist.  She was a long time and faithful DIA member.  Lorraine had served on our Board and had been involved in past Gathering Planning Commissions.  She initiated the Artists' Retreat at the Mariondale Retreat Center and for many years organized and facilitated it.  Due to health issues, she no longer was able to join us for our annual Gatherings but this impacted neither her commitment to DIA nor her preaching God's work through the beautiful watercolors she created.  Recently, she told two of our members who visited her: "My rollator is my easel".
In her recent Art Series, she shared her art images that had emerged through prayer and contemplation.  This series was so well received, she was invited to add four more paintings with accompanying contemplative questions which has been published as a personal journal and is currently available through  No small feat for a 92 year old..
At our recent Gathering, Lorraine received, in abstentia, the 2018 DIA Spirit Recognition Award.  It is presented to a person who not only embodies the spirit of the Dominican Institute for the Arts but also has served it well.
In a recent note that Lorraine wrote me, she said that DIA would always be in her heart and prayers.
Let us now hold Lorraine in our hearts and prayers along with the Dominican Sisters of Hope as they lay to rest a beloved member of their Congregation.
Your memories, thoughts and prayers may be sent to DIA member, Connie Kelly who is a member Hope's Leadership Team.  Her email is

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Death in the family

On Jan 10, 2018 11:03 AM, Pat Daly OPA wrote:
I just received word that Joella Miller's only sister, Patricia, went home to God this morning.  Please hold Patricia, her husband, Dick, their children , grandchildren and Joella in your thoughts and prayers as they all travel on this path in their journey of life.

Joella's contact information is:

                    Joella Miller OP
                    705 E. Siena Heights Drive  #3 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sr. Phyllis Mrozinski, OP
Entered eternal life on Sunday, July 23, 2017 at the age of 86 after 65 years of religious life.
Mass of Christian Burial:
Thursday, July 27, 2017 4:00 pm
at Dominican Chapel/Marywood.
Evening Prayer with Remembering:
Wednesday, July 26, 2017 7:00 pm
at Dominican Chapel/Marywood.
We commend Sister Phyllis to your prayers.

“For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.” (Eph. 2:10) This favorite scripture passage of Sister Phyllis Mrozinski applies to her personally as well as to her life as a creator of beautiful art works. Her handiwork, especially in her favored medium of clay, reflects a lifetime of dedication to God’s good works.
She was born in Bay City, Michigan on September 16, 1930 to Edwin and Martha Rytlewski Mrozinski, the third of six children. When she was an infant the family moved to Saginaw for her father’s employment. Her education began at St. Casimir School in Saginaw and continued at SS. Peter and Paul High School. During her senior year, she was Homecoming Queen. In high school she worked at St. Luke’s Hospital as a nurse’s aide and after graduation in 1948 she was employed as a telephone operator at Michigan Bell Telephone. In 1951 she turned down an offer to become supervisor of the business office to enter the Congregation eight days before her twenty-first birthday. Her sister Vicki had entered previously, and was a great source of information and inspiration. As a postulant, Phyllis was the oldest in a class of thirty. Recognizing her talent for art, Sister Leonora Gallagher exempted her from some domestic and garden duties to allow her time to make feast day and holiday cards as well as other art pieces. During this time she gained a love for prayer and “seeking first the kingdom of God.” On August 15, 1952, she entered the novitiate and received the name Sister Mary Fidelis of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The following August she was professed. Her first mission assignment was at St. Joseph, East Tawas, where she taught grades 5-6 for four years. From there she went to St. Mary, Charlevoix; Holy Rosary Academy, Bay City; Marywood; St. Mary Magdalen, Melvindale; and St. Joseph the Worker, Beal City. While teaching, she took summer courses to complete her BA degree with a major in English. At that time Aquinas College did not have an art major, so she took art classes at Siena Heights (Adrian) and Cardinal Stritch (Milwaukee) colleges. In every school to which she was assigned she taught art and her students won many awards for their art work.
In 1968, Sister Fidelis resumed the use of her baptismal name. In 1974 Sister Phyllis was called to be director of eleven Sisters under final vows who were missioned in western Michigan. She was also guest-mistress at Marywood, artist in residence, and assistant with secretarial work in the central office. She enjoyed designing brochures, flyers, and holiday greeting cards. She continued taking classes in the evening and summers and earned an MA degree in religious studies in 1982. She also accompanied Sister Amata Fabbro on a trip to Israel. At the age of fifty-five, Sister Phyllis requested and received permission to study art at Aquinas College, which by then had a four-year BFA program. Her sculpture instructor, Ron Pederson, recognized her natural talent in sculpture and advised her to make that her major. In her third and fourth years, she was his assistant. Then she accepted a commission to sculpt a life-size image of St. Thomas Aquinas, which she completed in 1989. This beautiful sculpture graces the entry of the main Academic Building on the Aquinas College campus.
Shortly after receiving her BFA she accompanied Sister Marie Celeste Miller, an art historian at Aquinas, on a five-week tour of major museums in Italy, France, the Netherlands, and England. For several years, Sister Phyllis held a part-time secretarial position in the Art and Music Center at Aquinas. Between 1992 and 1994 she served as secretary in the Student Activities office. In 1992 she revisited Europe on the Lands of Dominic pilgrimage. In 1994 Sister Phyllis became a full-time artist in residence at Marywood. In her studio there she created art pieces in both stone and clay models for bronze casting. Some of these, including her sculpture of St. Dominic, can be viewed at Marywood and Dominican Center. She served for several years on the Grand Rapids Diocesan Liturgical Art and Environment Commission. She served in a leadership position in the Dominican Institute for the Arts and created the Fra Angelico Award for the organization. This award was presented to Sister Phyllis in 2006. Devoted to the Eucharist, Sr. Phyllis was committed to participating in daily Mass whenever possible. She also loved the Rosary, and her creative life was clearly informed by her spiritual depth. She described her artistic impetus as a “drive from the core of her being.” She remarked that “in transforming a piece of stone I also am transformed.” Her quiet, secluded studio in the basement of Marywood was for her a sacred, contemplative space where she could indeed participate in that great handiwork of God, as both the beloved creation and the humble, heartfelt creator of good works.
Sister Phyllis will be remembered for her prayerful life, her gentle demeanor, and her works of art which were both vibrant and clear; symbolic and abstract. In life, and now in her new life, she was, and is, truly God’s beautiful handiwork – as her favorite Scripture passage foretold. 

Sr. Phyllis is survived by her sister Vicki (Duane) Balko; brother Chester (Susan) Mrozinski; and brother-in-law Alex Kryska all of Saginaw, MI; nieces and nephews, many friends and members of her Dominican community.

Friday, February 24, 2017

update on Irene Mary's Brother LOdy

Dear DIA sisters and friends,

Just sharing some update with my brother this past weekend....with my continued THANKS TO ALL PRAYERS, MESSAGES, AND MANY GESTURES OF LOVE AND CONCERNS.

My dear Sisters and Friends,
With prayers from you accompanying me and S.Carmel Marie, we drove  to Southern California Presidents' day weekend in between surges of brief showers and clear blue skies. Hwy 101 was a beautiful and captivating, safe, and scenic drive!

We reached our final destination to see my brother Lody and  consequently, 2 other siblings and their families. It was very good to see him although looking weak, pale, in tears and less communicative than his usual happy self. He is up walking with a walker, dragging the oxygen tube around the house and at one point attempted to cook for us...and he did cook "adobo" for me to take out/home the next day.

Since he came home, he had been visited by one therapist and a nurse from Mission Care.  As he said it, that's what they do, their job is a mission. I was impressed with the name they carry; a shadow of commitment and compassion!  I would have loved to meet one or all of them. The 2nd therapist is also scheduled  to come that very day we were leaving.  But we couldn't wait since we had to leave to beat the predicted heavy rain that day.

I trust and am truly grateful for what therapy and care he is receiving and the healing process he is working on. Edna and Nilda (wife and daughter) are giving so much sacrifice of time and energy and work over and above their own jobs and needs.. I've shared with them your messages of  support and prayers via email, etc. And for this, all in the family are deeply grateful, especially my brother who  gave a big smile when he heard of familiar names and even  recalled meeting you as a sister or a friend just from stories told about convent/community, or even more so,  from pictures.  THANK YOU/ SALAMAT PO!
He will have more chemo sessions for 5 weeks; 2x per week.  I don't know however, when this 2nd set will begin..Unfortunately, the chemo will be in Escondido which is so much further and quite a drive. Nilda would be the only one who could drive him, and she works on a midnight shift.. I just hope she can make some kind of reliable driving arrangement, especially taking her child to school
It was a brief visit yet comforting and reassuring just to see him. I know you will continue to bring him to our loving God to hold him and touch him with healing
love and strength.
With much love and thanks,

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Justice and Peace - Support to Flint Michigan

Our Children's art therapy and Creativity groups just made
beautiful pictures of support to children in Flint regarding 
their terrible struggle with toxic water. The children's messages
included all kinds of designs using water and expressing 
sorrow/concern for all that there families were going through. 
Many of them wrote letters of support and concern, also. 

Fortunately, the Dominicans have a woman's center right in 
Flint so that we had a particular group of mothers, grandmothers
and children to whom we could send our pictures and messages. 

 Nancyann Turner, OP 
Director: Rosa Parks Youth Program
Capuchin Soup KItchen
Detroit, MI 48215

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Death of Sister Jean Vianney - Obit

Dominican Sister of Peace Jean Vianney Norris (89) died on December 27, 2015, at Sansbury Care Center, St. Catharine, Kentucky.

She was born in Jamaica, NY on April 11, 1926 to Bartholomew and Letitia Cogin Norris. A Dominican for 69 years, Sr. Jean earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology/Chemistry/Math from DePaul University (Chicago, IL) and a Master’s of Science in Teaching in Biology/Secondary Education from Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA). She ministered as a teacher at St. Mary (McQuady, KY); St. Louis Bertrand (Louisville, KY); St. Bartholomew (Chicago, IL); St. Michael (Orland Park, IL); SS. Simon and Jude (Louisville, KY); SS. Simon and Jude (Brooklyn, NY); St. John Berchman (Chicago, IL); N. Cambridge Catholic High School (Cambridge, MA); St. Patrick High School (Charlestown, MA); Pope John XXIII High School (Everett, MA). Sister later became an Educational TV Consultant for the Diocesan Educational Office in Charlestown, MA. In 1997, Sister Jean was a Pastoral Team Member in Charlestown, MA.

In 2003, Sister moved to St. Catharine Motherhouse, St. Catharine, KY and provided community service. In 2006, she began a ministry of prayer at Sansbury Care Center, St. Catharine, KY.

Sr. Jean enjoyed painting, especially flowers and nature. Her paintings grace the hallways at Sansbury Care Center. She was a member of the Dominican Institute of the Arts.

Sr. Maureen Flanagan remembers Sr. Jean as “a woman with many hats.” She loved the classics and was an avid reader. For seven years she took a class of students to Europe and shared her love of art, music and the classics with her students.

Sr. Paschala Noonan said that Sr. Jean could have had a successful career as an artist, travel agent, seamstress or dress designer. Instead she spent 53 years teaching in country grammar schools and city high schools.

Sr. Jean recounted her teaching debut in a two-room school in McQuady, KY. “Life in McQuady was a culture shock,” the native New Yorker said. “No indoor plumbing, no central heating, no nearby stores. For three years I made a weekly seven-mile walk to get groceries. Meat was a luxury. From the children I learned how to manage a pot-belly stove, how to teach four grades in one room, and how to call a school holiday when the creek overflowed and the outhouses floated.”

Sr. Jean is survived by several nephews and one niece.

The visitation begins at 3pm, Wednesday, January 6, at the Sansbury Care Center Chapel. The funeral will be held at 10:30am, Thursday, January 7, at Sansbury Care Center Chapel. Burial will be at the St. Catharine Motherhouse cemetery.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Jean’s memory may be sent to Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr, Columbus, OH 43219-2098. To make a secure online donation or to view a full obituary, please visit