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A Statement from the Racine Dominicans on the Verdict in the Chauvin Trial

April 16, 2021

The trial of police officer Derek Chauvin is over, and he has been found guilty on all three counts in the death of George Floyd. The family of George Floyd has shared their relief that our justice system has held the officer accountable for his actions.

And yet we know this is only the first step toward the real change our country needs to make.

In the wake of this verdict, and of the racial and political unrest that has plagued our country for far too long, we must first stop and pray. We pray for George Floyd, his daughter, his family and all those impacted by the decision. We pray for law enforcement and their families. We pray for our leaders in government as they pursue change. And we pray for long overdue reform to address the systemic racism that is built into far too many of our institutions.

And after we offer these prayers, we must act. Each of us must be an active part of the change that is critical to healing of our nation. This week, our Sisters and Associates pledge to do one thing to be a part of that change. Will you join us? Write a letter to your representatives and demand change. Have an uncomfortable conversation about race. Seek out organizations that are taking on the issue of racism and get involved. Support a Black-owned business. Real change begins with each of us.

Now is the time for bold and courageous action that brings about real change. Only then will we begin to heal our nation and our world. May this verdict be a step toward that healing.

The Racine Dominicans are Committed to Truth, Compelled to Justice, and we pledge to continue working to create a more just world for all.




Statement from the Racine Dominicans and Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR)

April 16, 2021

As we are seeing more frequently, our society’s respect and appreciation for the diversity that exists within the human family seems at times to be diminishing. News reports in these recent weeks are replete with stories and images of violence committed against Asian-Americans and persons across the spectrum of sexual orientation and gender identity. As the trial of Derek Chauvin continues this week, the reality of racial injustice looms before us. And today, news of another mass shooting makes us again raise questions about gun reform and access to mental health services.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), of which the Racine Dominicans are a member, has released a statement regarding this inequality and injustice. We give this our full support. Click on the link below to read the full statement.

“As we work to understand the differences among us, we also pledge ourselves to work towards both inclusion and equity. We believe that all people need to feel valued and connected, and that they belong. All people thrive in environments where their inherent worth is respected, and where they are safe to express their authentic selves. Inclusion helps us all know that we belong to something bigger – the reign of God, in our view as religious. At the same time, we will work to guarantee a society marked by fairness, equal access and opportunity, and justice for all people.”




Statement from the Racine Dominican Leadership on the shootings in Oconomowoc and Atlanta

March 19, 2021

We are saddened and troubled by the tragic shootings in Oconomowoc and Atlanta this week. We condemn the violence against Asian-Americans that has intensified in the last year and pray for an end to all violence against people because of their ethnicity, race, gender or religion. 

The Racine Dominicans have long fought against injustice, and we will continue to do the work of educating and advocating for people who are marginalized in our society. Our prayer today is for all of us to work together to create a world where our differences are seen as God’s most beautiful blessings.




Statement from the Racine Dominican Leadership on the Events in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021

January 8, 2021

The Racine Dominican Sisters and Associates are deeply saddened and shocked at the events which unfolded yesterday in our nation’s capital. We condemn the violent actions that sought to destroy the confirmation of our democratically elected President-elect and Vice-President-elect and, ultimately, our democracy itself.

Along with our fellow citizens, we yearn for a peaceful transfer of power and a return to the democratic values that founded this great nation.

In our increasingly divided country, we renew our commitment to the common good and pledge to take up the challenge to use our energy to repair our democracy and contribute to the work of building a more perfect union. Our Dominican Community lifts up our nation, citizens, and elected leaders in prayer today.




Celebrating our jubilarians amid a pandemic

On August 1, a sunny Saturday morning, the Racine Dominicans found a creative way to celebrate 18 women who have served the community collectively for 1,155 years!

Since March, all sisters living at Siena have virtually been quarantined inside the building, leaving only to attend important appointments (doctor, medical tests, etc.) and no one, including sisters living away from Siena, are allowed in the building. When a sister returns from an appointment, she is isolated for several days.

So many events have been canceled or postponed indefinitely during the COVID 19 crisis, the Executive Committee decided to seize the opportunity to give the sisters – jubiarians and everyone else – a bit of hope in this era that is so difficult for everyone.

See the Journal Times story about the jubilee celebration.

View a slide show from the celebration and meet some of our jubilarians.



Lighting the World with Truth

 All Human Life is Sacred | Immigration and Refugees
June 2019

S. Lois Aceto interviews S. Joyce Quintana






Racine Domincians new leadership team installed

Left to Right: Ss. Lisa Kane, Kathy Slesar, and Maryann McMahon

A new leadership team for the Racine Dominicans (Sisters of St. Dominic of Catherine of Siena) will assume office July 1, 2018. Ss. Maryann McMahon, Kathy Slesar and Lisa Kane will be the executive committee, leading the community of 112 sisters and 60 associates for the next four years.

S. Maryann McMahon will continue as president. S. Kathy Slesar becomes first vice president, and S. Lisa Kane will join the executive team as second vice president. S. Agnes Johnson, outgoing first vice president, has concluded 12 years in community leadership.

The sisters were elected to their leadership positions in February during the community’s Chapter of Elections, an all-community meeting in which the sisters also determine their focus for the next four years.

The executive committee installation will happen during a special ceremony at Siena Center June 23, concluding the community’s Chapter of Affairs.

S. Maryann McMahon served as vice president of the community for four years before working as executive director at HOPES Center. Prior to that, she served as director of new membership and had directed health services for the community for 10 years. S. Maryann, a Racine native, and Racine Dominican for 39 years, has ministered in health care capacities in Wisconsin and Mississippi.

S. Kathy Slesar, a Racine native, was the pastoral associate at St. Eugene’s, Fox Point, for seven years before being elected vice president in 2010. Prior to that, she directed vocation efforts for the community. She served as director of religious education for Racine’s St. Edward Parish for two years before taking her first vows as a sister, and after her vows, served at St. Joseph Parish, Grafton. She has been a Racine Dominican for 27 years.

After completing her Masters at Loyola University in 2005, S. Lisa Kane ministered as manager of a residential dual-diagnosis treatment program, an employment counselor, and mental health/substance abuse counselor and group facilitator in Waukegan, Illinois, Milwaukee and Racine, most recently working at Racine Neighborhood Watch. Born and raised in Northeast Wisconsin, she has been a Racine Dominican for 19 years.

Racine Dominican news, news features, notable events

"Ascension Living transfers Lakeshore Manor residents to Lakeshore at Siena" (Racine County Eye  |  July 20, 2018)  Lakeshore at Siena and Shorelight at Siena, located at 5643 Erie St. in Racine, is now part of Ascension Living.

"Ceremony honors 169,000 Wisconsin Vietnam War Vets" (WISN US  |  3-29-18) S. Linda McClenahan was included in news feature about a gathering at the Milwaukee Verterans Affairs Regional Office to mark National Vietnam War Veterans Day and dedicate a hallway to their service. Also, in 1973 on this day, the last troups left South Vietnam.

"Alternative energy sources overdue" (Journal Times  |  3-14-18) S. Janet Weyker, founder and former executive director of Eco-Justice Center, writes, " To breathe or not to breathe? That is the question faced by residents who live near We Energies' Oak Creek and Elm Road Power Plants..."

"LGBT people: Sisters are on our side!" (Global Sisters Report  |  1-2-18) Article describes the history of LGBT ministries among Catholic sisters includes the following excerpt: "Since the late 1990s, sisters have ministered among transgender people, healing spirits and saving lives. Members of several congregations   the Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Dominic, Racine Dominicans..." 

"Ascension Living to buy Shorelight Memory Care"(Journal Times  |  12-20-17) Ascension Living, one of the largest nonprofit and faith-based providers of senior services in the nation, has signed a letter of intent to purchase Shorelight Memory Care...

10thirtysix | Exclusive | Sister Michelle Olley |  12-20-17  — Sister Michelle Olley, a Racine Dominican nun, recently turned 90 years old. She talks about growing up in Racine and on a farm in Franksville. She also talks about dating and how her mother reacted when she told her she was becoming a nun. Watch Michelle Olley video.

"Ascension Living to purchase Shorelight Memory Care in Racine"
(Milwaukee Business News  |  12-20-17)

Plans to relocate Lakeshore Manor operations to Siena on the Lake campus

161 Leaders in the U.S. Catholic Community Deliver a Climate Change Letter to President Trump and Congress

"Policeman's Ball honors community"
(Journal Times  |  11-6-17)

S. Rose Marie Anthony receives recognition at the fourth annual Policeman's Ball for work to end human trafficking

"Racine Dominicans continue to fight human trafficking"
(Journal Times – 8-6-17)

Ss. Rose Marie Anthony, Ruth Schaaf and Jean Verber are interviewed.

Press Release: Siena Catholic Schools of Racine Names Brenda White as System’s First President; Also see, "Archdiocese announces president of Racine Siena schools" (Journal Times– 7-7-17)

"RPD tackles human trafficking with task force" (Journal Times – 7-3-17)
Article mentions, "...Dominican Sisters, who have provided strong community leadership against human trafficking in the past..."

"Archbishop explains big changes to area Catholic schools"
(Journal Times – 5-25-17)

"Collaboration is the Key to Success" (Catholic Herald, Milw. – 5-5-17)

"Get Lost in Quiet Stillness" (Catholic Herald – 2-16-17)

"Locals protest pipeline" (Journal Times – 12-2-16)

"Sister Oda Marie Degroot celebrated her 100th birthday..."
(Journal Times – 10-30-16)

"New Eco-Justice Center director settling into her new role"
(Journal Times – 8-14-16)

"Birthday: Bash, 100th" (Journal Times – 8-7-16)

"The transformative power of Tootsie Pops by Associate Mare Wheeler (published August 1, 2016, in Gobal Sisters Report 

"Bethany Apartments marks 25 years of providing sanctuary and strength" (Journal Times - 6-27-16) 

"635 years of service" (Journal Times – 6-25-16) 

"Handrow to lead Bethany Apartments" in Journal Times

"Racine Dominicans care for Earth through Eco-Justice Center" (Global Sisters Report, 4-18-16)

Read the Fall 2015 Dialogue Featuring the Accomplishments of S. Brenda Walsh, OP

"S. Janet Weyker at the Lakeside neighborhood parade" (Journal Times – 6-29-15) 

A Thanksgiving message from Associate Jan Jedlicka

Press Release: Wisconsin Sisters Confront Human Trafficking

Editorial from the Racine Dominican Leadership Team:
Racine Journal Times' article: Dominican sisters: Stop failed military interventions in Iraq

"Dominicans' Eco-Justice Center Reflects Pope's Concern for Earth" (Catholic Herald, 6-25-15)

"Blackboard Sessions: ajanet Weyker, Eco-Justice Center director" (Journal Times, 2-17-12)