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Sister Dolores (Carmelita) Catanach

What first drew you to the Racine Dominican community?
I guess I was quite young when I first said I wanted to be a sister. Over the years my dad would ask me if I still wanted to be a sister and my answer was always “yes.” I was drawn to the Racine Dominican community because of the women who taught me in first through ninth grades. I saw them as happy women who really enjoyed what they were doing. They were very good teachers, and they were friendly and could have a lot of fun. So after high school, I left home and traveled by train to Chicago, found my way to the North Shore Station, and when I arrived in Racine I called a cab that took me to 1209 Park Avenue. For a person who had never traveled, it is amazing all went as smoothly as possible. All I can say is that I was meant to be here.
What has kept you in the community all these years?
Over the past 50 years I have been challenged to learn what it means to be a Racine Dominican. This community challenges me, supports me, and gives me the strength to be “Committed to Truth and Compelled to Justice.” The dedication, spirit and love I see all around me is very life-giving and enables me to be all I can be and to do more than I could possibly have imagined.
What is one particularly cherished memory of your years in ministry?
I have many wonderful memories from my years as a teacher. The eagerness of young children to experience and learn new things, and their great excitement when they succeeded, was contagious. Teaching children with learning disabilities was more challenging, but also very rewarding. While I have not been in the retreat department nearly as long as I was in teaching, I already have many good memories that help me continue wanting to minister to the many people that come through our doors. It is awesome and humbling to know we are providing opportunities and space for individuals to deepen their relationship with their God.
What is one thing people today should know about the Racine Dominicans?
People should be able to see that the Racine Dominicans are a vibrant group of women who stay alert to the needs around them and continually seek ways to bring about a world where justice and peace prevail.
What do you enjoy doing at this time of your life?
At this time I am still very actively working in the retreat center and really enjoying it. I enjoy reading and having time to do my crafts, such as counted cross stitch and making cards.