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Coming Events

Jubilees in June
Tacoma Dominicans: 2012 Jubilarians

This year’s jubilee celebration for the Dominican Sisters of Tacoma, Washington, is scheduled for Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 1 p.m. at Mount St. Vincent Chapel in Seattle. The celebration is one of the culminating events of the community assembly being held June 21-23. The congregation is also celebrating the 125th anniversary of its founding in Pomeroy, Washington.

2012 Jubilarians

70 Years
Sister Imelda Romei, OP

60 Years
Sister Agnes Conlon, OP (Mary Clementia)
Sister Agnes Huck, OP (Mary Lawrence)
Sister Marie Murphy, OP (Mary Finbarr)
Sister Ann O’Sullivan, OP (Mary Daniel)
Sister Joan Wales, OP (Mary Harold)

50 Years
Sister Margaret Kelly, OP (Mary Richard)
Sister Emerita Tejano, OP
Sister Connie Walsh, OP (Mary Samuel)

Sister Imelda Romei (70 Years)
Sister Imelda, a native of Seattle, attended Mt. Virgin School and Immaculate High School. Following graduation, she entered the Dominican Sisters of Tacoma at Marymount.

Her many years of teaching brought her to San Diego and Bakersfield in California and to Seattle and Tacoma in Washington. Sister Imelda says, “I have always loved teaching and most of my teaching years have been in First Grade and High School.” In 1962 and 1963 she was co-principal at Garces Memorial High School in Bakersfield. It was at that time she was asked if she would consider going on to graduate school for a degree in French preparing to teach in the College of Sister Formation. Following graduate studies, she was assigned to Aquinas Academy where she taught music and French. Following classes at Aquinas, she taught French to the sisters in the College of Sister Formation, Tacoma campus.

Sister Imelda taught at Aquinas when it was housed at Holy Cross and Mount St. Dominic in Tacoma while the “new” Aquinas was being built (1955-1957). She also was one of the sisters who moved from the “old” Aquinas Convent on “I” Street to the new St. Patrick’s Convent (1968) in Tacoma. Before retiring from teaching, she spent 10 years at St. George’s in Seattle – five as a teacher and five working in the office. Today she resides at St. Joseph Residence, Seattle.

According to Sr. Imelda, “She was initially attracted to the sisters by what they were doing,” and 70 years later she says, “It has been a good journey and as a community we are still meeting the needs of today.”

Sister Agnes Huck (Mary Lawrence, 60 Years)
Sister Agnes Huck, a native of Yakima, Washington, attended St. Paul’s Elementary School and St. Joseph’s Academy in Yakima. Following graduation in 1950 she entered the Dominican Sisters of Tacoma.

“This congregation provided me opportunities for ministry and education far beyond what I could have imagined in my early years. The degrees I was privileged to earn at Central Washington University, Gonzaga University and Notre Dame University made it possible for me to minister in education and administration. The combined experiences of classroom teaching and school administration plus experience in the Educational Offices of both the Seattle and Denver Archdioceses were helpful when I was elected to the Leadership Team for my religious community, a position I served in for 12 years.

“I continue to be inspired by my sisters for their ability in very difficult present day circumstances to continue to minister to God’s people. I am most proud of the community efforts in the areas of Peace and Justice and of providing housing for the poor and indigent people of the Northwest. The concerns for women and children in the trafficking market and those who struggle with immigration issues make it imperative to continue our educational ministry.”

Most of Sr. Agnes’ professional and ministerial life was spent in Tacoma, Seattle, Walla Walla, Washington and in Denver, Colorado. She currently resides in Yakima.

Sister Ann O’Sullivan (Mary Daniel, 60 Years)
The Dominican Sisters of Tacoma opened St. Agnes Postulate in Crosshaven, County Cork, Ireland in the early 1950s. Sister Ann, the youngest of 11 children born to Margaret and Daniel O’Sullivan, began her religious life at that time. She earned her BA from St. Martin’s College in Lacey, WA and her MA from Central Washington State University in Ellensburg.

Following the completion of her novitiate in Tacoma, Sr. Ann’s first assignment was to St. James Cathedral to assist in taking care of the Archdiocesan priests that were assigned there. At that time, Sr. Ann was one of three sisters assigned to the Cathedral.

Sister Ann was then assigned to teach at various schools that were staffed by the Dominican Sisters. She spent her teaching ministry in geographic areas ranging from Western Washington to Southern California. She taught in the following schools: St. Edward, Seattle; St. Paul, Yakima; St. Vincent, San Diego; St. Patrick, Tacoma; Holy Cross, Tacoma; Holy Rosary, Tacoma; Assumption, Walla Walla; St. George, Seattle; St. Pius, Mount Lake Terrace. She was also the superior at St. Patrick’s Convent in Tacoma. On Saturdays and during the summer, she gave her time to the children that attended the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Program (CCD).

Sister Ann retired from full-time teaching after spending 12 years at Holy Rosary School, Tacoma, teaching second graders and preparing them for their First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. After retirement she substituted for the Tacoma Public Schools. She currently resides in Tacoma where she enjoys an active retirement of prayer and keeping in touch with her many friends especially in the Tacoma area.

Sister Joan Wales (Mary Harold, 60 Years)
“I always wanted to be a religious sister. My Great Aunt and my Aunt were members of the Dominican Sisters of Tacoma and the sisters taught at Lourdes Academy in Ellensburg where I went to school. I was impressed by the joyful spirit of the sisters and they became my special friends. After graduating from high school in 1951, I joined the community.” Following her novitiate at Mount St. Dominic, she pronounced her first vows in 1952 and her final vows in 1955.

During her years of ministry, Sr. Joan spent 32 years in the classroom as an elementary teacher and 21 years working for the Ellensburg Center of AARP and for the Washington Department of Social and Health Services. Sister Joan said, “My sense of mission has always been in the area of education and I have never regretted my ministry of teaching children. I have always found it enriching to meet children of various cultures and from different environments. Vatican II opened another avenue for me to exercise my preaching mission as a Dominican sister. I was able to be a lector and Eucharistic Minister in my parishes.”

During her years of teaching, Sr. Joan taught at St. Paul, Yakima; Our Lady of the Lake, Seattle; St. Francis, Bakersfield, CA; Assumption, Bellingham; St. Edward, Seattle; St. Mary, Centralia; Assumption, Seattle; St. Ann, Ridgecrest, CA; and St. Joseph, Yakima. She was also assigned to St. James Cathedral from 1954-1956. She currently resides at St. Joseph Residence, Seattle.

Sister Agnes Conlon (Mary Clementia, 60 Years)
Sister Agnes, a native of County Sligo, Ireland, tells the story of how as a young woman in Ireland, she went to daily Mass at the Dominican Priory and “really” liked the black and white habit! She entered the Dominican Community in Crosshaven, County Cork, Ireland in January 1951. Several months later she and her companions traveled to the United States and she completed her novitiate at Mount St. Dominic, Tacoma.

After 40 years of classroom teaching, Sr. Agnes changed her ministry from teaching to day care and later to Catholic Community Services providing non-medical in-home care for aging and disabled adults. Her teaching assignments took her to Holy Rosary, Seattle; St. Patrick, Tacoma; Our Lady of the Lake, Seattle; St. Paul, Yakima; St. Mary, Centralia. In California she taught at St. Francis, Bakersfield; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Bakersfield; St. Ann, Ridgecrest; St. LaSalle, Reedley; St. Aloysius, Tulare; and Thomas McCarthy, Hanford.

Sister Agnes currently resides at St. Joseph Residence in Seattle where she keeps busy taking pictures, painting and making jewelry. According to Sr. Agnes, “I am grateful that I followed God’s invitation 60 years ago. Over the years I have felt dedicated, challenged, happy and curious but I have never doubted God’s love for me.”

Sister Marie Murphy (Mary Finbarr, 60 Years)
Sister Marie recalls that it was the example her mother and father gave praying the rosary with the family every day, and the way they looked out for neighbors and the poor that instilled in her a love of her faith and a desire to serve God. When she heard her second grade teacher recite Jesus’ words “Go out and make disciples of all nations” Sr. Marie knew God was speaking to her.

Sister Marie, a native of Macroom, County Cork, Ireland, entered the Dominican Sisters of Tacoma in Crosshaven, County Cork, Ireland shortly after her graduation. Upon arrival in Tacoma, she completed her novitiate at Mount St. Dominic.

Her teaching assignments have been St. Mary, Centralia; Holy Rosary, Seattle; Lourdes Academy, Ellensburg; St. Paul, Yakima; Marymount Academy, Tacoma; Mt. Virgin, Seattle; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Bakersfield; Our Lady of the Lake, Seattle; St. Edward, Seattle; and Queen of Angels, Port Angeles.

Sister Marie received a Master of Arts degree in religious education from Seattle University and taught Religious Education (CCD) in most of the schools in which she taught. From 1975-1977, Sr. Marie took a break from classroom instruction and worked at St. George Parish in Seattle as a community organizer. Throughout her religious life, she has been a strong advocate for peace and justice issues.

In 1992 Sr. Marie moved to Immaculate Conception Parish in Arlington where she was the Director of Religious Education for 11 years. In 2000 she received the Seattle Archdiocese’s Catechetical Leadership Award for her more than 40 years in the ministry of faith formation. Sister Marie currently resides at St. Joseph Residence where she still enjoys singing and dancing, especially the Irish variety!

Sister Margaret Kelly (Mary Richard, 50 Years)
A native of Killargue, Manorhamilton, County Leitram, Ireland, she and other companions first entered at our Postulate in Crosshaven Ireland and then traveled to the United States in September 1957. She pronounced her first vows in 1962 and her final vows in 1967. Sister Margaret graduated from St. Martin’s College in Lacey, WA and from Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles where she received her Masters’ degree in education.

Her years of ministry include teaching and parish ministry. In Washington Sr. Margaret taught at Holy Cross, Tacoma and Holy Rosary, Seattle. In California she taught at St. Hyacinth, San Jacinto; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Bakersfield and St. Francis, Bakersfield.

Following our renewal in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s Sr. Margaret felt the call of the Spirit to begin a new path in her ministerial life. For the next 33 years she has been engaged in parish ministry including Director of Religious Education and RCIA preparation. For the last 14 years she has been active in Catechetical and Pastoral Ministry at Mission San Diego de Alcala in San Diego.

Sister Emerita Tejano (50 Years)
Sister Emerita (Emmy) grew up in a loving, deeply religious family who were active members of their church organizations. Her elementary and secondary years were at St. Joseph College in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines. Sister Emmy entered the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine in the Philippines in 1960. She completed undergraduate and graduate work in biology. After a number of years of teaching in the Philippines and in Hawaii, she became a College Dean at Siena College, Quezon City, Philippines. In 1988 she traveled to Hanford California and there met Sr. Agnes Conlon.

As Sr. Emmy began to know the Dominicans from Tacoma, she became attracted to their spirit and felt the call to transfer from a Dominican community in the Philippines to the Tacoma Dominican Community, a process she completed on January 1, 1993.

After teaching and working as a medical lab technician, Sr. Emmy began a long ministry with the Asian Counseling and Referral Service in Seattle. “I have been working as Case Manager for 19 years at the Asian Counseling and Referral Service. I love my ministry of assisting to the needs of the marginalized elderly Filipino immigrants and Filipino Americans. I assist them in everything from finding in-home services to becoming naturalized citizens to providing supportive counseling when necessary. I actively participate in gatherings to fight against injustices, e.g. going with the elderly to the Legislative Day in Olympia, to participating in the immigration day parade. In my religious community I am a member of the Immigration Committee and the Vocation Committee.”

When asked why she chose to transfer to this community, Sr. Emmy said, “The sisters were very hospitable and welcoming. They lived simply and weren’t afraid to take risks for the sake of the Gospel.
Like the other jubilarians, Sr. Emmy is excited for her 50th Jubilee and looks forward to celebrating not only with her religious community but with her family and friends in the Filipino community.
“I thank God for their support and for the many blessings I have received in my life.”

Sister Connie Walsh (Mary Samuel, 50 Years)
Sister Connie, a native of Eastern Washington, encountered the Tacoma Dominicans at Lourdes Academy in Ellensburg WA. Later the family moved to Western Washington where she completed her grade school at St. Michael’s in Olympia, and High School at Aquinas Academy in Tacoma. She pronounced final vows in 1967. After graduating from the College of Sister Formation, Seattle University, she embarked on her professional and ministerial years of service.

As a primary teacher, she taught at Our Lady of the Lake, Seattle; St. Paul, Yakima; Mt. Virgin, Seattle; St. Mary, Centralia; and St. Patrick, Tacoma. The leadership of the Community asked her to be the corporation bookkeeper for a number of years at Marymount, our motherhouse. Later she went with Sr. Pauline Igoe, OP, to Nelson Island, to work for and with the Native peoples of Alaska. During the early 1990’s she worked for the Intercommunity Fund for Ministry. Following this she began a long period of service (18 years) at Our Lady Queen of Heaven, Tacoma, as bookkeeper before retiring in 2009 to devote herself once again to community work as corporation bookkeeper.