“One of the most important things I’ve learned from this project is that the differences between people don’t really matter as much as we think they do,” wrote Erin Dwan in the first of her essays for the 2019 SisterStory project. Her writings are based on the evolving relationship with Verona Wangler, a Dominican Sister of Grand Rapids.
“The gap in age between me and Sister Verona, about 74 years, has faded into the background of our interactions. When we talk, I feel like the generational rift between us disappears and that we can both interact as equals and friends. Our variations in lifestyle, too, are also not as extreme as I had assumed they would be. Although Sister Verona is a Dominican Sister and I’m a student without deep connections to the Catholic Church, we had so much more in common than I expected. We’re both close with our siblings and we have the same quirky sense of humor.”
Erin and Sister Verona are just one of the pairs who met and formed friendships as part of this year’s national SisterStory oral history project.
Through story-sharing, Aquinas College students and Dominican Sisters are discovering the many ways that the characteristics that make us human are the ties that bind us together and transform us throughout a lifetime. Individual blog post links appear below. You can read all the stories at https://www.sisterstory.org/search/node/aquinas%20college%202019.
- Meet Erin Dwan and Verona Wangler, OP
- Paired with Sister Michael Ellen Carling, OP is Isabella Buck, a senior studying English, journalism and communication at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
- Maria Maguire is a senior at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Maria is majoring in mathematics and studying geography at graduate school. During the Spring of 2019 she was paired with Sister Mary Catherine Fodrocy, OP.
- Paired with Sister Mary Kay Oosdyke, OP is Rosa Lozano, a junior majoring in Communication with a minor in Theology and Women’s Studies at Aquinas College, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She has worked as a community organizer in urban communities helping to connect families and children with educational opportunities.
- Paired with Sister Tereska Wozniak, OP, is Kaela Frailing, a sophomore at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan currently majoring in Health.
- Sister Donna Jean Thelen, OP, was paired with Victoria Flowers, a sophomore at Aquinas College pursuing pursuing a major in English and a double minor in communication and women’s studies.