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Sister Elaine LaBell

“I feel very grateful for the Sisters and Leadership Team as we all are living through the experience of the pandemic. Everyone gives from their experiences from their living on mission.”

I was born to Laura and Oliver LaBell on July 5, 1942 and grew up in Ossineke, Michigan. I graduated from Alpena Catholic High School in 1960 and immediately entered the Dominican Sisters~Grand Rapids.

It is sixty years now of life as a Dominican Sister. Our class was the first to live at the House of Studies once it was completed. I lived there for my studies at Aquinas and a hiatus of studies at Mercy Central School of Nursing. With discernment, I returned to Aquinas which led to continuing for a degree in biology and chemistry.

I earned a BA at Aquinas College, a Certificate of Theology from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin and an MA in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University, Chicago.

I taught in South Haven, and then in high schools for fourteen years in Traverse City, Mt. Pleasant, Bay City and Manistee. I founded, and for six years directed, the Bay City Vicariate Youth Ministry Program which served eight parishes.

My ministries included: Diocesan Educational Minister in Catechist Formation, Advanced Certified Parish Catechetical Leader and membership on the Diocesan Pastoral Councils for the Saginaw and Lansing Dioceses. I served as Pastoral Manager at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Otisville, Michigan from July of 2003 through 2013.

In the transition from one ministry to another, I was privileged to receive the special education and workshops needed to have a good preparation for the change in the style of mission life. Our congregation was very supportive of me to receive what I needed. I found my life in the parish very affirming. It was a time for happy and meaningful exchange! Both the youth and adults were a great support. Whether it was youth rallies, youth retreats, clown ministry, quilt making in group settings, advent tea luncheons, or red hat gatherings… all were important and enjoyable! Training catechists, RCIA, visiting the sick and homebound, being present to the dying, and accepting the role as presider when the occasions called for it (non-sacramental, of course). Each occasion called for a different style of attention.

My life as a Dominican has been varied as I found myself in group living of different sizes and then living alone. I was very aware of the importance of sharing the ministerial life with the parishioners. Many different needs! Keeping in contact with our community calendar was also important! I feel very grateful for the Sisters and Leadership Team as we all are living through the experience of the pandemic. Everyone gives from their experiences from their living on mission.

Today, I am Formation Director for the Dominican Sisters~Grand Rapids, guiding the formation of women discerning vocation. I enjoy knitting and quilting and am a member of the Dominican Institute for the Arts and my artistic handiwork has been shown in various art exhibits.

2022 – 61 Years a Sister

Prayer Ministry

Pray for those discerning religious life

Sister Elaine leads the people in prayer at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Otisville, Michigan.

Sr. Elaine enjoys knitting and quilting and is a member of the Dominican Institute for the Arts and her artistic handiwork has been shown in various art exhibits.

Many of Sr. Elaine’s handiwork can be found in the hallways of the Marywood Motherhouse.

As Director of Youth Ministries, Sr. Elaine, was the first leader a program integrating seven Saginaw Diocese parishes. “… my chgoal was to identify youths with leadership gifts and provide a support system for training and nurturing those gifts.” … “They carry with them an endless flow of creativity… and enthusiasm.”

Training catechists, RCIA, visiting the sick and homebound, being present to the dying, and accepting the role as presider when the occasions called for it (non-sacramental, of course) were all part of Sr. Elaine’s various ministries. Each occasion called for a different style of attention.

In ministry with Sister Elaine LaBell, OP

Dolls and Critters Made with Love

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Sister Inspiration: Elaine LaBell, OP

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Commitment Ceremony Dominican Associates 2019

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A New International Collaborative

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Dominican Sisters Grand Rapids 2021 Jubilarians

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Photo Gallery Associate Commitment 2019

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Committed Dominican Associates Welcomed

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Forward in Faith: Toward a Future Full of Hope

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Grand Rapids Dominican Associates and Sisters Reflect on Community

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