Sister Michael Ellen Carling

Three Promises to Keep written by our Sister Mona Schwind†, seems appropriate when the time has come to celebrate a seventieth jubilee as a Grand Rapids Dominican.

I dreamt a vow last night
and its name was Poverty –
frightening in its austerity
until I woke to Plenitude

I dreamt a vow last night
and its name was Chastity –
frightening in its solitude
until I awoke to Love

I dreamt a vow last night
and its name was Obedience –
frightening in its consequents
until I awoke to Liberty

Jubilarian 2023 – 70 Years a Sister

In the Summer 2022 issue of Occasional Papers, published by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the theme was Recapturing Our Original Love.

Recently, I came across a photo that took me back more than seventy years and seemed to fit the above theme and the fact that sometimes the original draw comes through another person. This photo was taken on August 18, 1952, shortly before my coming to Marywood on September 8, 1952. I am pictured with Sister John Marie.

I first met Sister John Marie at St. Mary’s School in Muskegon shortly after V-J Day at the end of August in 1945. My friend and I went to school to help the new Sister who would be our seventh-grade teacher move the books, etc. from what had been the seventh grade classroom on the main floor to the classroom on the basement floor, which had been our sixth grade room the previous year.

Sister John Marie was an excellent teacher. She taught us how to diagram sentences, which I have used ever since. We also memorized the 48 (then) states and their capitals (which I cannot do now). But it was really during recess that we got to know her on another level. She played ball with us and even jumped rope once! She talked and visited with us and was very human.

She became my inspiration. I kept in touch with her and drove to see her shortly before entering, hence the picture. Sister John Marie and the Sisters at St. Mary’s led me to Dominican life.

2023 – 70 Years a Sister

Prayer Ministry

Pray for those with life-long illnesses, especially Multiple Sclerosis and mental illness.

Sister Michael Ellen compiled this book saying: “Mother Eveline Mackey was the first Mother General to begin to collect historical information: annals and mission lists began during her terms in office. This was in 1927, fifty years after our founding, so this book attempts to fill in and add to information about our early years during the tenure of Mother Aquinata.”  Read more

Mary Carling and Sister John Marie

Introducing students from Forest Hills High School and other visiting high schools is one aspect of Sister Michael Ellen’s ministry on the Archives Team for the Dominican Sisters Grand Rapids.

Michael Ellen, OP is a member of the Dominican Associate Life Advisory Board. She provide guidance and ideas for Associate Life and provides formation ideas for deepening the spiritual lives of our Associates.

Sister Michael Ellen’s ministry in the Archives Department of the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids makes her a welcome guest speaker.


In ministry with Sister Michael Ellen Carling, OP

Michael Ellen Carling, OP Announces New Book: Dominican Sisters Grand Rapids: 1877-1915


Dominican Sisters Grand Rapids 2023 Jubilarians


New Book Recognizes Shared History of Grand Rapids and Adrian Dominican Congregations


Mission & Ministry Magazine: Thankful for God’s Creation


We Honor and Celebrate Women of Vision and Courage


2019 National SisterStory Project Captures Stories About Sisters by Aquinas College Students


Dominican Associate Advisory Board


Sr. Michael Ellen Carling: Jubilarian 2023 – 70 Years a Sister


“Somewhere in the West” — An Archives Story Map Project