Dominican Sister Nadine Foley Was Former LCWR President

Sister Nadine

A funeral Mass will be celebrated May 19 in Adrian, Mich., for Dominican Sister Nadine Foley, a former president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) who also served as prioress of the Adrian Dominican Sisters. She died May 13 in Adrian at age 93.

She also served as U.S. delegate to the International Union of Superiors General, and served two consecutive four-year terms as the Adrian Dominican’s councilor general before becoming prioress.

She edited three books: “Preaching and the Unordained,” “Claiming Our Truth: Reflections on Identity by United States Women Religious,” and “Journey in Faith and Fidelity”; wrote two volumes of history of the Adrian Dominicans: “Seeds Scattered and Grown” and “To Fields Near and Far”; and a biography of the congregation’s longest-serving prioress, “Mother Mary Gerald Barry, OP: Ecclesial Woman of Vision and Daring.”

A Michigan native, she attended Siena Heights College (now University) in Adrian. She taught high school for eight years and college for nearly 20 years after that, at Siena Heights College and Barry College (now University) in Miami Shores, Florida; Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa; and Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. She also served as visiting professor of ecumenical relations at Harvard University in 1979.

As LCWR president 1988-89, she countered the notion that nuns were solely “interested in ‘women’s concerns,’” but instead “looking at the whole of Gospel concerns,” adding the LCWR reflects the concerns of the world. “We are in this world and we have responsibility to this world.”

She took exception to the use of the words “radical feminism,” “compensation” and “mission and consecration” as terms that cause “separation and alienation in the current questioning about the nature of religious life.” For someone to state that the Catholic Church is a “patriarchy” is “not to espouse a position of radical feminism,” Sister Foley said.

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