Rockford Diocese Welcomes New Dominican Associate
October 20, 2022
HUNTLEY—Patricia “Patty” Driscoll-Shaw was drawn to the Adrian Domincans sisters when she was only six years old. She says that while walking to school, she “loved walking behind the sisters and carrying their books and hearing them laugh.”
Now, in the Diocese of Rockford, she serves the Michigan order as an Associate. 
Driscoll-Shaw is one of four new Associates who were commissioned by the Dominican Sisters of the Third Order of St. Dominic on Aug. 28 during a Ritual of Acceptance held via Zoom. 
Associates are women and men at least 18 years old who feel called to the Dominican charism and who make a non-vowed commitment to associate themselves with the Adrian Dominican sisters and with other Associates. While maintaining their independent lifestyle, they are invited to share in the sisters’ mission, ministries, and spiritual and social activities.
Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life, led the Ritual of Acceptance, calling on the mentors to introduce the prospective Associates and asking the Associates for the reason they answered the call to become an Associate. 
Driscoll-Shaw, now of Huntley, is a former Adrian Dominican sister. Sister Esther Kennedy, OP, her mentor, described Patty’s 32 years of ministry as an Adrian Dominican sister, serving as nurse and as a healthcare advocate for people in need in Peru, Guatemala, Panama, and Honduras. At times, she even rode on donkeys and horses to reach patients in remote areas.
She discerned becoming a Maryknoll associate to continue mission work. While serving in Guatemala, she met a Maryknoll missionary, Dan Driscoll, whom she married. 
She used her skills as a nurse practitioner to help those with little access to healthcare and trained nurses to meet the needs of marginalized people. She and Dan have also served in social justice ministry and in marriage preparation and other parish ministries in the Chicago area.
Initially, the Adrian Dominican sisters’ laughter and lightness drew Driscoll-Shaw to the order. Yet she also discovered a depth that leads the sisters to be involved in social justice work. 
“The depth brings us to various ministries in the mission but always with the presence of our God,” she says. 
Also welcomed as Associates were Jane Bertsch, who serves in literacy training and hospice care in West Palm Beach, Fla.; James Mallare, a licensed public health practicioner at Wayne State University in Detroit; and Danoushka Capponi, Director of Educational Programs for the nonprofit organization Global Empowerment Mission, now living in Miami. 
Candidates for Associate Life undergo a period of formation when they study Dominican history and spirituality and come to know the mission and vision of the Adrian Dominican sisters. 
—Provided by Barbara Kelley, OP. For information about joining Associate life, contact Mary Lach, Director, 517-266-3531,; or Associate Nancy Mason Bordley, Director of the Office of Dominican Charism, 517-266-3534 or
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