Dominican Sisters Conference Announces Interim Director

Mary Ellen O’Grady, OP

February 24, 2020 — The Executive Committee of the Dominican Sisters Conference is pleased to announce that Mary Ellen O’Grady, OP (Sinsinawa) will serve as the Interim Director of the DSC as of April. She will serve in this role while a Search Committee begins its work to name a new Executive Director. The former Executive Director, Sr. Pat Farrell, OP, has taken a position at Santa Sabina Retreat Center, San Rafael, CA. Pat will conclude her DSC service March 22.

Mary Ellen brings a great deal of experience to the DSC, having served for 13 years as the Executive Director of the Dominican Leadership Conference, prior to the creation of the DSC. From 2011 to 2014 she was the Coordinator of the OPSCC (Dominican Sisters in Committed Collaboration). Her academic background is in education and administration. She currently serves on the Relationships for Mission (RFM) Team of the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa and she will conclude that role this summer. Mary Ellen will coordinate the work of the DSC from her office in Madison, WI. 

Toni Harris, OP, Sinsinawa Prioress said, “We believe that Mary Ellen’s competence, experience and energy will provide her with the capacity to transition from the Relationships For Mission Team as well as to provide this important interim support to the DSC.”

MaDonna Thelen

The Executive Committee is also pleased to announce that Dominican Associate MaDonna Thelen will keep abreast of operations at the DSC office in Oak Park, IL. MaDonna lives in LaGrange, IL and brings a deep commitment to Dominican Life and Mission. MaDonna formerly served as the Director for Community based Learning at Dominican University, River Forest, IL.

DSC President, Anne Lythgoe, OP (Peace) commented that both Mary Ellen and MaDonna, “have a wonderful energy together and we are most grateful that they will collaborate with the Executive Committee to guide the DSC through this transition time. We look forward to working with them and we express our great gratitude to Pat Farrell, for her service to DSC.”

DSC will continue to publish news and In Memoriam, and will keep DSC members informed of news and events through the DSC list-serve.