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Staying “in the Clay”

Mary Helen (Call) RowlandAssociate Spotlight
Mary Helen Rowland


“All through my 28 years as a potter, God has helped me stay in the clay even through the busy-ness of life,” says Mary Helen (Call) Rowland, a second-generation Springfield Dominican Associate who lives in Weston, Va., and travels frequently to her hometown, Springfield, Ill. Through the years she has used her skill to provide pottery crosses worn by RCIA catechumens, candidates, and confirmandi, and she has design altar pieces for Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian and 7th Day Adventist faith communities.

Mary Helen made her commitment in 2021, following in the footsteps of her now-deceased mother Helen, who was drawn to the associate program by her sister—Mary Helen’s aunt—Sister M. Thomasene Dunham.

When Mary Helen learned about the pottery ministry and studio our late Sister Mary Frances Gorman established at Jubilee Farm, she proposed, as part of her associate commitment, making pottery pieces to sell at the gift shop there. All proceeds from the sale of her work help to sustain Jubilee Farm.

In addition to sharing her gifts as a potter Mary Helen volunteers with people who are homeless and is studying and acting on the corporate stances of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield regarding human trafficking and racial justice. She says she has discovered a more vibrant prayer life since becoming an associate and she enjoys the virtual workshops and retreats available to her as an associate.

“As a Dominican Associate I have the opportunity to assist the Sisters in their Mission while growing in faith and life myself,” she says. “It is a privilege to be an active member—a Dominican Associate—of this Dominican community.”

1 thought on “Staying “in the Clay””

  1. Sr. Marilyn Jean

    Mary Helen, your gift of being a Potter reflects the beauty of who you are. I am so proud of you and I know Sr Thom and your dear mother are rejoicing in your experience as a Dominican Associate. Thank you for sharing your self with all of us. As you know, we have known each other for many years. I continue to admire your spirit of kindness and generosity. May you continue to be blessed in your journey.

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