Sister Bettina Mollica OP

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Sister Bettina Mollica, OP

ADRIAN MI: Sister Bettina Mollica, Order of Preachers, died from cancer May 16, 2014, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. Bettina was 74 years old and had recently celebrated the 50th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

Sister Bettina was born in Mansfield, Ohio in 1939 to the late Anthony and Rosina (Villella) Mollica.

She is survived by her sister, Antonia (Daniel Jr.) Reese of Bellville, Ohio; and two brothers: Dr. Lewis (Janice) Mollica of Granville, Ohio and Attorney Gerald (Diana) Mollica of Athens, Ohio; Bettina is also survived by 10 nieces and nephews and their spouses: Julie (David), Daniel (Linda), Michael and James (Michelle) Reese, Anthony (Julie), Bettina (Randy), Lewis and Stephanie Mollica, Andrew (Dawn) and Angela Mollica; Bettina is also survived by 15 great-nieces and nephews and by Mansfield cousins Gino (Stefani) Mollica, Joseph (Barbara) Mollica and Bonnie (Ron) Mollica Rutti.

Bettina graduated from St. Peter's High School, Mansfield, Ohio. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from St. Francis College, Joliet, Ill., a master's degree in history from Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich; and a masters degree in spirituality formation from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Penn. She also earned several certifications in hospice care. She entered the Adrian Dominican order in 1962 and took her final vows in 1974 under the name Sister Mary Cabrini.

During her high-school years, Bettina avidly played tennis, winning several city league tournaments. She was the youngest tournament champion in Mansfield at the time. In 1952, at age 13, she won the Mansfield News Journal Open Girls Singles and was deemed by the News-Journal "a young racket wielder to watch at the 19th News- Journal city tennis tournament…one of the fastest rising young players." In 1953, she won the Woodland Tennis Club Women's Singles and again in 1953 and 1954 won the News-Journal Girls Singles championship.

Bettina began her teaching career in the Ontario School District, then, as an Adrian Dominican Sister, ministered throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois and Connecticut. She began her novitiate teaching history in several Detroit-area high schools. Later, she served in turn as campus minister for the Cleveland Diocese, Sacred Heart University, the College of Wooster, Ashland University, and the University of Illinois. She would become the Director of Campus Ministry at the Ohio Dominican College from 1983 through 1986. From 1986 to her death, she taught Spirituality-Formation to both college and medical students around the country.

She travelled extensively throughout the world, including visits to Italy, where numerous descendants of her parent's brothers and sisters still reside; and Africa, the home of fellow Dominicans, where she taught for several summers. She was remembered by family as having a wicked sense of humor, a dry wit, and a mean back-hand in tennis. She was generous to her family, devoted to her congregation, and eager to see what scenery the world had to offer.

Memorial services, Mass, and burial were held for the family and congregation on May 19th and 20th in Adrian, Michigan. She is buried among her congregation at the mother house in Adrian, Michigan.

Funeral arrangements were handled by Anderson Funeral Home, Adrian, Michigan.
Published in the News Journal from June 20 to June 22, 2014
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