In Memoriam

Sister Virginia O’Reilly, OP


Sister Virginia O’Reilly, formerly known as Sister Joan Patricia O’Reilly, died on September 24, 2018, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 91 years of age and in the 75th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

Sister Virginia was born in Detroit to George and Alice (Hall) O’Reilly. She graduated from St. Joseph Academy in Adrian, and received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Barry College (University) in Miami Shores, Florida; a master’s degree in mathematics from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; a master’s degree in guidance from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian, and a doctorate in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco. 

Sister spent 28½ years ministering in education in Chicago and St. Charles, Illinois; Miami Beach, Florida; Rome, Georgia; and Detroit, Royal Oak, Adrian, and Madison Heights, Michigan. She was Chairperson of the Math Department of St. Dominic College in St. Charles, Illinois, from 1964 to 1967.

Sister Virginia ministered for 15 years as a psychologist and clinical psychologist in Montara, Los Altos, south San Francisco and Oakland, California; Port Huron, Michigan; Scotia, Schenectady, and Albany, New York; and Kensington, South Africa. Sister held the position of Director of Studies for two years and Director of Research for one year for the Adrian Dominican Sisters. 

Sister Virginia became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in 2005 and served for three years as library assistant. She is survived by a sister, Patricia Rush of Schenectady, New York, and was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Joan.

Welcome of Sister Virginia will be on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. in the Dominican Life Center lobby; the Wake will follow from 6:15 to 7:00 p.m. in the Rose Room. The Reception of the Body and Vigil Prayer will be at 7:00 p.m. in St. Catherine Chapel. The Funeral Mass will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel on Wednesday, September 26, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. Both the Vigil Service and the Funeral Mass will be live streamed. The Rite of Committal will be in the Congregation cemetery. 

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Anderson-Marry Funeral Home, Adrian.


Vigil for Sister Virginia (Joan Patricia):

Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.


Funeral for Sister Virginia (Joan Patricia):

Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.


Right: Sister Virginia in the arms of her grandmother, Detroit, August 1927

Left: Sister Virginia poses with her nieces, Virginia and Kathleen McNamara.

Left: Sister Mary Frances Coleman, left, Director of Education, and Sister Virginia O’Reilly, Regent of Studies, during General Chapter 1968.

From left: From left, Sisters Nelda Klein, Patricia Spangler, Frances Lombaer, and Virginia O’Reilly, probably celebrating Sister Virginia’s PhD. Sister Virginia teaches Sisters Jane Frances and Justina, delegates for their General Chapter, about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator through the use of tinker toys, Bedfordview, South Africa, December 1985.

From left: From left, Sisters Mary Louise Gass, Kathy Erard, and Virginia O’Reilly. Sisters Celeste Bourke, left, and Virginia O’Reilly in California, 2002

Left: Members of the 2002 Diamond Jubilee Class are, back row, from left, Sisters Mary Willard Reagan, Eileen Hussey, and Virginia O’Reilly, and, front row, from left, Sisters Marcella LaKoske, Miriam Joseph Lekan, and Cecilia Marie Brown. 

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Cemetery of the Adrian Dominican Sisters

Our Adrian Dominican cemetery with its circular headstones is a beautiful place of rest for women who gave their lives in service to God—and a peaceful place for contemplation and remembrance. 

We will post memorial reflections on our faithfully departed Sisters and Associates. If you would like to reflect on a Sister or Associate who has gone before us, please send your reflections – no more than 500 to 600 words – to .

We invite you to meet some of the wonderful women who have recently crossed into eternity.


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