Detroit’s large and vibrant Polish community in the first half of the 20th Century formed the backdrop for Sister Mary Saynay’s earliest years.
Sister Mary was born on May 21, 1927, to Joseph and Lucille (Rybczynski) Saynay. Her birth name was officially Marie Sajnaj – reflecting the Polish spelling of the family surname – but when she was ten years old her father changed his name. At that age, too, she began being known as Mary, rather than Marie. For the rest of her life, she was known as Mary Saynay, and in 1973, she took the step of having her name legally changed.
Ten children in all were born to the Saynays. Mary had a twin sister, Charlotte, who died shortly after birth. Additionally, she had seven sisters and two brothers: Margaret, Barbara, Lillian, Bernadine, Constance, Rosalie, Christine, Joseph, and Lawrence. Rosalie and Christine entered the Congregation as well; Christine became Sister Barbara Mary, while Rosalie eventually left the Congregation.
Read more about Sister Mary (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link at the bottom).
Sr. Mary was a kind, loving and caring person who always put anyone ahead of herself in any situation. She was a terrific role model to all people in our family. We'll miss you, Mary.
Rest in peace, Aunt Mary. I always enjoyed your warm hospitality, your smile and your typical Saynay humor. I'll miss you.
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.