In Memoriam

Sister Barbara Mary Saynay, OP

Sister Barbara Mary Saynay(1929-2021)

Our sister Barbara Mary waited and waited for God to come. And, not surprisingly, God came … right at the beginning of the Advent season.

So began the funeral homily for Sister Barbara Mary Saynay, preached by Sister Mary Ann Ennis. Sister Barbara Mary died on December 4, 2021, just over three years after the death of her sister Mary, who was also in the Congregation.

Christine, as Sister Barbara Mary was baptized, was born on April 7, 1929, in Detroit to Joseph and Lucille (Rybczynski) Saynay. Joseph’s surname was originally Sajnaj, the Polish spelling, but he changed it in around 1937 and the rest of the family followed suit.

Besides Christine and Mary, nine other children were born to Joseph and Lucille: Charlotte, Mary’s twin, who died shortly after birth; Margaret; Barbara; Lillian; Bernadine; Constance; Rosalie; Joseph; and Lawrence. Rosalie entered the Congregation as well, becoming Sister Lawrence Joseph, but left in 1975.

Christine, whose nickname was Kris, and Mary were next to each other in birth order – Mary was the oldest child, and Kris followed two years later – and the two shared a bed as children. After Sister Mary died, Sister Maria Goretti Browne, then Vicaress for the Adrian Dominican Vicariate, told the following story at Sister Mary’s wake service:

… She and her sister, Kris, would get into their double bed at night, and of course they argued or squabbled. If you ever slept in a double bed with your sister and didn’t squabble, there is something wrong with you. You know, “You are on my side. You’ve got all the covers.” I know from experience. One Christmas, Kris received a powder glove as a present. Each time Mary rolled over on her side of the bed, the powder was shaken out of the glove on her. Dad heard them squabbling and called up the stairway a couple of times. Finally, he had had it. He came up and put the ironing board between them. Kris said she laughed herself to sleep that night and she didn’t remember what Mary did.

Read more about Sister Barbara Mary (PDF)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. 


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Avatar  Paul Bobak 3 months agoReply

My wife, Lorie, and I met Sister Barbara shortly after being married at St. High parish in Southgate, Michigan. She was always smiling and very friendly. Sr. Barbara taught us how to proclaim God's word as lectors. It has been 40 years since our training session and Lorie & I still practice what she taught us. Thank you Sr. Barbara. You will always be in our hearts.

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