May They Rest in Peace: Sr. Barbara Mary Saynay, OP

Sr. Barbara Mary Saynay, OP, baptized Christine V. Saynay, died on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian. She was 92 years of age and in the 71st year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

Sister was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Joseph and Lucille (Rybczynski) Saynay. She graduated from Dominican High School in Detroit and received a Bachelor of Philosophy degree in English and a Master of Arts degree in Curriculum from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian.

Sr. Barbara Mary Saynay, OP
Sr. Barbara Mary Saynay, OP

Sister Barbara Mary ministered over 19 years in elementary and secondary education in Chicago, Illinois, and Greenville, Adrian, Flint, Detroit and Inkster, Michigan. This includes three years as a counselor at Visitation High School in Detroit and one year at Adrian Catholic Central in Adrian. She served six years doing office work for the Congregation. Sister ministered 29 years in religious education, one year as a coordinator at St. Norbert in Inkster and 28 years as Director of Religious Education at St. Hugh Parish in Southgate, both in Michigan. Sister became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in 2017.

Sister Barbara Mary was preceded in death by her parents and three sisters: Barbara Barba, Charlotte Saynay and Sister Mary Saynay, also an Adrian Dominican Sister. She is survived by seven siblings: Joseph A. Saynay, Jr. (Elaine) of Warren, Lawrence Saynay (Rosaria) of Shelby Township, Margaret Rogers of Clinton Township, Lillian Grochowski (David) of Alpena, and Bernadine Eschrich (Richard) of Shelby Township, all in Michigan; Constance Saynay of Bloomington, Minnesota; and Rosalie Spellecy of Hornell, New York, also a former Adrian Dominican Sister. She is also survived by loving nieces and nephews and her Adrian Dominican Sisters.

Due to COVID-19 mitigation protocols, the Dominican Life Center is closed to all guests or visitors until further notice. All are welcome to participate in Sister’s wake and funeral via live stream at

The Vigil Prayer will be held at 7:00 pm Wednesday, December 8, 2021, in St. Catherine Chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel at 10:30 am Thursday, December 9, 2021. Prayers of Committal will be held in the Congregation Cemetery. Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, MI, 49221.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Anderson-Marry Funeral Home, Adrian.

Sister ministered in Michigan 54 years:

  • St. Charles, Greenville (1951-56): Elementary Teacher/Music
  • Adrian Dominican Motherhouse, Adrian (1956): Office Work
  • St. Mary, Adrian (1956): Elementary Teacher
  • Adrian Dominican Motherhouse, Adrian (1956-57): Office Work
  • St. Paul, Grosse Pointe Farms (1957): Elementary Teacher
  • Adrian Dominican Motherhouse, Adrian (1957-62): Office Work
  • St. Luke, Flint (1962-64): Elementary Teacher
  • Visitation High School, Detroit (1964-67): High School Teacher/Counselor
  • Adrian Catholic Central, Adrian (1967-68): High School Teacher/Counselor
  • St. Norbert, Inkster (1968-71): Elementary/High School Principal
  • St. Norbert, Inkster (1971-72): Junior High School Teacher
  • St. Norbert, Inkster (1972-76): Elementary Principal/Counselor
  • St. Norbert, Inkster (1976-77): Religious Education Coordinator
  • St. Hugh Parish, Southgate (1977-2005): Director of Religious Education

Obituaries for clergy and religious who have lived or served in the Archdiocese of Detroit may be emailed to [email protected]. Obituaries are printed as they are submitted, but may be edited for grammar and style. Detroit Catholic reserves the right to refuse or edit any submissions.


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