May They Rest in Peace: Sr. Rita Schiltz, OP

Sr. Rita Schiltz, OP, formerly known as Sister Damian Schiltz, died on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 95 years of age and in the 76th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

Sister Rita was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Nicholas and Barbara (Droessler) Schiltz. She graduated from Aquinas Dominican High School in Chicago, and received a Bachelor of Philosophy degree in Fine Arts from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian and a Licentiate of Philosophy degree in Spanish and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Art History, both from the University of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

Mass of Christian Burial was offered in St. Catherine Chapel in Adrian on Friday, Nov. 6.
Sr. Rita Schiltz, OP

Sister spent 24 years ministering in education in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Rockford and St. Charles, Illinois; and Miami Shores, Florida. This includes her ministry at two Congregation institutions: Barry College (University) in Miami Shores, Florida, for 5½ years and St. Dominic College in St. Charles, Illinois, for 7 years. She and the late Sister Barbara Chenicek co-founded INAI Studio in Adrian in 1973. For more than 40 years INAI (Japanese word for “Within”) Studio served as the center of their work designing sacred spaces for chapels and churches. Examples of their work can be found throughout the United States, in Maryland, Kansas, Michigan, Maine and Texas. Sister Rita moved to the Dominican Life Center in 2013.

Sister Rita is survived by a brother, Richard Schiltz (Charlene) of Carmichael, California, and her Adrian Dominican Sisters. She was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers, William, Robert and James; and two sisters, Mary Louise and Dorothy O’Connell.

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

The Vigil Prayer will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in St. Catherine Chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, November 6, 2020. The Rite of Committal will be in the Congregation cemetery. Memorial 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.

Sister ministered in Michigan 47 years:

  • INAI, Adrian (1972-1973): Art Research
  • INAI, Adrian (1973-1975): Artist
  • INAI, Adrian (1975-1980): Artist in Congregation Service
  • INAI, Adrian (1980-2020): Artist

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