(1933 - 2015)
It is humble to be given gifts.
We pray they may bring shots of light as they stay with us
And have the urgency of the gentle Spirit
- From Barb’s poetic reflection at the beginning of INAI Studio, June 2, 1973
Sister Barbara Chenicek, known to family and friends as Barb, was born on April 7, 1933, in Chicago. She was the first child born to George and Patricia (Pazour) Chenicek. Her brother Don was born three years later. Of her parents, Sister Barb wrote:
My father was brought up in a completely non-Catholic atmosphere. His side of the family has no religious of any kind. He became a Catholic when he married my mother. My mom was raised in a small South Dakota town where the people had never seen a sister and the only priest they ever came in contact with was the aging pastor whom they saw at Sunday Mass.
Sister Barb attended St. Philip Neri for grade school and then Aquinas High School. Choosing the school she would attend was always difficult for her parents because one or the other would insist on her attending a public school. Sister Barb found it remarkable that she had been able to complete twelve years in Catholic Schools.
Read more about Sister Barb Chenicek (pdf).
Click here to view "A work of art: Adrian Dominican Sisters lose a dear friend" written by Lonnie Huhman for The Daily Telegram.
Sister Therese Johnson, known also as Sister Joseph Aquin, was born on May 22, 1940, in Chicago. She was the third of five children born to Joseph and Mary (Conway) Johnson. Her father was a claims adjuster and, before their marriage, her mother operated a comptometer. In her autobiography, Sister Therese wrote the following description of her parents:
My mother was the heart and soul of our family and was always doing special things for us. From early on she taught us to love God and to be good Christians. She showed us more by example than preaching of any kind. [My father] possessed a keen intellect and was very articulate. He was always there to help me with my homework. I have fond memories of him rocking on the porch and reading countless books. He inspired me to have an appreciation of literature and poetry.
The family lived in St. Carthage Parish and the children attended the parish grade school. Sister Therese attended Aquinas High School, where she met Sister John Bernard, who eventually became her sponsor. In her autobiography, Sister Therese wrote that she actually decided to become a nun on the day she received her First Communion.
Read more about Sister Therese Johnson (pdf).
Leave your comments and remembrances of Sister Therese (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link).
(1929 - 2015)
Sister Magdelaine Hill, baptized Joan Marie and known to family and friends as Mag, was born on July 20, 1929, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her parents, William and Magdalene (Hunter) Hill, were married in 1913 and were already the proud parents of Magdalene, William, Veronica, and James when Mag was born. In her autobiography, Sister Mag gave us this description of her family.
My maternal grandmother [Nana] lived with my parents from the earliest days of their marriage. Nana had lost three children in infancy and her husband died at the age of 40. As you see, I was raised in a household of adults: Nana, Mom, Dad, Maggie, 15, Bill, 13, and Ronnie [Veronica] 11. My brother Jimmy had died in 1928.
The year I was born, 1929, marked the great depression, but Mom and Dad worked hard to care for their children. Mom [had] a part-time job at the neighborhood Catholic hospital. Nana [was] the built-in baby-sitter.
When I was three years old, the biggest event of my young life occurred on November 27, when my baby sister, Pat was born.
Read more about Sister Magdelaine Hill (pdf).
Knowing that she was planning to enter the Congregation, her parents were surprised when, after graduating from eighth grade, she requested to attend Mercy High School. In her autobiography, Sister Anne wrote, “I discovered I had a vocation while in grade school and my father was willing to make the sacrifice [to send me to Mercy], but he wondered why not Aquinas?”
Read more about Sister Anne Richard (pdf).
Click on the Read More link below to leave comments and remembrances.
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.