In Memoriam


(1925-2018)

In writing her life story, Sister Betty Condon began with her great-grandparents, who left behind their Irish roots in Killarney and Cork and braved the difficult Atlantic crossing to begin new lives in America. They settled in Charleston, South Carolina, and it was there that, two generations later, Martha Igoe and Matthew Condon met as they each chaperoned the younger members of their respective families at a party.

Martha and Matthew were married in July 1913, and the next year a daughter, Mary Caroline, came into the family. Caroline was followed by James, Martha, Matthew, Elizabeth who was always called Betty – on November 12, 1925, and Mary Clare.

Caroline died of blood poisoning at the age of thirteen, while away at a boarding school. Betty was just three years old, but despite being so young at the time she always recalled that someone told her to look up at the stars and know Caroline was looking down at her.

Neither Martha nor Matthew had completed high school; Martha, who was the eldest, left high school to help care for her siblings, while Matthew left school at fourteen to work in the department store his parents had started. 

Read more about Sister Betty (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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(1926-2018)

When Frances Stibich was a young woman, she traveled to Detroit from her hometown of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, to visit one of her sisters, who lived on Gratiot Avenue in a flat above the Stein Hardware store. During that visit, she happened to meet the storeowner’s son, Anthony Stein. Love quickly bloomed, and the couple married in 1922.

Four children resulted from that union: Dorothy Antoinette, Ruth Marie, Eugene, and Barbara Ann. Ruth Marie, the future Sister Anne Bernadette Stein, was born on September 1, 1926, in Detroit. 

The family lived in St. Anthony Parish, and Ruth Marie attended the parish school for the first and last parts of her elementary education. As she put it in her life story, “My sister went there to school for all twelve years but my brother and I kind of shopped around for a while.”

That resulted in her spending two years at the Stevens Open Air School in Detroit. “Open Air” schools were established to help combat the spread of tuberculosis by providing facilities that had plenty of fresh air and good ventilation, and an uncle of the Stein children had been exposed to TB. Eugene spent four years there, while Ruth Marie attended for three years, from 1935 to 1938, and then went back to St. Anthony School.

Read more about Sister Anne Bernadette (pdf)

make a memorial giftMemorial 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).


(1927-2018)

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)

make a memorial giftMemorial 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).


Sister Mary Immaculata Assenmacher, OP

(1936-2018)

A gray frame house with a white picket fence, flowering bushes and other plants, a cement slab on which to play basketball or to roller skate, a hill that was perfect for wintertime sledding, even an apple tree that was just right for climbing … these idyllic symbols of family life were part and parcel of how Gertrude Assenmacher and her siblings grew up.

Gertrude, later to become Sister Mary Immaculata, was born on August 22, 1936, in the Highland Park (Michigan) Hospital to George and Mary (Schoeb) Assenmacher, residents of nearby Dearborn. She was the sixth child in the family, following four boys (George, Leo, Alphonse, and Frank) and a girl (Theresa). Two years after Gertrude’s birth another brother, Bob, joined the family. Gertrude’s memories of Al, tragically, had to come largely though photos and family stories; he joined the Marines to fight in World War II when she was just five years old, and was killed on Guadalcanal the next year.

She was especially close to her father, who grew up on a farm in the area and as an adult worked for the Ford family, first at the Henry Ford Estate (known as Fairlane) as a gardener and general handyman. Later, he worked at the Ford Dairy Farm and finally as a maintenance man at the Ford Motor Company warehouse. His mother died when he was very young, and he and his younger sister were cared for by an older sister. As a result, he never completed beyond a third-grade education although Sister Mary described him in an autobiographical paper as “a whiz at math, able to figure out the sums in his head before others had done them on paper.”

Read more about Sister Mary Immaculata (PDF)

make a memorial giftMemorial 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).


Cemetery of the Adrian Dominican Sisters

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.

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