In Memoriam

Sister Mary Saynay, OP


Sister Mary Saynay, formerly known as Sister Michael Celeste Saynay, died on Sunday, October 21, 2018, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 91 years of age and in the 70th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

Sister Mary was born in Detroit to Joseph and Lucille (Rybczynski) Saynay. She graduated from Dominican High School in Detroit and received a bachelor’s degree in history from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian and a master’s degree in education from Barry College (University) in Miami, Florida.

Sister Mary ministered for 40½ years in education in Lansing, Grosse Pointe Farms, and Detroit, Michigan; Chicago and Rockford, Illinois; Miami Shores, Florida; and Cleveland, Ohio. She was principal at Hoban Dominican High School in Cleveland for three years, and assistant principal at Bishop Muldoon High School in Rockford for four years. This period included her service as principal of Hoban Dominican High School in Cleveland for three years, assistant principal of Bishop Muldoon High School in Rockford for four years, and bookkeeper at Dominican High School in Detroit for 22 years.

Sister Mary served as administrative assistant for Congregation Central Services in Adrian for four years, and as secretary/councilor for St. Catherine of Siena Province in Detroit for two years. After retirement, she was a volunteer for 17 years at the Dominican Literacy Center in Detroit. Sister became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in 2013.

Sister Mary was preceded in death by her parents and a twin sister Charlotte. She is survived by two brothers: Joseph Saynay (Elaine) of Dearborn and Lawrence Saynay (Rosaria) of Shelby Township; and seven sisters: Margaret Rogers of Clinton Township, Barbara Barba (Charles) of Warren, Lillian Grochowski (David) of Alpena, all in Michigan; and Bernadine Eschrich of Fort Meyers, Florida, Constance Saynay of Bloomington, Minnesota, Rosalie Spellecy of Hornell, New York, and Sister Barbara Mary Saynay, also an Adrian Dominican.

Welcome of Sister Mary will be on Thursday, October, 25. 2018, at 6:00 p.m. in the lobby of Madden Hall; the Wake will follow from 6:15 to 7:00 p.m. in the Adrian Room. The Reception of the Body and Vigil Prayer will be at 7:00 p.m. in Holy Rosary Chapel. The Funeral Mass will be offered in Holy Rosary Chapel on Friday, October 26, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. Both the Vigil Prayer and the Funeral Mass will be live streamed. The Rite of Committal will be in the Congregation cemetery.

make a memorial giftMemorial 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.


Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link at the bottom).


Vigil for Sister Mary (Michael Celeste):

Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.


Funeral for Sister Mary (Michael Celeste):

Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.


Center photo: Mary, 9, and her sister Barbara, 7, dressed for a school play, 1936. Far right photo: First Communion, June 6, 1937.

Far right photo: Sister JoAnn Fleischaker, standing, with Sister Mary Saynay.

Left photo: Adrian Dominican Sisters who ministered at the Dominican Literacy Center, Detroit, in 2005 include, standing, from left, Sisters Marie Damian Schoenlein and Marlene Lieder, and seated, from left, Sisters Agnes Peplinski, Mary Saynay, and Ann Ziemba. Right photo: Sisters Mary Saynay, left, and Barbara Saynay.

The Saynay siblings, from left, Sister Mary, Christine (Sister Barbara Mary), Margaret, Lillian, Barbara, Connie, Rosalie, Bernadine, Joseph, and Larry, June 24, 2007.

Members of the 2007 Diamond Jubilarian Class are: front row, from left, Sisters Jacquelyn Murray, Theresa Nightingale, Janet Persyk, Mary Saynay, Kathleen Therese McCann, M. Joan Loeffler, and Donna Markham (Prioress); second row, from left, Sisters Marcine Klemm, Catherine Podvin, Shirley Mary Heymes, Shirley Thielk, Margaret Swallow, Alice Anne Van Acker, Noreen O’Connell, and Helen Dompierre; third row, from left, Sisters Anne Worcester, Elizabeth Condon, Margaret Lane, Jean Kathleen Comiskey, Imelda Marie Eckhoff, Paul Emelia Brown, Eileen Meyers, and Elizabeth Williams; and back row, from left, Sisters Charlotte Hoefer, Marie Damian Schoenlein, JoAnn Fleischaker, Shirley A. Boettcher, Patrice Eilers, Jeanne Burns, Sarah Cavanaugh, and Mary Cecile Quirke.

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Avatar  Barb 4 days agoReply

Sr. Mary was a kind, loving and caring person who always put anyone ahead of herself in any situation. She was a terrific role model to all people in our family. We'll miss you, Mary.

Avatar  Brian Eschrich 2 weeks agoReply

Rest in peace, Aunt Mary. I always enjoyed your warm hospitality, your smile and your typical Saynay humor. I'll miss you.

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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