Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Death of our beloved Barbara ChenicekOP

It is with a heavy heart  that I write to inform you that Barbara Chenicek OP, our Adrian Sister and Fra Angelico master artist has been wrapped in the arms of our loving God she so wished to share.

Her life was cut short by an aneurysm . Barbara was surrounded by her family and sisters in the Adrian Dominican Life Center when she died this October 13.

All the chapels and churches she built with her dear friend, Rita Schiltz OP, as INAI studio, were not just buildings but projects whose life force built and sustained communities brought together in the process. People gathered to make the hangings they designed. Her pride was not in the awards but in the communities that found God in the process.

This loss is real for all of us in DIA. Every time I went to Adrian we would see each other and spend some time together. Her wisdom and affirmation was gift.  At the last gathering in Adrian we shared the video of the Great Bend Chapel we would see in July and she opened the studio to allow us a special look at her latest efforts.

At Adrian during the 2000 DIA Gathering, she and Rita presented the installations they had in a quiet space in INAI studio.  We toured the studio and saw all the materials laid out for quilts in a chapel, cut and numbered to be sewn.  Their awards are numerous and their magnificat was the joy of the creative process.

Barbara was a talented artist who generously shared her gifts with joy and precision. She met with Elizabeth Michael Boyle, OP to share her experiences for the OPUS project.  Barbara embodied the God who embraced her in death.  All of us are richer for having known her. 
Let us pray for her, her family and the Adrian Community whose love and support helped to realize her art and her person.

May she rest in the unifying  creative love of God!

If you have any stories about Barb please send them to me so I can see they get to Adrian and our newletter. You can send cards to Rita at
                            Rita Schiltz OP
                            1277 E Siena Heights Dr,
                            Adrian, MI 49221-1755
Barb ate and prayed with Rita everyday and I know she would appreciate our love and care for Rita.

Thankful for our Sister
Barbara Schwarz OP
DIA Board President


She whom we love and lose
is no longer where she was before
she is now wherever we are.
St John Chrysostom

I feel the loss of Barbara's presence to us even from so far away as South Africa.  I cannot imagine what this will mean for Rita.  I loved her burst-open poetry that give voice to language of the Spirit, her endless creative outpouring that gave life to all who came into her ambience, igniting others with that God-caught experience.   Enhanced by the special creative friendship with Rita, they have ignited sacred spaces wherever they have been, and especially in the contemplative INAI studio.

It is our loss, but she is Home, where her heart has travelled to all her earthly life.  We can continue to meet at that Centre.

Sheila Flynn OP

It's quite a shock and a loss for the community and for the DIA..However, her art and her memories will live on. And yes the fruits of her life are multiple and growing in abundance.
Special prayers for Rita and the Adrians,
Irene Mary Diones OP

Remembrance and funeral is currently at