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Sr. Barbara Jean Pelak

Dominican Sister of Peace Barbara Jean Pelak (66) died October 15, 2016 at Lourdes Health Care Center in Waterford, MI.

Sister Barbara Jean was born February 18, 1950 to John and Angeline Bierzynski  Pelak in Detroit, MI.  She entered the Dominican Sisters of Oxford (now the Dominican Sisters of Peace) in 1974. She earned a Bachelor of Science in General Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources from Oakland University in Rochester, MI and certification in Achievement for Supervisor Training from the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Sr. Barbara Jean Pelak

Sister Barbara Jean served as secretary in parish schools in Detroit between 1977 and 1984. From 1985-1989 she was secretary to the administration at St. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, MI.

From 1989-1999 she ministered as both secretary and Christian Service Coordinator at St. Joseph Church in Lake Orion, MI. She later worked as a pastoral minister at St. Daniel Parish (Clarkston, MI), St. Patrick Parish (Wyandotte, MI) and Holy Innocents-St. Barnabas Parish (Roseville, MI). From 2005-2007 Sister Barbara Jean provided pastoral care at Lourdes Nursing Home in Waterford, MI.

Sister also served as president of the Christian Service Coordinator Association Board for the Archdiocese of Detroit and as a Board Member for the Place of Hope-Pontiac Homeless Shelter.

At the time of her diagnosis with brain cancer, Sister Barbara Jean was the Director of Programs for Senior Citizens at Holy Innocents/St. Barnabas Parish in Eastpointe, MI.

During her 40 years in ministry as a Dominican, Sister Barbara Jean endeared herself to many people.  She truly believed that God had chosen her to go forth and bear fruit that will last. (John 15)

During the Remembering Service Sister Teresita Lipar said, "Sister Barbara Jean's model of simplicity and detachment mirrored the life of Christ.  Sister Barbara Jean had a relationship with Jesus that would touch hearts.  She loved life, spoke joy, promoted generosity to the poor enabled healing and danced to the rhythm of the changing church, interceded for the masses that needed her loving presence, joy, humor and prayer.  She will be remembered for the fruits she had planted during her 66 years of life!

Sister Barbara Jean is survived by sisters Joann McHarg, Chris Silisavage, Lorraine Pelak and Kathy Reggio, and brothers Edward, Joe, John, Daniel, Jim, Michael and Phil. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Tom and her sister Carol Novak.

The Vigil Service and Mass of Christian Burial were held at the Oxford Motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of Peace on October 16 and 17, 2016. Burial was at Our Lady of Sorrows Cemetery.

Memorial gifts in Sister Barbara Jean’s memory may be submitted securely online or sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr., Columbus, OH 43219.

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