In Memoriam


(1920-2020)

When Sister Mary Keefe preached the funeral homily for Sister Thomas Josephine Lawler, she concluded with these words:

She is a shining example of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. May we follow her example of love for God and service to all of creation.

Julia Jeanette Lawler was born December 3, 1920, in Chicago to Thomas and Josephine (Schriber) Lawler. She was the oldest of four children, followed by Thomas (called “Bud”), Josephine, and Harold. Her baptismal name honored her grandmothers: her Irish paternal grandmother Julia, and her Dutch maternal grandmother Jeanette.

From a very early age, Julia was someone of deep spirituality. She recalled in her life story that as a first-grader she pasted pictures of Jesus into a book and being fascinated by the pictures; in third grade, she was especially drawn to the lives of the saints and daydreamed about being in a dungeon awaiting martyrdom. By about seventh grade, her daily visits to the Blessed Sacrament in St. Columbanus Church included praying to become a Sister and that her parents would consent.

Her parents agreed to let her enter religious life, but wanted her to wait for two years after graduating from high school so that she would be more mature. When it was time for high school, she attended Aquinas Dominican High School, and two trips to Adrian helped solidify her desire to enter the Congregation.

Read more about Sister Thomas Josephine (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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(1933-2020)

Almost from her earliest days, Barbara Hehr knew her goal was to be a teacher.

“Even when I was small, it was something I wanted to do,” she said in her 2016 “A Sister’s Story” video. And so, she would play school with her brothers, making cards to teach them to read and spell.

Barbara Ann Hehr was born on October 3, 1933, in Chicago to Fredrick and Anna (Simon) Hehr, both German immigrants. She was the seventh of ten children in the family, with seven brothers (Raymond, Maynard, William, Kenneth, Edward, Jerome, and Robert) and two sisters (Vivian and Teresa).

The Hehrs were a faith-filled family, with the Rosary and daily prayer at meals and bedtime a regular part of their lives and a special devotion to the Infant of Prague. A statue of the Infant was placed outside the home’s door when the family went out, to protect them all, and the last person inside would bring it back in for the night.

Frederick worked as an electrotyper, while Anna was the family tailor, cook, and baker. She always made special treats for the children before bed, and Barbara remembered her mother’s talents as “phenomenal.” “I never saw her sit,” she said in her “Sister’s Story.” Anna was also the family disciplinarian, especially when it came to lateness, which was never excused; Barbara remembered that a child might come in late and say, “I’m sorry,” and Anna would reply “Well, I’m sorry too,” and the child would promptly be grounded.

Read more about Sister Barbara (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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(1935-2020)

We have all heard people say when challenged to try something new: “Oh, I can’t do that” or “Oh, no. I wouldn’t even think of doing that” and not even try. Susan was not like that. She had a lot of abilities, a lot of gifts and she didn’t bury them. She used them all – and then notice what she did and did not do. She did not just sit back and pat herself on the back and congratulate herself on her accomplishments. No, she was prompted to do more, to learn more, to be better prepared to assist people more. 

In this passage from her funeral homily for Sister Susan Parker, Sister Maria Goretti Browne explored how the Gospel reading for the Mass, the Parable of the Talents, connected to Sister Susan.

Susan Mary Parker was born on November 2, 1935, in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, to Harold and Mary Ann (Stock) Parker. She was the oldest of four children, followed by Thomas, Linda, and John.

Harold was born in Port Huron, Michigan, while Mary Ann was a Detroit native. Sister Susan’s earliest schooling was at Vernier Elementary School, followed by a year at St. Paul School. Then the family moved to what was then known as East Detroit (now Eastpointe), Michigan. It was there that Susan met Janet Wright, who also went on to become an Adrian Dominican Sister, and the two became close friends, attending both St. Veronica School and Dominican High School together. Susan and Janet lived on adjacent streets and Janet’s father drove them to school each morning.

Read more about Sister Susan (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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(1928-2020)

As a member of a family where love flourished between mother and father, sister and brother, I developed a feeling of worth as an individual. Loving friendships with boys and girls, men and women in adolescence and adult life have helped me to realize the need to give of myself as well as receive the affection and attention of others. Beyond my need for people I have a great need for a loving relationship with my God.

These words, quoted by Sister Carleen Maly in her homily for Sister Sarah Cavanaugh, were written by Sister Sarah as part of a class assignment at Siena Heights College (University). “Sarah’s life from roots in her loving family extended to desire to share that love with many more as an Adrian Dominican,” Sister Carleen continued. “In her words, ‘I felt impelled to give my entire life to growth in love with Jesus Christ.’”

Sarah Ann Cavanaugh was born on August 24, 1928, in Detroit to Harry and Alice (McNamara) Cavanaugh. The second of Harry and Alice’s seven children – four boys and three girls, born over the course of nineteen years – she was baptized Sarah because she needed to have a saint’s name, but right from the start everyone called her Sally. Everyone, at least, until she entered the Congregation and, she said in her 2016 “A Sister’s Story” video, Mother Gerald disliked the name Sally.

Read more about Sister Sarah (pdf)

make a memorial gift

Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. 

 

 

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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. 


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