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Sister Nadine Foley, known also as Sister Thomas Aquin, was born on April 10, 1924, in Newberry, Michigan, in the Upper Peninsula. She was the first of eight children born to Thomas and Ursula (Thompson) Foley. Both parents were born in Michigan and, based on her father’s family, are of Irish/French heritage. Sister Nadine’s mother was given up for adoption at birth and nothing is known about her birth mother.
Their eight children were born over a period of twenty-eight years. Her mother was about twenty when Sister Nadine was born and when the youngest child, Michael, was born, her mother was forty-seven.
In her autobiography, Sister Nadine shared the following memory about her mother.
I still think a lot more about my mother since her death ; she was really a remarkable woman. She loved school and she was a very good student [but] she never had the opportunity to attend high school. I realized, as the oldest one, that much of what she wanted for herself she transferred to me. In the course of time she worked at Newberry State Hospital, a mental health institution, and later became a licensed psychiatric nurse by taking courses at Northern Michigan University. When she was 70 she got her high school equivalency from Newberry High School and we were all there for her graduation.
Sister Nadine’s early years were during the Great Depression. Her education began in Newberry Elementary School in 1928 and ended in 1941 when she graduated from Newberry High School.
Read more about Sister Nadine (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
Come Wisdom: Remembering Sr. Nadine Foley, written by Sister Elise D. García, published by Global Sisters Report:
Learn more about Sister Nadine in this What's Happening article.
Text of Funeral Homily by Sister Attracta Kelly, OP.
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I never would have had the courage to leave Michigan and apply to Rosary College in River Forest Ill without the encouragement of "Thomas Aquin", as we called her at Rosary High School. I was thus able to pursue my dream to become a librarian as a Graduate School of Library Science was part of the curriculum at River Forest. I am so glad you pictured her singing. Her voice was splendid. She entertained us on bus trips when it was her turn to chaperone. I was blessed to have her for English lit and Geometry. Later when I served as the President of the Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church, she was a calm and sensible support for me. God is good!
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.