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