May They Rest in Peace: Sr. Thomas Josephine Lawler, OP

Sr. Thomas Josephine Lawler, OP, baptized Julia Jeanette Lawler, died on Saturday, May 16, 2020, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 99 years of age and in the 78th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

Sr. Thomas Josephine was born in Chicago to Thomas and Josephine (Schriber) Lawler. She graduated from Aquinas High School in Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian; a Master of Arts degree in Education from Catholic University in Washington, D.C.; a Master of Theology degree in Applied Theology from Graduate Theological Union in Berkley, California; and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered in St. Catherine Chapel on Tuesday, May 19, 2020.
Sr. Thomas Josephine Lawler, OP

Sister ministered for 28½ years in elementary and secondary education in Detroit and Owosso, Michigan; and San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Oakland, California. During those years, she was also dean of studies/assistant principal in Santa Cruz and Oakland for 13 years. Sister was Assistant Provincial Administrator for three years in Oakland; and served the elderly for 19 years through Catholic Charities, both in Oakland and Los Angeles. In 1994, she had a book published: Good News for Your Autumn Years: Reflections on the Gospel of Luke, and the accompanying Leader’s Guide. From 1993-2007, she assisted the elderly in spiritual direction in Los Angeles and in Santa Cruz. Sister became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian in 2010.

Sister Thomas Josephine was preceded in death by her parents, a sister, Josephine Latiolait and her brothers: Thomas Lawler and Harold Lawler. She is survived by her loving nephews and her Adrian Dominican Sisters. 

Due to COVID-19 mitigation protocols, the Dominican Life Center is closed until further notice to all guests or visitors. All are welcome to participate in Sister’s wake and funeral via live stream at 

The Vigil Prayer will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 18, 2020, in St. Catherine Chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Burial will be in the Congregation cemetery. Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Anderson-Marry Funeral Home, Adrian.

Sister ministered in Michigan 5 years:

  • St. Lawrence, Detroit (1942-45): Elementary Teacher
  • St. Paul, Owosso (1945-47): Elementary Teacher

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