Sister Thomas Estelle Bryan

“This is what the Lord requires of you: to live justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6-8

My heart is filled with gratitude and joy. I’m grateful for my Dominican vocation – a gift from God on the journey.

I am so very happy for the experiences, challenges, and support of my Sister companions, my family, friends, and students who have enriched, touched, and shared my life.

On Aug. 2, 1927, two days before the feast of St. Dominic, I made my 1st appearance in this world. My welcoming committee were my Irish father, my French mother and a little brother. Given the name of Evelyn, my parents, Thomas and Estelle had gone to see relatives in Detroit, and I arrived ahead of schedule. Eventually we came home to live in Saginaw. The family grew to five boys and three girls.

I attended school at Sts. Peter and Paul (Saginaw) and joined the Dominicans after graduation. At my profession I was given the name Sister Thomas Estelle. I graduated from Aquinas College with a BA in English/History.

During my years in the Order of Preachers (O.P.), my ministry of teaching took place in Michigan (Saginaw-Essexville- Grand Rapids-Traverse City) and New Mexico (Santa Cruz, 25 years).

I was able to make the Lands of Dominic Retreat. I was also able to make the 100-Mile walk, nine different years, nine directions, covering all of New Mexico.

In 2000, I came back to Michigan, living in the house in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Saginaw, and then moving to Carrollton with Sr. Anne Breitag, close to her work. I was a volunteer in the neighborhood. When all my siblings went home to God, I chose to come back to Marywood and am now at Aquinata Hall.

Praise the Lord! However can I thank God for the many blessings bestowed on me: my parents, sisters and brothers, my call to serve God’s people as a Grand Rapids Dominican, those with whom and to whom I ministered, and last but not least, I thank God and my Sister companions for all they have been to me on my way home! May God be praised!

I am grateful to God for calling me to know, love, and serve… living “only to do right and to love goodness and to walk humbly with God”.


Thank You

Sister Thomas Estelle Bryan was my first grade teacher in Santa Cruz, NM. The year was approximately1953. She was a perfect first grade teacher to me and countless others. It would be my utmost pleasure to contact her, especially since I also taught first grade when I became a teacher. Thank you. ~ Susan Thibodeaux Harvey

2022 – 76 Years a Sister

Prayer Ministry

Pray all realize that the beatitudes are meant to be lived

Sister Thomas Estelle established three Kindergartens: at Sts. Peter and Paul (Saginaw), St. Francis (Traverse City), and Holy Cross (Santa Cruz). In New Mexico.

Sister Thomas Estelle with her Kindergarten class after the opening of Saints Peter and Paul School in Saginaw, Michigan.

Sister Thomas Estelle celebrated her 70th Jubilee with Sisters in 2016 at Dominican Chapel at Marywood.

The Dominican Sisters are strong supporters of Kids Food Basket in Grand Rapids. Sister Thomas Estelle Bryan adds her creative touches to bags.

Sr. Thomas Estelle helps a student build a grotto for Our Lady at the Navajo Vacation Bible School in Arizona.

In ministry with Sister Thomas Estelle Bryan, OP

Sisters Celebrate 75, 70, 60, 50 Year Jubilees as Vowed Religious


Appreciating Teachers Then and Now


Dominican Sisters Grand Rapids 2021 Jubilarians


Dominican Sisters Grand Rapids 2016 Jubilarians


Dominican Sisters~Grand Rapids Doll Project for Bethany Christian Services


Sister Inspiration: Welcoming A Friend from Malawi