Sister Mary Dorothea, whose mother died when she was very young, grew up in St. Agatha’s Parish in Brooklyn, New York, with her beloved father. After attending Mercy Juniorate High School, she entered the Sisters of Mercy on February 2, 1944.
Sister Mary Dorothea was an educator in elementary and high schools for 36 years in the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre. Her ministry as hospital prison chaplain for the New York State Department of Corrections enabled her to accompany many who were dying of AIDS at the time. This was followed by five years as unit superviswor in the Brooklyn Supportive Living Program and eight years as property manager for Mercy Gardens, a Catholic Charities SRO (single room occupancy) in Brooklyn.
The name Dorothea means “Gift of God.” Truly, Sister Mary Dorothea was a gift of God in every aspect of her life and to those for whom and with whom she ministered.
Her motto, “Be faithful through love,” dominated her life. What she did pales in comparison to the person she was—a woman of quiet, deep, selfless love extended to everyone crossing her path. She will be truly missed by her sisters in community.