Sister Susan Dunnwald was a Sister of Mercy for 70 years. She attended Sacred Heart School in Waterloo, Iowa, and Immaculate Conception in Gilbertville, Iowa, for her elementary education. She completed junior high and high school at Sacred Heart in Waterloo. She attended Mount Mercy College after entering the Novitiate of the Sisters of Mercy in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Education and then her Master of Arts in Elementary Administration from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. She later completed postgraduate work in Pastoral Services at St. Mary’s University in Winona, MN.
Sister Susan was an educator from the beginning of her life as a Sister of Mercy. She served as a teacher, principal, and administrator in many schools and parishes throughout the Midwest. She was also elected into leadership and president of the Cedar Rapids Community from 1979–1987. She then went on to pastoral work in various parishes, continuing to educate children and adults alike about the Catholic Church and the love of Jesus in their lives.
One significant moment in her life was when Pope John II recognized Sister Susan for her significant contributions to the mission of the Church and the betterment of society with the Cross, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice.
Her love for her Sisters of Mercy community and her large extended family gave her great joy in her life. Even after retirement from active ministry, she continued to be a minister of the Church through her commitment to the spiritual needs of her local retirement community.
She was well known for her attention to detail, as evidenced by her annual contribution to putting out the prayer ordo for the Mercy Office Book!