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Sister Dorothy Doran

List of Deceased Sisters

Date of Death 22/12/2023

  Born: October 19, 1939

  Professed: March 8, 1964

  Deceased: December 22, 2023 


Sr. Dorothy Doran was born in Detroit, Michigan into a family of three boys and two girls.  Her father Edward F. Doran was born in Cleveland, Ohio and her mother Alma Wittenberg was born in Chicago, Il.  Her siblings predeceased her and two of her nieces and their spouses came to her funeral to share memories with the Sisters and to celebrate her life.

Sister entered the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary on September 8, 1961 and was professed on March 8, 1964 after which she completed a Masters of Arts program in education as a reading specialist.  She worked at our Marist reading center in Framingham, Massachusetts.  

In 1968, Sister was missioned to Guadalcanal, in the South Solomons and worked in catechetical work and pastoral ministry.  Sister loved her work with the people and was very much loved by them.

In 1979, Sister Dorothy returned to the United States for a renewal program and completed a Masters in Pastoral ministry.  She worked in formation/vocation ministry for a few years, journeying with women interested in becoming a Marist Missionary Sister, she loved this ministry and the women loved her.  Sister then prepared herself for a new mission assignment in Columbia and then Peru, Latin America.

In Bogata, Columbia, sister was involved in pastoral ministry in a squatter settlement, which was extremely poor.  One sister shared that when she visited the area, she was touched by the poverty of the place.  Dot, as she was affectionately called, loved this mission of being of service to the poor of the area.  After a time, Dot left Columbia for Peru.

This is a remembrance of one of our sisters of Dot.  “I remember Dot as a joyful person who had many friends, mostly the poor and the ill.  When I passed through Chulucanas, her mission in the desert of northern Peru, Dot was busy visiting the poor, trying to get them the help they needed.  She brought joy to so many with her kindness and cheerfulness.  Dot loved to dance and she learned the local dance steps with little effort and a lot of enjoyment.”

In 2010, Dot returned to the United States to live in Waltham, Ma. and taught English as a second language to immigrants and gave community service.

In 2017, Sr. Dot was missioned to Marillac residence, as she needed more assistance due to dementia.  Dot was aware of her illness and would often say, “You know I don’t remember.”  When she walked the corridors of Marillac and saw SMSM after the name on the door, she would come in and say, “I am one of you.”  Dot always remembered who she was as a Marist.

On June 20, 2023, Dot moved to Mary Immaculate Home in Lawrence, Ma. and then on December 15, 2023, Dot was transferred to Maristhill Nursing Home as her health was declining.  

The day Dot died, a staff from activities at Marillac called one of the sisters to see if she could visit Dot.  On arriving in Dot’s room, she was breathing quite heavily.  They said a few words of love and the sister made the sign of the cross on her forehead and Dot expired at this moment.

We are grateful for the many gifts that Dot brought to her mission, ministry, friendships, family and community throughout her life in joyfully living in the Spirit of Mary.  Dot lived Mary’s gift of gentleness and joy throughout her life.  She was a kind, gentle and loving woman.

Dot who loved to dance is now dancing in the circle of love of the Trinity.  Pray for us Dot that we may become women of gentleness and joy.


Gratefully in Mary, 


S.r Helen Muller, smsm                                                      Sr. Joan Bernich, smsm

Regional Superior                                                               Archivist.