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Sister Dorothy Karier

Sister Dorothy Karier

“How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)

“This was Sister Dorothy Karier’s favorite Scripture reading. In 1984, when she was ministering in Southwest Texas, Sister Dorothy wrote, ‘In the worn faces of the poor are carved the words of the Beatitudes.’ And she wrote, ‘Before we can proclaim Christ we must first get to know and recognize him in ourselves and in others,’” said Sister Margaret Quinlan in her commentary for Sister Dorothy Karier, who died April 13.

Born May 27, 1921, in Chicago to John and Margaret (Linster) Karier, Dorothy Mary was one of 10 children. She attended St. Mel Grade School and Providence Juniorate, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. She entered the Congregation Jan. 5, 1939, and professed first and perpetual vows Aug. 15, 1941, and 1947, respectively. Sister Dorothy earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a master’s degree in education from Indiana State University.

For nearly three decades, Sister Dorothy ministered in education as either a teacher or principal. Her first classroom was at St. Rose, Chelsea, Mass., in 1941. In Indianapolis, she ministered at St. Catherine. She spent four years at St. Therese, Alhambra, Calif. The majority of Sister Dorothy’s pedagogical ministry was spent in Illinois at St. Mary, Aurora; St. Joseph and Immaculate Heart, Galesburg; St. Alexander, Palos Heights; and St. Mel, Our Lady of Mercy and St. David, Chicago.

“After spending a year studying at the Mexican American Cultural Center in San Antonio, Sister Dorothy began her ministry as a parish minister and co-administrator in Dell City, Texas. She served in a rural area consisting of 25,000 square miles, where five sisters in six parishes and five missions ministered to the rural poor, visiting shut-ins, giving instructions and workshops. There is a large picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe that Sister Dorothy made available to the Owens community for that feast of Our Lady that is surely a remembrance of this ministry,” said Sister Margaret.

“In 1991, Sister Dorothy and her sister, Sister Margaret, began their service as pastoral associates at Assumption and St. Joseph parishes in Cresco, Iowa, where they visited sick and elderly shut-ins in homes, hospitals and nursing homes and worked with the RCIA program,” continued Sister Margaret.

Sister Dorothy returned to the Woods in 1996 and volunteered in Residential Services.

“Sister Dorothy never stopped wanting to learn, and even this past week, Sister Ann Marie Boyce, as usual, brought her more tapes to listen to. According to Sister Ann Marie, Sister Dorothy had a very regular schedule, listening to spiritual tapes in the morning, rosary at 10 a.m., visiting with her sister, Sister Jean, each day from 1 to 2 p.m. (each Sunday calling their sister Rosemary during that time), then listening to lighter tapes in the afternoon or taking part in community activities. Also, Sister Dorothy was an avid Cubs fan, a condition not unknown among the Sisters of Providence! She recently got a Cubs’ schedule from Sister Mary Pat Peacock,” continued Sister Margaret.

“Sister Dorothy was known for her patience and kindness. Several sisters have noted with gratitude the devotion of the staff of our health-care facility for Sister Dorothy. Some even stayed Thursday evening to be with her before she died, ministering to her and speaking to her of God. And, of course, by her life, Sister Dorothy spoke to us of God, and obviously, the words she had written came from her own experience: “ … we must recognize Christ — in ourselves and in others.”

The Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Dorothy was celebrated April 17 with the Rev. James Hyland presiding. She was preceded in death by seven of her siblings, including Sisters Margaret Jean and Margaret. She is survived by Sister Jean of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods and Rosemary Hyland, Westchester, Ill.

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