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Sister Anne Doherty dies; was 14th general superior of Sisters of Providence

Sister Anne Doherty's official portrait as general superior
Sister Anne Doherty’s official portrait as general superior

Sister Anne Doherty, who served as the 14th general superior of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind., from 1981 to 1986, died Sunday, Feb.3, 2013, in Mother Theodore Hall at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

During her years of leadership, she began the renovation of the Church of the Immaculate Conception; and coordinated the building of Karcher Hall, now known as Mother Theodore Hall, a health care facility for sisters and for the public. Also during her term of office, papal approval of the Congregation’s new Constitutions was received.

“Sister Anne always displayed a zest for and an enjoyment of life! As a clinical psychologist, she dealt with a spectrum of human suffering,” said Sister Denise Wilkinson, the Congregation’s current general superior. “However, her learning from her experience of working in the context of a mental health facility was this: ‘Providence is evident in the marvels of human resiliency.’ Sister Anne’s trust in Providence and in human resiliency made her a warm and human Sister of Providence, instrument of Providence.”

Sister Anne was a native of Indianapolis. She was born May 6, 1928, to Patrick Doherty and Hannah C. Byrne Doherty. She entered the Sisters of Providence Jan. 9, 1946, from St. Philip Neri Parish is Indianapolis. She professed perpetual vows Aug. 15, 1953.

She graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College with a bachelor’s degree in education. She received a master’s degree in psychology from Catholic University of America and a doctorate in clinical psychology, also from Catholic University of America.

Sister Anne ministered for 20 years as an educator, teaching at schools in Aurora, Chicago and Galesburg in Illinois and Richmond and Indianapolis in Indiana. She also served as principal for six years during her time in Indianapolis. She later served as associate professor of psychology at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

She later became a staff psychologist at Vigo County Guidance Clinic before serving several as chief psychologist and director of clinical services at Hamilton Center in Terre Haute (1972-1979). She also served as associate professor of pastoral psychology at Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass. She then became the Congregation’s general superior.

After her term in office, she ministered as an advocate and psychology expert for the Diocese of Monterey in California; as advocate and consultant for the Diocese of Gary in Indiana; psychology professor at Martin University in Indianapolis; clinical psychologist at community Mental Health Center in Batesville, Ind.; and clinical and school psychologist for Providence Self Sufficiency Ministries in West Terre Haute, Ind. In her retirement, she served as a driver at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Her final ministry was one of prayer.

Survivors include a sister, Eileen Munshower of Bozeman, MT, and a brother, James Doherty of Beech Grove, IN, and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by two brothers, Paul M. Doherty and John P. Doherty and two sisters, Mary Jo Matthews and Sister Catherine Doherty, SP.

Mass of the Christian Burial for Sister Anne will be at 11 a.m. Friday in the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods with the Rev. Daniel R. Hopcus presiding. The Wake will be 2:30-4:30 p.m. Thursday in the Church of the Immaculate with the Wake Service to begin at 4:30 p.m. Sister Anne has chosen cremation. Interment will follow immediately in the Congregation’s cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Providence, 1 Sisters of Providence, St. Mary-of-the-Woods, IN 47876.

About the Sisters of Providence

The Sisters of Providence, a Congregation of nearly 250 women religious, with more than 280 Providence Associates, collaborate with others to create a more just and hope-filled world through prayer, education, service and advocacy. The Sisters of Providence have their motherhouse at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, located just northwest of downtown Terre Haute, Ind. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 1840. Today, Sisters of Providence minister in 13 states, the District of Columbia and Asia, through works of love, mercy and justice. More information about the Sisters of Providence and their ministries may be found at SistersofProvidence.org.

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Dave Cox

Dave Cox was media relations manager for the Sisters of Providence for many years. Prior to his work with the sisters, he spent over 30 years in newspaper newsrooms.
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