We come together today as sisters, co-ministers from St. Edmond’s High School, colleagues and friends to celebrate the life of a dedicated and faithful Sister of St. Joseph for sixty-three years, Barbara Ann Doyle. Barbara, consistent and private has been known to say to some when she met them: “You probably do not know who I am.” But Barbara, all of us here do know you and today we are here to thank you and celebrate your life.
Barbara was born in Queens and attended St. Theresa’s parish school in Woodside and The Mary Louis Academy. She entered the congregation and earned a Bachelor’s degree from Brentwood College and a Master’s in Education from Queens College. She taught upper grades in Holy Name, Ascension, Our Lady of Snows, St. Angela Hall, Queen of Peace and Immaculate Conception and was known as an excellent teacher. Somewhere in that time Barbara developed her many gifts and talents including her love of gardening.
In 1987, Barbara began her thirty-one year ministry at St. Edmond’s High School. In today’s reading from Ecclesiastes, we are reminded that there is a time for every purpose under heaven. Barbara lived in that spirit and in the spirit of our congregation to seek out the needs of the city and do whatever needed to be done. Perhaps her ever-ready tool kit came in handy. Beginning as a Math Teacher, Barbara then served as Dean of Students and eventually Assistant Principal. During those years, Barbara was always available to her students to guide, encouraged and of course expect the best from them. Her door was always opened and students always came first, Barbara provided for whatever they needed from advice, needed lunch money and of course some warnings about expected behavior.
When St. Edmond’s became a co-educational high school, the transitions were a challenge. But Barbara’s steady, consistent and faithful focus helped during some difficult times, helping the school to thrive. She shared her gifts generously in school, with her sisters in community, Mary and Mary Ellen and as she prepared women and men to be Eucharistic Ministers in the diocesan program.
In all of her endeavors, Barbara knew of God’s love for her and wanted others to live the gospel command to love one another.
Sister Barbara Doyle died on July 4, 2019 in the 63rd year of her religious life.