We celebrate the life of our sister Dorothy Ann Delaney, CSJ, a faithful women who lived a loving and joyful life, 71 of her years as a Sister of St. Joseph. Through the love of Edward and Rita Delaney, Dorothy was the second born of four children. She is preceded by her brothers Edward and Robert and her sister Rita. The last of a generation Dorothy surely left those who follow her with a lasting impression of how to live life and live it to the full.
To meet Dorothy was to encounter a faithful, valiant woman who treasured her relationship with God and whose good heart was unfailing to her family, community, friends, those she ministered with and those she ministered to.
A graduate of The Mary Louis Academy, Dorothy went on to study commerce at the College of Mount St. Vincent before entering the congregation. She would later receive her graduate degree in commerce education. One could say Dorothy made business her life, in reality she made life her business.
To her family she was and will remain a blessing in their life. Each time Dorothy spoke of her family her smile grew wide and one could sense her pride. Dorothy made it her business to be present at family gatherings where she would get down to business organizing activities from puzzles to word games, and most importantly sharing stories that kept her up to date on how each family member was doing. Many of us can recall listening to Dorothy delight in sharing stories of her family, in particularly how proud she was of her brother Robert’s service as a Lt. Colonel in the Army or her nephew who served in the Marine Corp. To her family Dorothy certainly lived the motto semper fidelis, always faithful. Not a birthday went by without a niece or nephew receiving a beautiful card with a crisp one dollar bill. Her faithfulness was priceless.
Life had purpose and pattern for Dorothy, and her organizational skills were valued and necessary for the breath of ministries she undertook. Beginning her ministry teaching grades seventh and eighth at St. Benedict Joseph, St. Agnes Seminary and St. James, Dorothy soon was missioned to Puerto Rico. She would serve nineteen years “en la isla del Encanto” keeping money matters squared away at Catholic University of Puerto Rico, as principal in Academia San Jose, as catechist in San German Parish and then finally teaching religious education to the underserved at Blessed Sacrament Mission. While Dorothy never quite mastered the Spanish language the people of Puerto Rico always understood her. Her generosity, dedication and hard work always translated into self-emptying love, a language understood by all. Upon returning to the states Dorothy assisted in our finance office and as treasurer at Holy Family in Flushing.
In her retirement Dorothy continued to find purpose keeping up and engaging with all that was happening around her. Her sisters in community here at St. Joseph Convent always knew what she was thinking, she left no thought unsaid. She always wanted the best from herself and from her community. After making beautiful music as a participant in the hand bell choir and having their performance applauded by the director, Dorothy would want to always play it again until it was perfect. Always desirous of the more, to live life to the full!
Our sister Dorothy has gathered us today to pray and celebrate a life lived simply, prayerfully, courageously and compassionately.
We give thanks for the generosity of her loving, an outpouring of God’s love in human form.
We give thanks for her faithfulness, a mirror to us of God’s constant presence with us.
We give thanks for her laughter and sense of fun and delight in life, the Breath of Life moved freely in her.
We give thanks for the ways Dorothy nurtured, encouraged, supported, giving hope to so many, truly, God was here among us.
We pray that the Spirit of Life that moved so wonderfully in Dorothy’s life will find hopeful and generous expression in our lives.
Sister Dorothy Ann Delaney, CSJ died on June 22, 2021 in the 71st year of her religious life.