Sister Doroma O’Connor

We remember her in the rustling of the Leaves and in the beauty of autumn

Doroma OConnor

April 19, 1921 – November 19, 2016

In reflecting on the readings Doroma chose for her liturgy …that of the prophet Micah, Paul’s letter to the people of Corinth and especially Luke’s gospel account of the two friends, disciples of Jesus, on the road to Emmaus…it became apparent that these readings spoke of Doroma’s own journey with Jesus to her God.  Some questions posed to her: How do I come before my God? What do I offer? With whom am I in relation? What happens to me on the journey? Who receives the invitation to share a meal? What are the blindness’s that prevents my seeing? What causes my heart to burn within me?  Then once I begin to see clearly and to recognize God within me and in others, what do I do next?

Perhaps these questions were among those Doroma prayed with, I believe she not so much wanted definitive answers, although that would have been good, she was searching and asking that her faith and trust be deepened, that she be gentled and patient, accepting of others, and receptive to the wisdom needed to give over all she felt, the joys, pain, and challenges, to the God who was so good to her.

Certainly the graces she longed for and desired were revealed to her in Jesus, but also in those people who touched her life, especially in Sister Lucian with whom she shared a unique relationship. Sister Lucian offered Doroma, unconditional love, unwavering loyalty and wonderful companionship. These gifts made Doroma’s life that much richer.

In listening to others who shared with me remembrances of Doroma, I came to realize that she was ready when renewal came about.  Perhaps her outward appearance was an indicator what was happening interiorly…everything coordinated clothing, jewelry, earrings, etc. Possibly even the fact that her birthday was on April 19th, Independence Day, the day that marked the beginning of the American Revolution, set her on the road for independence, righteousness, and justice.

Doroma prayed for and longed to live in the moment; to look with love into the faces of those she met, because for her, theirs was the face of God.

Some of us in this chapel attended a concert recently given by Sara Thomsen. Among the songs she shared was one entitled, A Woman’s Place. She sang that a woman’s place was in the home and her home was the whole world, being change makers, dreamers of a new day, asking questions, being world shapers. Maybe this message was Doroma’s prayer and interior desire and it became manifest as she promoted excellence in the students she taught, encouraged them to expand their horizons, to develop their gifts and talents, to ask the questions and to be the change makers the world awaited.

Some years ago, while on retreat in Cohasset the fruit of Doroma’s experience became the following prayer entitled, My Magnificat.

My Spirit rejoices in the wonders of nature. Through it my soul reaches to God. I soar to heights frightening to my littleness.  The Spirit raises me to the heavens, enlightening my understanding, and leads me to Himself.  Shall I lose this favor because of my failure to respond and share? He draws me close, but I am afraid of disappointing him. He has seen my smallness and accepted and loved it. I can only be quieted by remembering His mercy.

Doroma, you have been on the journey as a Sister of Saint Joseph for 78 years.  You travelled the road, via circuitous routes, with many during this time, asking the questions, living the charism, and growing in gentleness and patience. With open, empty hands you come to your God, and your new journey begins.  On this eve of Thanksgiving we are grateful, Doroma, for your life among us and pray that you be welcomed by the One for whom you longed.  Be at peace.

Given by Roseann Amico

November 23, 2016