Today the Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Catherine of Siena, an incredible woman who challenges all of us with her famous quote “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” Many of our John Carroll students are already starting to set the world on fire through their growing faith and profound service to others.
Sadly, we learned of the death this past Friday of one of our school’s early women leaders, a matriarch of the community and religious sister who lived a life of deep faith and indeed set the world on fire:
Sister Ignatius Loyola, SSJ served as our vice-principal from 1972-1975. Many of our students’ parents and grandparents, and our veteran teachers will remember Sister fondly. She made an incredible mark on our school community before returning to Philadelphia to serve in leadership capacities for her beloved Sisters of Saint Joseph. These good Sisters taught and served in many important roles here at John Carroll for over 45 years.
During her JC years, Sister Ignatius worked hard to uphold our school’s mission and the ideals of Catholic education. It was during that time when she returned to the use of her baptismal name, Sister Dorothea Newell. Sister Dorothea (“Dottie” to her friends) served in leadership roles for her congregation, ultimately serving as the tenth Superior General of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Chestnut Hill. The Sisters have always lived by the words of Bishop Francis Patrick Kenrick (1796-1863; third Bishop of Philadelphia, 1842-1851, and sixth Archbishop of Baltimore 1851-1863), as their motto states “Ready for any good work!”
We join our prayers today to those of the Sisters of Saint Joseph in remembering this amazing woman who indeed set the world on fire.
The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Saint Joseph Villa, Flourtown, PA. on Friday, May 10: Greeting of the family at 1 p.m., followed by the Mass at 3 p.m.
A Remembrance Service will be held the evening before the Funeral Mass: Thursday evening, May 9 at 5:30 p.m. at Saint Joseph Villa, Flourtown, PA.
Burial of Sister Dottie’s cremains: The following Wednesday, May 15 at 6:30 p.m: Mount Saint Joseph Cemetery, Chestnut Hill: The ritual will begin in the SSJ Motherhouse Chapel, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, at 6:30 p.m.; Procession to the cemetery for the burial.
With gratitude we remember Dottie’s living, dying and rising to new life.
—The Sisters of Saint Joseph of Philadelphia
Prayer for the Feast of Saint Catherine of Siena:
O God, You are beauty and wisdom, mystery and love.
Touch the hearts of your people to set the world on fire for You and for Your Church through the prayer and example of Saint Catherine of Siena.
We ask this grace through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Sister Dorothea Newell, SSJ (1928- 2013) from the 1975 edition of PACIFICUS, the yearbook of The John Carroll School