Sister Dorothy M. Smith, OSF, 1934-2020

Tue, Sep 22nd 2020 10:00 am

Sister Dorothy M. Smith, a refugee coordinator and educator, died Sept. 7, 2020, in St. Mary of the Angels Regional House, Williamsville. She was 86.    

Born prematurely on Jan. 26, 1934, during a snowstorm, weighing only 3 pounds, Sister Dorothy remained small in stature, but never small in life and achievements.

As a child, Sister Dorothy was educated at St. Mary of Sorrows and Blessed Trinity schools in Buffalo and then attended Bishop Neumann High School in Williamsville. After working a year for Marine Midland Bank, she entered the sisters of St. Francis on Aug. 15, 1953, taking the name Sister M. Catherine Rose. In later years, she returned to her baptismal name of Dorothy.  Sister received bachelor's and master's degrees from Canisius College in Buffalo, a certificate in Religious Education from the Notre Dame Institute of Religious Studies in Middleburg, Va., and additional graduate work at Niagara University and D'Youville College in Buffalo.

During her religious life, Sister Dorothy taught at Our Lady Help of Christians, Cheektowaga; St. James and St. Mary of Sorrows, Buffalo; St. Mary's High School, Lancaster; and then at Archbishop Carroll High School, Buffalo; as teacher and assistant principal.

Leaving the field of education, Sister Dorothy assumed the duties of general treasurer of the congregation from 1981-2004. Sister served as chairperson of the congregation's constitution committee and was privileged to present the renewed constitution to Cardinal Piroviso in Rome in 1982. From 1985-1993, Sister served as a member of the Congregation's Leadership Team.

Beginning in 1987, Sister Dorothy coordinated the refugee program at St. Mary of the Angels and served as the community's representative on the board of directors and the advisory board of VIVE (a Central American refugee organization).

During various years, Sister served as the community representative for the Retirement Fund for Religious of the Diocese of Buffalo; held memberships in the National Association of Religious Treasurers CORT and CORT II (local and state conference of religious treasurers); served as treasurer for the local Leadership Conference of Women Religious; and was a board member for Mount St. Mary's Hospital and Nursing Home in Lewiston and St. Francis Geriatric and Health Care Services in Buffalo.

A funeral Mass was offered Sept. 10 in the chapel of St. Mary of the Angels Regional House. Burial took place in Gethsemane Cemetery in Williamsville.


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