we remember . . . dorinda young, SSJ

Sister Dorinda Young, SSJ, age 78, of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania, died on March 18, 2018. She was born Judith Anne Young in Erie, PA on March 6, 1940, the daughter of Daniel and Dorinda (DeMaison) Young.  She later became Sister Dorinda after entering the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1958 from St. Andrew Parish, Erie, PA.  She professed her final vows in 1966. This year, 2018, she would have celebrated 60 years of religious life.

Sister Dorinda earned a B.S. degree at Villa Maria College, Erie, Pennsylvania and an M.A. in Religious Education from Fordham University, New York, NY with a concentration in Campus Ministry.  She taught at St. Patrick, Holy Rosary, Our Lady of Peace, St. John, St. Ann, and Cathedral Preparatory schools in Erie, PA, as well as St. Agatha School, Meadville, PA; and Kennedy Christian High School, Sharon, PA.  She also served as Catholic Chaplain at Allegheny College, Meadville, PA.

In 1982, Sister Dorinda began a 35 year ministry serving as a Roman Catholic Chaplain at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.  In 1989, while chaplain at the School of Nursing, she was asked to become a part-time chaplain at Georgetown Law Center.  When she later moved into the Gewirz Student Residence as Chaplain-in-Residence in 1993, she began a full-time ministry at Georgetown University Law Center (GULC). Her particular interests were facilitating the on-campus “Prayer-in-Daily-Life” retreats, prayer and spirituality, women’s issues, marriage preparation and personal and faith counseling.  She received the Georgetown University Vicennial Medal in 2003 for 20 years of service to the University.

In honor of her 50th anniversary as a Sister of St. Joseph in 2008, Georgetown University Law Center hosted a panel discussion, “The Intersection between Religion and the Law.” In 2017, Sister Dorinda was honored by the Georgetown University School of Law and presented with the Carol Quindlen O’Neil Award, established in honor of a long-time associate Dean of the Law School, which recognizes a colleague of the Law Center who embodies the characteristics she exhibited during her tenure at the Law Center: excellence, compassion, respect for others and long term dedication to Georgetown Law.

Sister Dorinda’s sources of inspiration were the late Fr. Robert J. Drinan, SJ for his passion and commitment to international human rights; Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, for her vision, passion, and prayerful and scholarly attention to Wisdom/Spirit; and the voice and vision of feminist pioneers.  Sister Dorinda was also a voracious reader who enjoyed being surrounded by stacks of books.

Sister Dorinda was preceded in death by her parents, Daniel and Dorinda (DeMaison) Young and a sister, Dorinda Courtine. She is survived by a sister, Margaret Gerrity; a brother, Daniel Young; two nephews and three nieces. She is also survived by her religious community, the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Memorials may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph Mission and Ministries Foundation.

10 Comments on “we remember . . . dorinda young, SSJ”

  1. During a time when I was struggling, Sister Dorinda had the perfect words for me. Despite the years, I have never forgotten her advice or her. She embodied all the best of the the Christian faith. She’ll be missed.

  2. Dorinda was my Campus Minister at Allegheny College. Her welcoming smile and infectious laugh were such an inspiration to me. She was a faithful listener and challenged me to grow in ways I could never have imagined. Her praline cheesecake recipe was a hit in my family for years. I did not recognize it then, but today I would credit her for the initial inspiration that has shaped me to be the Sister of St. Joseph (of Rochester, NY) that I am today.

  3. Sister Dorinda was a special lady who seemed to remember everyone’s name, and who always had a kind word and a smile. We just recently reconnected on Facebook. She will forever be a part of my law school memories from Georgetown.

  4. Loved Sister Dorinda at Prep….Sophomore year I worked after school and one day while I cleaned the chalk boards in her room she and I had a conversation I will never forget about the Sr class play….which she had directed….I told her I couldn’t wait to try out as a senior…she said the next year all the school would be able to participate….well Mac got rid of her that year so that didn’t work out….took me 15 years after that to try out for a show….always wondered how things might have worked out if she had stayed! She was a wonderful soul!

  5. When Sr. Dorinda was back for a conference at CLC, I had a wonderful chat/meeting with her at our table. She later suggested the book WOMEN SPIRITULITY. I was anxious to purchase it for $25! Terrific and gave my spiritual director, too. I wrote Dorinda a note to Georgetown of gratitude. Last week I took it from my shelf to give to CLC. It will be there, with loving memory of her….from high school on to wow….her 60th year! And always a lovely smile. I’m sure all lives touched will send ripples of love forward. and that love includes her family, with my dear classmate Margaret Young so dedicated to her.
    Already miss you, Sister. Enjoy your God!

  6. I don’t have the words to convey what Sr. Dorinda meant to me. She was my 7th grade teacher at St. John’s, but she was much more than that. She encouraged my and inspired me. We kept in touch and I had the pleasure of visiting with her at Georgetown and at our home in Delaware. without a doubt, she was the best person I ever met. Funny, feisty, determined, wise and kind. I will miss her. Those who knew her will never forget her.

  7. I have fond memories of Sister Dorinda from St. Ann’s during my first year of teaching. She was a joyful influence and I was grateful to be her second floor neighbor. May she enjoy eternal happiness.

  8. Sister Dorinda was my 5th grade teacher at St. Patrick grade school.
    Throughout the years we never lost touch which each other.
    A special memory we shared was being invited to the White House Christmas Party for the National Press.
    Sister Lucille, Sister Dorinda, the St. George choir and I will never forget this magical moment.
    She was a woman of intelligence, humor and deep faith. I will greatly miss her.

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