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.