Sister Dorothy Ann Smith, previously known as Sister Anne Philip, passed away at Saint Joseph Villa on Friday, June 8, 2018. Her funeral took place on June 14. She had been a resident at the Villa for the last five years.
Dorothy was the fourth of five daughters born to Walter and Mildred Smith. Her mother, a non-Catholic, was one of God’s instruments nurturing young Dot’s faith and ensuring that she attend Mass and sacraments faithfully. Reared in southwest Philadelphia, Dot attended grade school in Cathedral Parish. Also given credit for encouraging her religious vocation was Dot’s fourth grade teacher who encouraged the children in her class to visit Church, for “Jesus was waiting for them to come.” Dot visited Jesus and Jesus touched Dot’s heart with His call.
After graduating from St. Maria Goretti High School, Dot worked for two years before entering the Sisters of Saint Joseph. Her studies prepared her to begin her ministry of teaching at the elementary level. A fine teacher, Dot’s goal was to instill in each child she taught the ability to realize how special and loved by God they were. Before going to the Villa, she ministered for seven years in the guidance office of Father Judge High School. Her assignments included schools in the Archdioceses of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and the diocese of Allentown.
Sister Dorothy was kind and caring, gifted with a great sense of humor, and enjoyed a good laugh. She lived simply, sharing with others her time, her good humor and her spiritual strength. She cared for her own sisters in their illnesses, offering God’s love and peace to them. Even her nieces and nephews shared in her loving support.
Sister Dorothy’s illness brought forth her self-emptying spirit that drew her fully into the mystery of the dying of the Lord, her God. She endured her suffering with love and acceptance, offering all to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, on whose feast day she went back home. She made it clear that her heart was ready, and she often verbalized that she was so grateful for the Congregation, her family and friends, and her vocation.