Sister Dorothy Prettyman died on August 14, 2022 at Saint Joseph Villa, Flourtown, Pennsylvania. Her Funeral Mass was offered on August 25 at Saint Joseph Villa. Following Sister Maureen Erdlen’s welcome, words of remembrance on behalf of the community were offered by Dot’s good friend Sister Anne McCoy, and on behalf of the family by Dot’s youngest niece Missy.
Dot was raised in Wilmington, Delaware and attended Christ Our King Grade School and Pierre S. DuPont High School there. The family were members of Corpus Christi Parish. Dot entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph in Philadelphia in 1957 and received the habit and religious name of Sister Robertine the following year.
During Sister Dot’s 65 years as a Sister of Saint Joseph she served as teacher, principal, director of religious education and pastoral associate. However, it was not what she did but whom she served that mattered most. The words of the Constitutions of the Sisters of Saint Joseph state, “We live and work lovingly among all persons with a special preference for the poor,” were most meaningful in Dot’s life.
Her teaching ministry began in Philadelphia and spread to Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and the Dominican Republic. She brought a spirit of joy and loving presence to all those with whom she interacted. As Sister Anne commented, “Dot was a loving, joyful, healing presence. This was not a career for her, it was a way of life.”
When Sister Dot saw there was a need, she did what she could to remedy it. In Dominican Republic she saw that there was no school for Haitian children who lived at the edge of the village. Dot began a little school without walls and trained some women to be teachers for the children. In Maryland she helped migrant workers get transportation to a church with a Mass in Spanish, and she began ESL classes for the workers.
It was evident from the reflections offered by Sister Anne and Missy that Sister Dot is much-loved by family and friends. And she gave away that love to all. So it was on August 14, 2022, 56 years to the day that Dot made her Final Profession as a Sister of Saint Joseph that our loving God called her home to enjoy eternal life.
Well done, good and faithful servant. Pray for us!