Read the memories shared at Sister Dorothy Marie's memorial Mass.
Thursday, March 4, 2021, at 10:45 a.m.
The memorial Mass was livestreamed.
View the video.
Monday, February 22, 2021
Prayer Service: 3:30 p.m.
Church of Our Lady of Loretto
Notre Dame, Indiana
Immediately followed by the Rite of Committal with Final Commendation,
Our Lady of Peace Cemetery*
View the recorded service.
*Sister Dorothy Marie requested a green burial. Green burial is a way of caring for the dead with minimal environmental impact that aids in the conservation of natural resources, reduction of carbon emissions, protection of worker health, and the restoration and/or preservation of habitat. Green burial necessitates the use of nontoxic and biodegradable materials. A natural burial is the return of the body to the earth as simply as possible.
Sister Dorothy Marie (Langlois), CSC
(Louise Bernadette Langlois)
December 26, 1932–February 20, 2021
We share news of the death of Sister Dorothy Marie (Langlois), CSC, who died at 9:30 a.m. on February 20, 2021, in Saint Mary’s Convent, Notre Dame, Indiana. Sister Dorothy Marie entered the Congregation from Lynn, Massachusetts, on September 8, 1952. Her initial profession of vows took place on August 15, 1955.
Please join us in prayer for Sister as we renew our faith in the resurrected Jesus and strengthen our hope that all the departed will be raised to eternal life.
Sister Dorothy Marie was born Louise Langlois in Lynn, Massachusetts, on December 26, 1932. Her father, Frank J. Langlois, was a machinist and native of Lynn, north of Boston. Her mother, Dorothy Germaine Langlois, was originally from St. Paul, Minnesota. Sister Dorothy Marie had two sisters: Dorothy, or “Dot,” and Bernice. Family ties were everything to Sister Dorothy Marie, including nieces, cousins and their kin. Sister also left behind a long list of dear friends from across the United States.
One of those friends was a Jesuit priest she had met on a weekend retreat in the Boston area following her 1950 graduation from Lynn Classical High School. A 19-year-old payroll clerk at the time, she knew of the Sisters of the Holy Cross at Holy Cross Academy in Brookline, Massachusetts, which had been established in 1948. Louise sought out Father Robert E. Sheridan as a spiritual director and he eventually wrote for her a letter of recommendation to Holy Cross. The Jesuit described himself as “an old padre” who enjoyed her visits as she talked over her studies, her work and her dream of entering the convent. He wrote, “I was impressed by her pleasure in spiritual things.”
Miss Louise Langlois entered the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame, Indiana, on September 8, 1952. Upon reception of the holy habit on August 5, 1953, she received her name in religion, Sister Dorothy Marie, in honor of her mother, Dorothy. Sister’s sibling, also a Dorothy, made for a special connection. Seven months before initial profession of vows on August 15, 1955, Sister Dorothy Marie had already been sent to St. Paul’s School in New York City, New York, to teach primary grades. She continued in elementary education through 1966 at parochial schools staffed by Holy Cross sisters in Norfolk, Virginia; Washington, D.C.; and Batavia, New York. While an office manager at Holy Cross Academy in Brookline, she completed her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Cardinal Cushing College, Brookline, in 1969. It is not certain that Sister Dorothy Marie had ever aspired to be a teacher, but in those days it was assumed that any Catholic sister could begin learning basic ministry skills by teaching the lower grades in a parish school. Since Sister Dorothy Marie could not help but smile, it is likely she might have had difficulties in the classroom. There is some truth to the warning given to new teachers, “Don’t smile until after December,” for fear that students might not heed their authority. There is no doubt that Sister continued to smile then and throughout the rest of her life. She said of herself that she had an open, pleasant personality, was cheerful and liked people. And she liked to help people.
For whatever reason, Sister Dorothy Marie moved out of the classroom permanently and from 1969 to 2007 could be found, smiling and cheerful, helping people in business and finance offices. In 1981, she completed her master’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana. Sister served as a treasurer or business manager for Dunbarton College, Washington, D.C.; Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame; Sisters of the Holy Cross Midwest Region, South Bend, Indiana; St. Joseph High School, South Bend; St. Edward High School, Lakewood, Ohio; Holy Cross Junior College, Notre Dame; Wynhoven Health Care Center, Marrero, Louisiana, near New Orleans; Holy Cross Shared Services, Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame; and Saint Catherine by the Sea Convent, Ventura, California.
Sister Dorothy Marie liked administration and financial management but also found it stressful at times. The numbers do not always add up when the projected institutional budget has unexpected losses of income. Directing financial aid leaves some people unhappy. Even simple accounting is never simple when people do not understand why there can be no blank checks. A 30-day retreat in 1972 at the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth in Wernersville, Pennsylvania, and two later sabbaticals periodically restored some balance to Sister Dorothy Marie’s ledger. Sisters joke when they receive an unexpected, challenging assignment: “Yes, here I am. I will do it. By the way, do I get a raise?” The CREDO Program at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, was a wonderful spiritual benefit, a hundredfold, for Sister Dorothy Marie from 1981 to 1982. As was a “Sarah Sabbatical” at Manna House of Prayer in Concordia, Kansas, in 2008. Her spiritual life was nourished as she spent time with other women religious who were her peers, who had opportunities for re-creation and reflection on their original call and vocation from the vantage point of being in their 70s and 80s. These experiences so energized Sister, it is not surprising that in 1973 she had dreamed of establishing a house of prayer, in addition to two others the Congregation already sponsored. Sister was not successful in that venture, but she may have eventually realized, given her constant searching for God experiences, that she was in God’s good company all along.
While in California at Saint Catherine by the Sea Convent from 1997 to 2013, Sister Dorothy Marie was the councilor for finance for 10 years and then devoted time to making quilts and knitting shawls for newborns and their mothers. Her greatest joy was the three years she spent as a volunteer receptionist for the neonatal intensive care unit at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, where she also took turns holding the babies born prematurely. She loved holding those infants in her arms.
Due to chronic health issues, Sister moved to Saint Mary’s in 2013. She loved visits from her sister Dot and had looked forward to one more trip to Boston. Dot’s death and Sister’s own frail health ruled out that wish. Sister Dorothy Marie enjoyed her community life at the motherhouse but had many restless nights of discomfort. After one last health crisis took her to the hospital, she soon asked to come back home to die among friends. Upon Sister’s return, her Sophia Community in Rosary Convent, and so many other sisters, kept prayerful vigil with her in Saint Mary’s Convent, where she died on a sunny winter morning on February 20, 2021. The green burial Sister requested took place on February 22 in Our Lady of Peace Cemetery under a blanket of snow. A memorial Mass at the Church of Our Lady of Loretto will be celebrated later.
It is said that newborns can only see as far as the human face when cuddled. And the face they see is that of God, an all-powerful, all-loving, all-comforting mother. Long ago when Dorothy Marie rocked infants, she would have been the image of God herself with white hair, big warm smile, soothing voice and soft heart. Let us pray that Dorothy Marie now sees God face to face and feels the embrace of Divine Love holding her daughter under her wings. (Luke 13:34)
We invite you to donate to the Ministry With the Poor Fund in Sister’s name.
—Written by Sister Catherine Osimo, CSC