Poor Clare Sister Dorothy Marie Sheehan dies at 72

GREENVILLE — Sister Dorothy Marie Sheehan, a member of the Poor Clare Community for more than 45 years, died Oct. 1.

Sister Sheehan was born Dec. 15, 1931, a daughter of John Howard and Ethel Marie Prescott Sheehan. After graduation from high school and junior college she worked as a secretary for two years.

On the advice of her pastor she entered a small diocesan community, the Sisters of Providence of Holyoke, Mass., where she remained for two years. Since her vocational attraction was to a life of prayer, Sister Sheehan began to explore contemplative communities and visited several of them. After reading a book about the Poor Clares, she responded to the challenge of poverty.

She entered the Poor Clares community in Greenville in January 1958 and received the habit the following October. Her first profession was in December 1959, and her solemn profession was on Feb. 9, 1963.

In her 45 years in the monastery, Sister Sheehan took part in most works of the community, but her specialties were sewing, making vestments, weaving, working in the yard and doing carpentry jobs around the monastery.

Sister Sheehan died of lung cancer. In the last moments of her life the community gathered around her bed, praying and singing some of her favorite hymns. She passed away as the sisters prayed “Come unto me” and “Into your hands.”

The memorial Mass was celebrated by Franciscan Father Steven Pavignano on Oct. 6 at the monastery. The burial was at the monastery cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Monastery of St. Clare, 1916 North Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville, SC 29609.