Sister Dorothy Hofer

Sister Dorothy HoferSister Dorothy Hofer is a 60-year Jubilarian, but that might never have been. When Dorothy was a teenager, she had thought about joining the Maryknoll Missionaries. But when she learned that her friend Ruth was planning to enter the School Sisters of St. Francis, she decided that this community might be a good choice for her, too, because the sisters also worked in the mission field. Dorothy and Ruth entered our congregation together.

After Dorothy graduated from Alverno College with a degree in education and Spanish, she was appointed to teach third graders in Rockford, Illinois. She later taught high school Spanish, and then accepted an offer to teach Spanish-speaking adults at St. Mary Parish in Aurora, Illinois.  “Teaching adults seemed like a good fit for me,” she said. “I enjoyed working with Hispanic people very much, and eventually felt called to help them develop the spiritual dimension of their lives.”

She earned a master’s degree in pastoral studies, and took a position in adult formation in Aurora, preparing Eucharistic Ministers, working in RCIA, and preparing parents for the baptism of their children. She later took a similar position in Adel, Iowa. “I found that adult formation was very satisfying because I was able to use my creative skills more readily,” she said.

In 2011, she began a completely new area of service as ministry director for the congregation’s U.S. Province. “I really enjoyed this ministry because I was able to get to know a lot of the sisters, and learn about the extensive work of our sisters in the United States,” she said.

“Living with people who share the same values and who mutually accept and respect one another has had a very positive impact on my life,” Sister said. “We were often encouraged to take on responsibilities we never dreamed of, and relied on an ever-deepening relationship with God to see us through.”

“As I reflect on my life, I know that God desires each of us to find a path that will help us to ‘act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with our God,’” she noted, quoting from Micah 6:8. “For me, religious life has been that path.”

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