Sister Michele Doyle

Sister Michele DoyleWhen Sister Michele Doyle left Mississippi, where she had ministered for 64 years, it was said of her that she “is one of those giants who has a steady hand on the plow and an eye on where God is leading her.”

Sister Michele’s deep faith was nourished by her parents from early on as they lived their faith and taught her and her brother and sister. She wanted to be a sister from early on and after completing high school, she came to St. Joseph Convent and was received into the Community in 1944.

Sister Michele’s ministry always involved teaching. She began by teaching second grade in McHenry, Illinois. She was then sent to Yazoo City, Mississippi, where she taught high school for 20 years and served as principal for five of those years. It was here, ministering with the Black community, that she found her “most meaningful ministry.”

Later she moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where she taught religion at St. Joseph High School and history at Jackson State University. She then served in the Diocese of Jackson’s office in adult religious formation and the RCIA program. One woman there said of her, “Sister not only talks about service to others, she lives it.”

In 1983, Sister Michele was elected to the leadership team of the United States Province and served two four-year terms. After that, she returned to Mississippi as a pastoral minister. She also helped to establish adult religious formation programs in small parishes.

Three years ago, Sister Michele retired and moved to Maria Linden Apartments in Milwaukee. She retired…and yet she didn’t retire! She continues to touch the lives of the people in Mississippi through her daily reflections on the scripture readings. She has offered inspiration opportunities to anyone who wanted to attend and offered a study of the six Black Americans who are on the path to canonization. In addition, she has developed a study of the hymn “Amazing Grace,” reflections on the prayer of St. Francis, and presented an Advent reflection with Associates. Sister Michele is also presenting a monthly reflection on the women of the Old Testament with sisters living at Sacred Heart.

Sister Michele says that “through it all, the community continues to be here for me.” Thank you, Sister Michele, and congratulations for your 80 years as a School Sister of St. Francis.