Sister Dorothy McGowan, M.M., Maryknoll Sister for 68 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Dorothy McGowan, M.M. died on January 13th, 2021 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY. She was born on August 25th, 1934 in New York City to Catherine (Dalton) McGowan and Terence McGowan. She is survived by her only brother, Kenneth McGowan.

Dorothy graduated from St. Barnabas High School, Bronx, NY in 1952. She entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate, Maryknoll, NY on September 2nd, 1952 (from St. Brendan Parish, New York City). She made her First Profession of Vows on March 7th, 1955 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY and her Final Profession of Vows on the same date in 1961, also at the Sisters Center.

After her First Profession of Vows, Sister Dorothy worked temporarily in the kitchen, Treasury Department and for the Field Afar Magazine office at the Maryknoll Seminary. From 1957-1961, she studied at Maryknoll Teachers College (located on the Maryknoll Sisters Center property) where she received her Bachelor of Education Degree. In 1963, she earned a Master’s Degree in Mathematics from Notre Dame University. 

Sister Dorothy received her first overseas assignment in 1963 to Malabon, Philippines. There she served as a high school religion and math teacher. In 1964 she transferred to Maryknoll College in Quezon City where she worked as Head of the Math Department, Dean of Students and taught math until 1973. She then transferred to Santo Tomas, Mindanao to teach in the local high school and do pastoral work.

In 1974, Sister Dorothy returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY to serve on the Congregation’s Central Governing Board until 1978. She was then assigned to Bandung, Indonesia, first to study the language and culture and then to work in a community health program where she remained until 1987. From 1986-1990, she also worked in Seminary Administration.

In 1991, she received her next mission assignment to Kabupaten Aileu, East Timor. There, she did pastoral work, health work in the local parish clinic, part-time teaching in the high school and was the full-time Coordinator of the Family Life Program until 2014.

In 2015, Sister Dorothy returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY to fully retire. 

Funeral Arrangements: Sister Dorothy’s body was interred in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery. Her Memorial Service was livestreamed on 1/22/2021 due to the COVID pandemic.