Sister Doris Schoner
by Roberta Kerins
When asked about her life, her 90 years, Sister Doris Schoner’s first word is “blessed”. She names the blessing of her family, the Congregation, her ministries, and all the people who populated those memories. Doris grew up on Long Island, NY. She attended St Barnabas School in Bellmore, NY, a then new mission of the Sisters of Charity – Halifax. She feels her own vocation was influenced by the joyfulness of the Sisters, their dedication to their students, and that they were good teachers.
In 90 years Sister Doris’ life had many incarnations. She began as a junior and senior high school science teacher, serving in St. Michael School, North Andover, MA, St. Margaret’s, the Academy at the Mount in Halifax, NS. and Seton Hall, Patchogue, NY. Sister Doris served as principal at Mt St Agnes in Bermuda. On her return to the United State Sister Doris transitioned to Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care at Our Lady Help of Christians. In 1982 Sister Doris took the brave step of becoming a missionary to the Dominican Republic. After mastering the language Sister Doris continued her ministry of pastoral care to and with the people of the DR. Her life changed again when she became the administrator of Mother Berchmans Centre in Halifax, NS. She served in that capacity for 17 years. In 2007 Sister Doris returned again to the States. She presently lives in Marian Community at Wellesley, MA.
Sister Doris speaks of blessings. She names the Sisters with whom she has lived as kind, caring, good models. She is blessed with deep and lasting friendships with both Sisters and those men and women with whom she served. Living among the people of the DR was a blessing. Their lives witnessed to a simplicity that was content with little and grateful for all.
One might say that Doris had eyes to see and a heart to welcome. She has been able to see the beauty in people and call it forth. Her stance of gratitude, her own simplicity, create space where all feel at home.
Sister Doris may truly give thanks for her blessings, but those who know her or have been touched by her know the real blessing is Sister Doris herself.