This was a world
-of Nancy Drew and Therese of Lisieux;
-of Cardinal Mundelein and Father P.J. McGuire;
-of President Roosevelt and Blessed Martin de Porres;
-of chance books and St. Patrick’s Day plays;
-of novenas and May crownings;
-of diagramming participles and memorizing poetry.
This was how Sister Dorothy Folliard, in her life story, remembered her childhood in the Chicago of the 1930s. She was the second oldest of five children – four girls and one boy – born to Michael and Margaret (O’Connor) Folliard, Irish immigrants from County Roscommon and County Kerry, respectively, who met in Chicago and married in 1921. Michael was a street car operator, while Margaret oversaw home and family.
Originally, the Folliards lived in St. Columbanus Parish, but when Sister Dorothy was two years old the family moved to St. Laurence Parish, where they lived next door to the convent and could hear the prayers and laughter of the Adrian Dominican Sisters there. “We went to the store with them as ‘companion.’ We loved them in their black cloaks and in their colorful house dresses for Friday night cleaning. We thrived in their school across the street,” Sister Dorothy recalled.
Read more about Sister Dorothy (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link).
It was privilege to know Sr. Dorothy when she served on the Faculty at Mundelein Seminary. One summer break, she asked me to show her how to put all her class notes on the computer for her students. We met each morning at 10 a.m. for an hour. It was a joy to spend those summer mornings with her. She was such a gentle woman and a kinder person I will never meet. Sr. Dorothy, you will be remembered with love by so many people for a very long time!
Dorothy was a true friend to me and a wisdom figure. We arrived at Mundelein Seminary at the same time and left together eight years later. Dorothy didn't drive so I would invite her to come with me when I was going to the store or just out. She was always so grateful yet I was the one that was being helped. Many a time I went to do something simply because I had Dorothy to accompany me. She was so sharp! She found a theater near by where we could see the latest shows for one or two dollars. We just had to wait around 3 months or so but, as she said, it often took us that long to find the time to go!
I am trying to access tonight's Vigil Prayer for Sister Dorothy Folliard yet I am unable to do so. It is a nice collection of pictures including my late Grandmother Folliard.
In February,1972 I met with Dorothy in a high school classroom at Dominican High. I held her in great trust and gentleness and was confident that I could share with her my deep feelings for Val (not without crying, however) . After spilling out my heart, Dorothy held my hands and told me that I was in love and proceeded to say “what can I do to help you?” The new journey began and through the last 46 years Ive kept in touch with her. Every time I would go to Adrian I always made it a point to see her and ask for her blessing. Her words were simple, strong and centered , “keep on doing what you’re doing” I will miss her, but I will talk to her and continue to ask for direction She’s taken a part of us with her ,Resurrecit Sigut Dixit
Sister Dorothy has always been a wisdom figure in my life. I have come in contact with her at very special moments in my life when I needed that gift of the Spirit. I was in a program at the Mexican American Cultural Center at the time she was there. It seems like she was never left alone for even a meal at which people took advantage of a chance to seek her out to talk about their lives and often their problems. Her gentle, simple but brilliant caring will always be remembered by many.
I deeply miss Sr. Dorothy and I rejoice that she has returned to the Lord whom she loved so deeply. She was the best teacher I ever had. I took Greek and Latin just to be near her and hear her stories. She taught me the most important lessons in life. "Always remember the anawim. Make every decision with the anawim in mind and heart." "Never compare yourself to anyone for good or for I'll. It's the beginning of spiritual death." I truly love Sr. Dorothy. With tears in my eyes I rejoice that she has returned to her Risen Lord on EASTER, and I grieve with all who will miss her today.With love, Fr. John Iffert, Mundelein, Class of 1997
I was privileged to minister with Dorothy at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein for several years. She was unfailingly kind and welcoming and full of humor. What a gift to have known her!.
Our Adrian Dominican cemetery with its circular headstones is a beautiful place of rest for women who gave their lives in service to God—and a peaceful place for contemplation and remembrance.
We will post memorial reflections on our faithfully departed Sisters and Associates. If you would like to reflect on a Sister or Associate who has gone before us, please send your reflections – no more than 500 to 600 words – to
We invite you to meet some of the wonderful women who have recently crossed into eternity.