Our Lady’s Missionaries together with family and friends gathered for the Mass of Resurrection for Sr. Doris MacDonell, OLM on April 11, 2023, at Presentation Manor Chapel.
Before the Mass began, Sr. Frances Brady, OLM welcomed everyone:
Good morning and welcome to this celebration of Doris Macdonell’s life. We are grateful to have members of Doris’ family and many friends with us today.
Doris was a very private person who never wanted to be the center of attention. In her funeral plans she specifically stated “no eulogy” and we will honour that. However, Doris is loved and missed by her family, her sisters in Community, and many others, and it’s important that we remember and celebrate her life.
Doris was born and educated in Williamstown, Ontario. She graduated from St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in Cornwall and worked in hospitals in Cornwall and St. Catherine’s Ontario before entering Our Lady’s Missionaries in 1957.
In Canada, Doris worked at St. Michael’s Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto, studied public health nursing at the University of Toronto, and worked with St. Elizabeth visiting nurses in Toronto.
Her first mission outside of Canada was to northeast Brazil in 1965, to a large maternity hospital in the city of Fortaleza, and later to a small hospital in Aratuba, in a rural area where there were no medical doctors.
Doris returned to Canada and Toronto to serve as director of Maryglen Residence for Women and in leadership roles as councilor and treasurer, then as a congregational leader.
In 1993 she went to New Amsterdam, Guyana, where she worked in pastoral and health care ministries for 13 years.
When health issues forced her to leave Guyana Doris returned again to Toronto and we all benefitted from her nursing skills, her service in the OLM finance office, and as the congregation’s archivist. In 2018 she moved here to presentation manor with 18 other members of our lady’s missionaries.
Doris had a wide variety of talents and interests. When she was director of Maryglen Residence she had her own toolbox so she could do minor repairs. Her writing, editing, and proofreading skills were often called on and she was a member of the editorial committee for the olm history. She took advantage of the internet and helped others to benefit from its resources.
In whatever she was doing, Doris was realistic, practical, and quietly competent. She carried out responsibilities that were asked of her and took on other tasks whenever she saw what was needed, and always with as little attention to herself as she could manage.
Doris was deeply loyal to all that was important to her, her faith, her family and friends, her community, and her Scottish heritage.
We love you and miss you, Doris. We will remember you for so many reasons, including your loyalty, your quiet dependability, your kindness, and your delightful sense of humour.
These are the photos taken at Holy Cross Cemetery.