Dorothy Ransil, CDP

Sister Dorothy Ransil, formerly Sister Rose Bernard, entered religious life from Saint Norbert parish in Overbrook, PA. She credits the Sisters of Divine Providence who taught her for eight years at St. Norbert School for influencing her decision to enter religious life. One of eight, Sister Dorothy's sister, the late Sister Michele Ransil, was also a Sister of Divine Providence.

Sister Dorothy earned a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Mercy College. As a young child, she took up drawing, and she loved the process of starting with a blank page and then drawing something from scratch or trying to recreate an image. She recalls that the years she spent in art training were long and difficult, going to school on Saturdays, summers and evenings. It took her 20 years to earn her bachelor's degree from Mount Mercy and three years to earn a Master of Education in Art at the University of Pittsburgh, partly because of teaching full time and spending eight years in Puerto Rico. She is grateful that the Community afforded her the opportunity and experience.

Sister Dorothy ministered at Divine Providence Academy as an art teacher and assistant principal (1978-1984), Serra Catholic High School as an art teacher and counselor (1984-2007) and Providence Art Center at St. Sylvester Convent in Brentwood, PA as an art teacher (2008-20). Her classes included pencil, pen and ink, painting and much more. Of Sister Dorothy's ministry, Sister Barbara McMullen, CDP, said, “Reverencing beauty in our world and helping others discover and appreciate it through art ministry is a sacred task." Sister Dorothy said, “I want to share my knowledge and art skills with those who have the desire to learn about art but have had little opportunity to do so. I offer the students a base upon which to build their knowledge of art and their art skills, opening a wide new world. ... What I have found most satisfying, rewarding and, at times, surprising is being allowed to witness over and over the work of Providence in my students' lives; how so many of them have been able to use their art training by educating, inspiring and delighting those whose lives they have touched. ... With the pandemic, my art classes at St. Sylvester's came to an abrupt end. The convent and school were also sold. I set up an art studio in Providence Heights and keep in touch with my students. Being a very close group, missing their art experience and each other, they rented a room and meet every Tuesday as they did before the pandemic began. They send me their work for suggestions and I continue to guide them as best I can."

Self-described as creative, caring and persevering, Sister Dorothy enjoys reading and crossword puzzles.

CLICK HERE to make a gift in honor of Sister Dorothy's 75th Jubilee.

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