Sister Dorothy Marie Wanner

We commend to your charity the soul of our beloved

Sister Dorothy Marie Wanner

who departed this life on March 2, 2013

in the fifty-fifth year of her religious life

Age: 85 years, 0 months, 25 days

Resurrection Service: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 11 a.m.

Funeral arrangements are as follows: Viewing in the Community Room at Providence Heights on Tuesday, March 5 from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. and on Wednesday, March 6 from 9-10:30 a.m. Wake Service in the Community Room on Tuesday, March 5 at 7 p.m. Mass of Resurrection on Wednesday, March 6 at 11 a.m. in the Mother of Divine Providence Chapel at Providence Heights.

"Come, you have my Father's blessing....

As often as you did it for one of these little ones, you did it for me."

[Mt. 25:34, 40]

Helen Wanner and her twin sister, Mildred, were born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. They were the youngest of 10 children born to Virginia [Moylan] and Louis Wanner. The family was very close-knit, even as adults. They were always interested in one another and offered one another support in loving relationships when they could. In her early twenties, Helen entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame. After completing her novitiate, she professed first vows and served in ministry for three years before leaving the community for personal reasons. Finding herself still searching and feeling a call to be a Sister, Helen entered the Sisters of Divine Providence at the age of 30.

In the grace of God's Providence, Sister Dorothy Marie found life, peace, and happiness in her service and commitment within the Sisters of Divine Providence. In requesting to take first vows, she wrote, "...these past two years have been very happy and fruitful ones for me....I pray that God will continue to grant me the grace to do his work, whatever it may be." In each new place of ministry, the "whatever" may have changed, but her spirit of availability and helpfulness was always evident.

Serving in internal ministry, Sister Dorothy Marie lived with many groups of Sisters, strengthening each local community by her conscientious efforts, her good humor, and her gentle presence. She served in many areas of Pennsylvania, from Beaver, East Liberty, Oakland, and Braddock, to Glenshaw, Overbrook, and Allison Park, at Providence Heights Alpha School. Sister Dorothy Marie served the longest in Ford City, patiently helping the children in the school library and joyfully bringing the Eucharist to the sick and elderly of the parish. Attentive to the needs of others, Sister Dorothy Marie reached out in new ways. When a community of "foreign" Sisters arrived in a nearby town, Sister Dorothy Marie's compassion led her to welcome the stranger, helping the Sisters to feel at home, teaching them about the area, and driving them to new places. Every service to meet others' needs was given with sensitivity and selfless generosity.

"Retiring" to Providence Heights, Sister Dorothy Marie continued to do "whatever" was needed, driving Sisters to doctors' appointments or the airport, and serving sick Sisters snacks and drinks while entertaining them to brighten their days. Open to and trusting God's Providence, Sister Dorothy Marie witnessed God's care for the little ones throughout her life. Now she hears God say, "Come, you have my Father's blessing. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world."

Feast day: February 6

Written by Sister Mary Francis Fletcher

If you would like to make a gift to the Sisters of Divine Providence in memory of Sister Dorothy Marie, visit our donation page.