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Noted Dominican Educator Dies after 75 years of Service

MISSION SAN JOSE, CA. January 22, 2007--Dominican Sister Mary Dominic Engelhard leaves a profound spiritual and educational legacy to those fortunate to have known her. After 75 years in religious life, at the age of 93, Sister died peacefully on January 8, 2007, at the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose Care Center.

Born Margaret Engelhard, she was educated at Saint Ignatius Parish School, Los Angeles, and attended Sacred Heart High School there, before becoming a Dominican Sister.

Always a teacher, Sister Mary Dominic taught and served as principal in elementary and secondary schools in Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, in California, and at schools in Portland, Oregon. Sister earned a BA from Queen of the Holy Rosary College, and an MA and Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America. Sister served as Dean of the Queen of the Holy Rosary College, Director of Continuing Formation and Director of Development for the Congregation.

Sister Rose Marie Hennessy, former Superintendent of Catholic Schools in Oakland, California, recalls, "ll always be grateful that Sister Mary Dominic educated me and supervised my early training as a teacher. Her commitment to quality preparation of teachers helped launch many great educators on their ministry journeys."

Sister Mary Dominic was a strong Dominican woman, a woman of vision, a woman of the Church, and a leader. Called to that role of leadership in her religious community, Sister served 12 years on the General Council, followed by 12 years as Prioress General. She also served two terms as Prioress of the Congregation’s community in Germany.

Nowhere was Sister Mary Dominic more of an educator than when she directed retreats for groups and individuals. Firmly based in a love of and great reverence for Sacred Scripture, Sister also served many lay and religious as spiritual director. She was chaplain for an active group of the Dominican Laity in Northern California.

Reflecting on the gift that was Sister Mary Dominic, Sister Renilde Cade, former Prioress General, shared that “Sister’s utter trust in God’s providence, her steadfast fidelity to our communal way of life, and her resolute commitment to the charism of the Order have always been both inspiration and challenge."

Although noted for being a hard worker, Sister Mary Dominic had a delightful sense of humor. No one laughed more heartily at the stories she told on herself than she did.

Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Saturday, January 13, at the Dominican Sisters Chapel, 43326 Mission Blvd, Fremont. Memorial gifts may be given to The Sister Mary Dominic/Sister Mary Thomas Veritas Fund which provides tuition grants for needy children.

Barbara Larner, OP



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