2015 Jubilarian – Doreen M. (John Magdalen) Lynch
Sister Doreen Lynch grew up in Detroit with loving parents; her father had a keen sense of humor. She and her sister attended St. Francis de Sales, where she was taught by the IHM Sisters for 12 years.
She attended Marygrove College for two years. Here, “the Lord came into my life in a very special way.” Through her uncle, a priest, her aunt, a sister and the example of her parents, she had “always known the Lord.” She was asked by the Lord if she would commit her life to young people. From that point on, she has been involved with youth ministry and “loves children dearly.”
Sister Doreen’s first mission was at St. Mary of Redford teaching third grade in the same classroom where her mother taught. She loved to add dramatizations in her classrooms; it was an effective way for her students to understand the teachings of Jesus.
She had earned her master’s degree in home economics from Michigan State University and was able to incorporate that knowledge in her next four ministries. At St. Philip, Battle Creek, Mich., she taught fourth grade and she taught clothing classes at the high school. At St. Martin de Porres in Detroit, it was third and sixth grades, as well as teaching clothing in the high school. At Our Lady Star of the Sea in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., and later at St. Mary of Redford, she taught religion and clothing and was responsible for youth ministry.
Following a year at St. Kieran Parish in Utica, Mich., where she served in religious education and as youth coordinator, Sister Doreen left Michigan for Minnesota. There, she taught religious education in several different parishes and also spent a year as a high school campus minister. She helped deliver the baby of one of her parishioners; the baby, now grown, is her godchild and brings his children to visit her. In 1981, she left the cold of Minnesota for the warmth of Florida.
She served as campus minister at Biscayne College and at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, both in Miami. While in the Archdiocese of Miami, she taught lay people to be religious education teachers on the military bases and was the first woman ever to address the command chaplains when she gave a presentation on hope.
Other ministries in Florida include parish and campus ministry (in Key Largo, Jacksonville and Gainesville); and as a volunteer within young adult ministry and spiritual direction.
Sister Doreen’s greatest joy since joining the community has been her relationship with God. “My life has been in God’s hands every single day,” she says, and Scripture remains important to her. Each day, she writes down 10 things for which she is grateful; her many friendships, the places she has been and the life the community has provided are always on the list.