Sister Barbara Doherty died on Aug. 17 in Providence Hall, St. Mary-of-the-Woods. She was born on Dec. 2, 1931 in Chicago, IL, to Martin and Margaret Noe Doherty and was baptized Barbara Ann.
Sister entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence on Feb. 2, 1951 and was given the name Sister Vincent Ferrer. She professed Final Vows Aug. 15, 1958. She earned a bachelor's degree in Latin from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, a master's degree in sacred doctrine from St. Mary's University, Notre Dame, and a doctorate in theology from Fordham University. She was given an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by Indiana State University in 1990. In her 69 years as a Sister of Providence, she ministered as teacher for 15 years in Indiana and Illinois. She taught theology at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, 1965-67 and 1971-75. Interspersed with these years of teaching were some years of study and the position of Director of Postulants from 1963-65. In 1975, she was elected to the provincial team for St. Joseph Province (the Chicago area) and eight years later, took the position of President of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, serving from 1984 to 1998. She then served as Director of the Institute of Religious Formation at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago from 1999 to 2007. Sister Barbara then returned to the Motherhouse where she served as coordinator of the Office of the Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore. Beginning in 2011, she committed herself totally to the ministry of prayer.
Sister Barbara was a much sought after speaker, retreat director and spiritual companion. She wrote many articles and two books, "I Am What I Do" and "Make Yourself an Ark," both published by the Thomas More Press. She was friendly, fun-loving, and caring, and deeply committed to the mission of the Sisters of Providence.
Sister Barbara is survived by two sisters, Patricia Finnegan of Niles, IL and Mary Fiorita of Naperville, IL, as well as a cousin, Sister Margaret Lynch, SP of St. Mary-of-the-Woods.
Due to the restrictions on group meetings, no public wake and funeral is scheduled. Burial is in the cemetery of the Sisters of Providence on Aug. 26. One may share or read memories of Sr. Barbara on the Sister of Providence web page at www.spsmw.org/category/obituaries. Burial is in the cemetery of the Sisters of Providence. The DeBaun Funeral Homes and Crematory assisted with arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Providence, 1 Sisters of Providence, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, IN 47876.
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