In Memory

Sister Vincentia Dorsey, IHM

May 9, 1935 – February 7, 2023

Sister Vincentia Dorsey, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Tuesday, February 7, 2023, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

Sister was born on May 9, 1935 in Nyack, New York. She was the daughter of the late George and Marian (Kane) Dorsey, and was predeceased by brothers Francis Dorsey and Thomas and spouse Patricia Dorsey all of New York, and a sister Nancy Dorsey Anderson of New Mexico. Sister Vincentia is survived by her sister Ellen and spouse Bernie Ziegler of Virginia, and sister-in-law Mary Dorsey of New York as well as many nieces and nephews.

Sister Vincentia entered the IHM Congregation on September 9, 1954, made temporary profession of vows on August 3, 1957 and final profession of vows on August 3, 1960. She earned a bachelor of Education from Marywood University and a Masters of Sociology from New York University.

Sister Vincentia ministered from 1957 to 2023 as a teacher, Chaplain of Prisons, President of St. Joseph Center, Health Care Coordinator for the congregation and most recently as an assistant in the IHM Business Office.

Sister requested that during her funeral mass, attendees will be invited to present a gift of new items to be shared with The Friends of the Poor in her memory. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the IHM Sisters c/o the IHM Sisters Retirement Fund, IHM Center, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509.

The wake will be Monday, February 13, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. with a prayer of remembrance at 10:30 a.m. and funeral mass at 11:00 a.m. All will be held at the IHM Center Chapel, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton PA 18509. Masks optional.

Prayer of Remembrance and Funeral Mass 


Reflection given by Sister Therese O’Rourke, IHM 

I had the good fortune about 50 years ago to share community life and ministry with Vincentia and our paths crossed again years later when she welcomed me to St. Joseph’s Center. I came to believe that what she hoped for with this reflection was that all of us would come to an understanding of how this liturgy came to be and how it flowed from her life. She was also asking us to share her journey.

Vincentia planned this celebration of life. To understand her hopes we need to travel back in time to her teenage years in Nyack, NY.

She was a Mariner and quite proud of it. The Mariners were an elite group of girl scouts girl who lived on the Hudson River for a significant amount of time each year. The highlight of the season was a two week cruise. She would add with a twinkle in her eye that although they traveled by sail boats on the river, they spent as much time as possible in the Hudson.

One beautiful, crispy night Vincentia was given a very serious responsibility. She was to make sure that once all of her companions were safe for the night that the two precious sail boats were properly anchored and at no risk of drifting into deep, dangerous waters.

The night was extravagantly beautiful. The moon and stars were especially bright. A slight breeze seemed to play very gently with the sail boats. She was there, on duty and alert. A deep peace seemed to enter her. The beauty overcame her very self. She was powerfully aware of the presence of the Creator of it all. She sat still and let the moment own her. She could never have imagined the implications of that evening. It was a profound, personal encounter with her God that left her transformed. She would articulate it in this way, “There was no doubt in my mind. I was His”. She would spend her life serving Him. It was also clear to her that He would make it possible. The other awareness that she experienced with great clarity was that she did not feel worthy. All of this would direct her life, there would be for her ‘no lesser God.’ She was his!

The cover of the program, done by Sister Donna, grew from a retreat Vincentia made not long ago. She identified with Mary Magdalene, serving and comforting Jesus but in tears of grief knowing she could never be worthy. Mary’s love was so great that her sins were forgiven her. The scriptures tell the story. Vincentia saw it as her own.

Her request for gifts to be given to the poor at the time of the offertory is just like her. She sought out the needy, less fortunate and abandoned all of her life. Long before it was politically correct she found that call lodged in the very Gospel of the God she met on the Hudson River.

The lights bouncing off the river that evening were a foreshadowing of the promise of eternal light to come and a welcoming home of Vincentia into the arms of the God who sought her out and claimed her.

She invites us at the end to share her journey.

If I may speak for all of us. Thanks, Vincentia for inviting us. Thank you for your willingness to share your transformative story.

We see you now wrapped in the vision on the Hudson, a vision ever bright and new.

We ask you to see us through to our journeys end. You who were always worthy to be his. God’s love and abundant mercy have made it so for you and for each one of us.

Dear Friend, at last, welcome Home!

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