Sister Dorothy Columber, MSC (Sr. M. Josita) 

1929 – 2019

Sister Dorothy grew up in a large family of seven brothers and two sisters. Three of her brothers died very young. Her parents came to the United States from Czechoslovakia and settled in Allentown. They were members of St. John the Baptist Slovak Catholic Church and Sr. Dorothy and her siblings attended the parish school where our sisters taught. After eighth grade Sr. Dorothy entered our Aspirancy, Mt. St. Michael High School, and in 1947 was received as a Candidate. She became ill during her time in the Novitiate and returned home to her family in July, 1948. Five years later, Sr. Dorothy was able to return to complete her Novitiate. She was so grateful her whole life for this opportunity to profess her vows as a Missionary Sister of the Most Sacred Heart and lived her 65 years of religious life in loving service to God’s People.  

Most of her years as an MSC Sister Dorothy ministered in our hospitals: Sacred Heart Hospitals in Allentown and Norristown and St. Mary Hospital in Athens, Georgia. She worked as a Medical Records Administrator where she was very successful because of her keen mind and organizational skills. She also used those gifts while serving for a short time as provincial treasurer for our community.  

Sister Dorothy had a heart full of compassion for the sick and dying and spent 16 years as a pastoral minister in our hospitals in Norristown and Athens, Georgia. With her life-long health issues that led to several surgeries and hospitalizations, Sr. Dorothy knew very well the importance of being a comforting and supportive presence to the patients lying in their hospital beds. She had an understanding heart ready to listen to their worries and concerns, to offer them the assurance of God’s love and mercy, and to bring them the gift of Jesus in the Eucharist.  

In these last years Sister Dorothy lived with much physical pain despite the doctors’ efforts to relieve her suffering. Finally, a few weeks ago, Sr. Dorothy made the decision to begin hospice care even though her doctor wanted to continue to treat her. She prayed for Jesus and Mary his Mother to come for her. Her prayer was answered and she died peacefully. With our faith in God’s promises we believe that she is enjoying her heavenly reward united with her family and her MSC Sisters who were waiting to welcome her.  

One of the songs that Sr. Dorothy chose for her funeral includes the words: “Deep the joy of being together in one heart. All I ask of you is forever to remember me as loving you.”  Yes, we will remember you, Dorothy, and we ask you to remember us and intercede for all of us that we may one day be united again in the Heart of our Beloved Jesus.