Sister Dorothy Sullivan, R.S.M., (M. Vincent Ferrer)

PORTLAND – Sister Dorothy Sullivan, R.S.M., (M. Vincent Ferrer), died peacefully at The Cedars Nursing and Rehab Center, Portland, on Sept. 11, 2020. Born in Portland, July 6, 1935, Sister Dorothy was the daughter of Francis T. Sullivan and Beulah I. (Kelley) Sullivan.

She attended Cathedral Elementary and Jr. High School and was a graduate of Portland High School, class of 1953. After working for a year, she entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1954 from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Parish, Portland, and then began her studies, both religious and college classes. She earned her B.S. in Education from St. Joseph’s College, Standish and a M.Ed. from Boston College. In addition, she also studied at the Dayton School of Education, Ohio and was the recipient of a National Science Foundation Grant from the State University of New York.

Sister Dorothy began her lifelong career in parochial education at St. Mary’s School, Houlton; followed by ministries at St. Patrick’s School, Portland; Sacred Heart School, Portland; St. Joseph’s Academy, Portland; St. Rose School, Rumford; St. Joseph’s School, Portland; Holy Cross School, South Portland; St. Mary’s School, Augusta During these years, Sister Dorothy was a teacher and principal in middle and jr. high grades. Sr. Dorothy was the Assistant Principal at Catherine McAuley High School for over 12 years and then served some years there as a volunteer staff person.

As a parochial school educator, Sister Dorothy was named one of twenty-five charter members of the new Quarter-Century Club of Outstanding Educators by TODAY’S CATHOLIC TEACHER in 1992. The citation read in part, “. . . . Sr. Sullivan made St. Mary’s School, of which she is principal, a model for learners- academically, spiritually and personally.” The words of her motto, “To put on Christ” was evident in the various schools she ministered in. “I think school should be fun,” was Sr. Dorothy’s philosophy together with strong academics and an orderly atmosphere. Several of her former high school students mentioned the respect they had for her and the supportive guidance she gave them.

Sister Dorothy was blessed with great humor and was known for her quick wit and jokes. She had a knack for telling stories that regaled all with lots of laughter! Another interest of hers was basketball. Sports was a family affair in the Sullivan household when Sr. Dorothy was growing up on Munjoy Hill. It is little wonder that she was an avid fan of McAuley Girls Basketball Team, faithfully seated in the front row, cheering the girls on at every game.

Sister Dorothy was predeceased by her dear parents and her sister, Anne Hebert, Portland.

She is survived by her brother, Richard F. Sullivan and his wife Christina, Oaks, Pa..; her nieces, Kristina Selvosky and husband Mike, Pennsylvania, Michelle Dame and husband Joseph, Standish, Mary Layug and husband Alex, Westbrook; a nephew, Shawn Sullivan, Pannsylvania; several great nieces, nephews, cousins; and by her religious Sisters in community.

We would like to express our gratitude to the staff at Cedars for their attentiveness in caring for Sister Dorothy, as well as the staff of Frances Warde where she lived prior to moving to The Cedars.

Visiting hours celebrating Sister Dorothy’s life will be held from 3:00-5:00 p.m., Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, at the Conroy-Tully Walker South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland with a Prayer Service at 3:30 p.m. A graveside service will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2020, at Calvary Cemetery, South Portland. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date. For the safety of everyone in attendance, and following state mandates, all attendees are asked to wear a mask and to practice social distancing. To view Sister Dorothy’s memorial page or to share an online condolence, please visit

In lieu of flowers, gifts in her memory may be sent to:

Sisters of Mercy

966 Riverside St.

Portland, ME. 04103

Guest Book