Sister Dorothy Aloisio, a loved and well-known sister, dies

Sister Dorothy Aloisio, FMIHM, beloved teacher, principal, assistant director of vocations and parish pastoral assistant in the Diocese of Camden, died at the age of 74 on Aug. 21.

Born Monica Aloisio on Feb. 5, 1945 in Malta, she lived there until the age of 17. After high school, she joined the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and went to Rome to begin her religious formation. She professed vows of poverty, chastity and obedience on Sept. 12, 1964.

Just one year later, she was sent to  Blackwood to begin her apostolic assignment as a teacher, and later principal, at Saint Jude elementary school, where she served until 1982. Parish life, as well, was also a significant part of her days.

Sister Dorothy moved to Westmont in 1984, beginning her work as principal at Holy Saviour School, before returning to Saint Jude in 1992 and teaching there four more years.

In 1996, she began a new ministry in the Diocese of Camden, becoming the assistant director of vocations. Sister Dorothy spent nine years working in the formation of seminarians and school vocation programs, after which she returned to teach for a year at Cherry Hill’s Camden Catholic High School.

After 40 years in the United States, she returned to Malta to take over an all-girls’ school. She returned to the Diocese of Camden in 2008 as pastoral assistant at Blackwood’s Our Lady of Hope Parish, where she worked and dedicated her life to the people of the parish and surrounding community before her death.

Parish priests at Our Lady of Hope remembered a “well-loved” sister who was “always energized for the Lord.”

“We at the parish would call her the ‘Energizer Bunny,’” Father Szolack, pastor, fondly remembered of Sister Dorothy.

As pastoral assistant, Sister Dorothy was always “present for people,” whether interacting with staff or visitors, working as a grief counselor, visiting the sick, or organizing the making of shawls for women and infants.

Father Szolack and Sister Dorothy’s relationship stretched back to when they worked together in the Diocesan Office of Vocations, and the priest recalled that as long as he knew her, she was invested in everyone she came into contact with.

“She was interested in people, and had an ability to enter into people’s spiritual lives. No matter where she went, people knew her, and she remembered them.”

Father Rene Canales, who works with Hispanics at Our Lady of Hope, recalled undergoing seminary studies when Sister Dorothy was in the Vocations Office.

“She was there for (the seminarians), praying for us, supporting us; she was one of a kind,” he said.

As she battled cancer in her final days, “she fought until the end, trusting in the Lord,” he said. “Our Lady of Hope is hurting, and missing her.”

Sister Dorothy was the daughter of the late Jack Aloisio and the late Mary Rose Aloisio (nee Cassar). Sister of Bernadette Gerada, Francis Aloisio (Christine), and the late Joseph Aloisio (the late Edith). Aunt of Martina (Karl), Andrea (Chantelle), Daniela (Gilvan), and Franco (Sarah); great-aunt of Alex and Ana.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Aug. 26 at Saint Agnes Church, Our Lady of Hope Parish, Blackwood. Burial was Aug. 27 at Saint Joseph’s Cemetery.

Contributions in Sister Dorothy’s memory to benefit the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Immaculate Heart of Mary can be made at: www.gofundme.com/f/franciscan-missionary-sisters-of-the-ihm-center