Sister Doreen's century of giving

Centenarian Sister Doreen

Sister Doreen McOscar SM has died peacefully at the age of 100. She touched countless lives through her ministry in education, pastoral work and Congregational leadership of the Marist Sisters, and was loved to the last by her ex-pupils.

Doreen Mary McOscar SM, Australian Marist Sister

1914 - 2014

- by Sister Julie Brand SM

Sr Doreen's death on the afternoon of November 29 took us by surprise. She surrendered to our loving God at St Anne's Nursing Home, Hunters Hill on Sydney's north shore, quite unexpectedly on the eve of Advent, the beginning of the Year dedicated to Consecrated Life.

Earlier this year, on May 25, she had celebrated her 100th birthday, thoroughly enjoying the parties organised in her honour. 

She delighted in the occasion, and the opportunity it provided to bring people together.  Doreen lived life to the full, and her love for others and interest in their welfare never wavered.  

Sr Doreen was born in Sydney of Irish parents – Ellen and Hugh – on May 25, 1914.  She was the second of two children and grew up in a close-knit family with her much-loved older brother, Vincent. 

In 1935 Sr Doreen entered the Marist Sisters at Woolwich. She was professed on January 25, 1937 and was known for many years as Sr Felician before returning to her Baptismal name of Doreen. Throughout her long life, Doreen’s commitment to the Work of Mary never waned.  She lived the Gospel in the manner of Mary, drawing others to experience the love and mercy of God. 

She began her Marist ministry as a Primary and Secondary teacher.  In 1940 she started her studies at Sydney University and was the first Australian Marist Sister to graduate from there with a Master of Arts Honours Degree. 

Her thesis on John Henry Newman was received with acclaim.  Doreen had a great love for English literature, which she shared with her pupils. Her high regard for the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins was well known.

Doreen was the founding Principal of Loreto Secondary School in Levuka, Fiji, and Cerdon College, Merrylands.  She was also Principal of Marist Sisters’ College Woolwich.  Doreen’s students held her in high esteem and her interest in them remained life-long.  Ex-students of Loreto, Cerdon and Woolwich would often visit Doreen and many turned to her often to seek wisdom, encouragement, advice and spiritual guidance.

In 1972 Doreen began theological studies at the Marist Fathers’ Seminary, Toongabbie, followed by a course at the East Asian Pastoral Institute in Manila, the Philippines, and a period of study at Corpus Christi College in London. 

Shortly afterwards she lectured part-time at the Marist Fathers’ Seminary in Toongabbie and assisted with the teaching of catechetics. In the mid-1970s Doreen was elected General Councillor and moved to Rome to serve the Congregation in this leadership role.

Read full obituary: Sr Doreen McOscar sm (Marist Sisters in Asia Pacific)

MORE: 

Doreen McOSCAR (SMH notices)

Happy 100th Birthday Sr Doreen (Marist Sisters in Asia Pacific)

A reason to Celebrate (Marist Sisters SM)

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