“Jesus, I cannot wait
For your embrace,
Or, for your kiss.
When will you end
this Exile and bring
me into bliss?”

On Sunday, May 7, 2000, Sister Dorothy received her answer to these lines which she penned several years ago. Her long life of poor health and patient suffering were exchanged for the glories and joys of life eternal.

Her earthly life began in Provemont (Lake Leelanau), Michigan on November 21, 1914, when she became the first and only child born to Ovilla J. and Genevieve Plamondon. The day following her birth, she was baptized at St. Mary Church and received the name of Mary Mildred, but was known by Mildred. Five weeks after her birth her dear mother died, and Grandma Plamondon cared for her until she was twelve years of age.

In 1922, her grandparents moved to Plamondon, Alberta, Canada (to join the Plamondon clan) and there Mildred completed her grammar school in 1927. In June of that same year, her grandparents returned to Michigan for a visit, Mildred remained in Lake Leelanau with her father and stepmother. From the father’s second marriage, Mildred was to know and experience the joy of having a kindly new mother and four brothers and four sisters, all of whom were very devoted to her. That September, Mildred entered St. Mary High School and after two and one-half years, came to Marywood in January 1930 as an Aspirant. She had the distinction in June 1931 to be the first Aspirant to finish high school at Marywood.

Sister Dorothy was blessed to be born into a family with strong faith and a great love of the Church, and she was very proud of her French heritage. In addition to having the influence of our Sisters during her years at St. Mary’s, she had three wonderful aunts in our community who were all Plamondons: Sisters Rose Mary, Anna, and Dominic Marie. Likewise, Sister Juliette Belanger was her first cousin.

On September 8, 1931, Mildred entered the Marywood novitiate with twenty-one other girls. Sister Jerome was the Novice Mistress. Her year as a postulant was spent at Catholic Junior College, forerunner of Aquinas College. On August 17, 1932, she received the habit of St. Dominic and the name of Sister Dorothy of the Nativity. On August 21, 1934, she made her first profession to Mother Eveline Mackey. She made her final vows on August 21, 1937.

For twelve years, Sister Dorothy taught in the following elementary schools: North Dorr; SS. Peter & Paul, Saginaw; St. Boniface and St. Joseph, Bay City; Hannah; Mt. Pleasant; and Chesaning. At the doctor’s request, she was then given less strenuous and stressful work and became involved in food service and office work at Holy Angels Convent, Traverse City and Marywood. Marywood has been her residence since 1960. In 1972, she took on a second apostolate, namely, translating French books for a community of priests in California. These were published monthly in their paper, “La Verite.”

In her autobiography, Sister Dorothy stated, “Mary, the Blessed Mother, has played an important role in my life. Three times I was given the name of Mary: At my Baptism, at my Confirmation, and at my Reception, so I have a triple claim on Our Blessed Mother and with her I can sing: ‘My soul proclaims your greatness, O my God, and my spirit has rejoiced in you, my Savior. For you, who are mighty, have made me great. Most Holy be your Name.’” Making rosaries for the missions was one way Sister Dorothy had of showing her devotion to Mary.

Sister had to cope with poor health most of her life, and she bore this cross admirably. She was especially known for her quiet manner and her great charitableness in speech. Her suffering intensified her prayer life and her poetry reflects her intimacy with her God.

May Sister Dorothy, who had a great love for God, our Community and our Sisters, now not only sing the mercies of the Lord forever, but make constant intercession for us to God and Our Blessed Mother. May she know and enjoy God’s everlasting peace, joy, love and light.

Sister Dorothy is survived by her brothers, Thomas, Cletus and James Plamondon; her sisters, Mrs. Jeanne Curran, Mrs. Marilyn Schmuckal and Mrs. Helen Raymond, all of Traverse City; many nieces, nephews and many friends.