“I will praise you, O God, with my whole heart. I will tell all of your marvelous works.” ~ Psalm 9
I was born in Saginaw, MI to Manuela and Jose Maria Gonzalez, my faith-filled parents from Mexico. While attending St. Joseph High School, I assisted at the maternity clinic with the Daughters of Charity.
After entering the Congregation, I taught children in the early grades in numerous cities including Detroit, Saginaw, Grand Rapids, and Albuquerque. I taught English to adult Spanish speakers, held small group Bible study with women, and assisted at Cursillos, Catholic faith training sessions.
In Omaha, I served the immigrant community at Juan Diego Clinic as translator for both doctors and patients. In Saginaw, I was a hospital chaplain for Veterans. In Grand Rapids, I served children at St. Francis/Guadalupe Parish’s religious education program, weekly served meals to families at St. Alphonsus, and prayed with others at Catholic Central.
My love of children, service, and prayer gatherings translates into preaching God’s love for each person. My smile and laughter echoes in the halls at Aquinata where I continue to pray for everyone I have met through the years. I recognize God’s abundant blessings in my life.
2023 – 71 Years a Sister
Pray for the undocumented and for peace and justice in the world
Sister Dorena teaching Vacation Bible School at St. Stephen’s Grand Rapids, 1976.
Sisters Dorena, Brigid, and Ellen Mary with friends during the Day for Immigrants March, 2017.
After entering the Congregation, Sister Dorena taught children in the early grades in numerous cities including Detroit, Saginaw, Grand Rapids, and Albuquerque.
Sister Dorena is one of many Sisters who gather at Aquinata Hall to stuff and put together dolls to give to the children of Bethany Christian Services.
Sisters Dorena Gonzalez and Mary Catherine Fodrocy volunteering at Northeast Supper House where they assisted when the Feeding America West Michigan Food Truck came to the neighborhood.