Benedictine Sister Dorothy Frances was drawn to missionary work, Hispanic ministry

Missionary Benedictine Sister Dorothy Frances Brooks, who served in missions on three continents, and in the Archdiocese of Omaha, died Jan. 18 at the Immaculata Monastery in Norfolk. She was 93.

A private celebration of her life was held Jan. 20 at the monastery, with burial at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Norfolk.

Originally from New York City, Sister Dorothy Frances studied at Fordham University in New York before working as an executive secretary and business office manager for IBM Corporation. During that time, she received spiritual direction from a Benedictine monk who inspired her to join the Missionary Benedictine Sisters.

 She entered the Norfolk community in 1959 and became a novice in 1960. She professed first vows in 1962, and final vows in 1965.

During the 1960s and ’70s, Sister Dorothy Frances, also known as Sister Mary Matthew, served as a teacher and administrative assistant in archdiocesan schools in Norfolk, Raeville, Columbus and Madison.

She also worked among the poor Appalachian communities in Kentucky and among the Korean community in Los Angeles, and served in missions in Spain and Brazil.

Upon returning to Norfolk Priory, she fulfilled her passion for Hispanic ministry, including service with a Hispanic Alcoholics Anonymous group, and as a translator at Faith Regional Health Services in Norfolk from 2014 to 2017.

Having lived with Parkinson’s Disease for many years, she retired in 2017 and served in prayer ministry at the Norfolk monastery.

Sister Dorothy Frances was preceded in death by parents, John Samuel Brooks and Carmelia Porter Brooks. She is survived by a sister, Louise Brooks of Gardiner, New York, and the sisters of Immaculata Monastery.

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