Sister Mary Dominic Joerger celebrates 75 years of religious profession in 2020.
Small in stature, it seemed ordained that she devoted most of her religious life to teaching primary grades. Second grade was her favorite because it allowed her to prepare her students for First Communion, a responsibility she delighted in.
A native of Mendota, Ill., Sister M. Dominic was among many residents of Mendota to find her way to the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, including her younger sister, Sister Mary Concepta Joerger and two nieces, Sister M. Paulette and Sister Marian Joseph Joerger.
By the time her 47-year commitment to primary school teaching came to its end in 1993, Sister M. Dominic had already found a new way to serve God’s people. Before she stacked away the books and wiped down the blackboard for the last time at St. Patrick School on Springfield’s east side, she had already begun to organize St. Martin De Porres Center for the distribution of food, clothing, and household goods to impoverished Springfield residents. For many years after her retirement to Sacred Heart Convent she spent several days a week organizing, cleaning, and serving the people who relied on St. Martin’s for support and Sister M. Dominic for encouragement and prayers.
Sister Mary Dominic’s ministry assignments
1946-1960 St. John Bosco, Chicago Grades 1 & 2
1960-1964 St. Christina, Chicago Grade 1
1964-1968 Christ the King, Springfield, Ill. Principal
1968-1969 Holy Cross, Mendota, Ill. Grade 5
1969-1973 St. Frances Cabrini, Springfield, Ill. Grades 1-4
1973-1978 St. James, Sauk Village, Ill. Grade 1
1978-1979 St. Michael, Duluth, Minn. Grades 1-2
1979-1986 Our Saviour, Jacksonville, Ill. Grade 2
1986-1993 St. Patrick, Springfield, Ill. Grade 2
1993-2001 St. Martin de Porres, Springfield, Ill. Volunteer
2001-Present Sacred Heart Convent, Springfield, Ill. Ministry of prayer