Mary Ellen Doyle, SCN

Posted by Spalding Hurst

September 24, 2019

Mary Ellen Doyle, SCN, 87, (formerly Sister Mary Benedict) was born in Oak Park, Illinois. She died on September 24, 2019, at Nazareth Home, Louisville, Kentucky. She was a professed Sister of Charity of Nazareth for 67 years.

Sister Mary Ellen served as a teacher for 45 years at all levels of education. She taught at several grade schools in Kentucky, including St. Agnes and St. Cecilia in Louisville, St. Mary Academy in Paducah, and Cathedral School in Owensboro. Sister Mary Ellen was a high school teacher at Our Lady of Nazareth, Wakefield, Massachusetts. She also taught at Nazareth College in Nazareth; Spalding College in Louisville; Christian Brothers College, Memphis Tennessee, Huston-Tillotson College, Austin, Texas and Divine Word Seminary, Epworth, Iowa. She specialized in African-American literature and English. Sister Mary Ellen also taught English to SCN Novices in India in 1976. She served as Campus Minister at Aquinas College in Newton, Massachusetts from 1994-1997.

In 1989, she began her term as Associate Regional for the Southern Region. She served the SCN Community in this capacity until 1994.

Sister Mary Ellen published three books, including a biography of the foundress of the SCNs, Pioneer Spirit: Catherine Spalding, Sister of Charity of Nazareth.

Sister Mary Ellen is survived by her brother, Joseph Patrick Doyle, her extended family, and by her religious community.

Visitation and Prayer Service will be Wednesday, October 2, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. at Nazareth Home Chapel, Louisville, Kentucky. Her wake will be Wednesday, October 2, 2019, at St. Vincent de Paul Church, Nazareth, Kentucky at 6:30 p.m.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be Thursday, October 3, 2019, at St. Vincent de Paul Church, Nazareth, Kentucky at 10:30 a.m. followed by burial in Nazareth Cemetery.




  1. Arthur J Uvaas

    Sister Mary Ellen Doyle, SCN was my English professor at Divine Word Seminary College in Epworth, Iowa. She was a holy, Catholic religious whom I admired greatly. I tried to embody her zeal for English Literature as a Catholic elementary and high school educator in Southern California.

    As an academician, she was devoted to novelist George Eliot, (Mary Ann Evans). Her dedication to this author gave me the opportunity to appreciate and read classics, such as: Middlemarch and Silas Marner.

    More importantly, her devotion to Jesus Christ and His Church made me a better Catholic-Christian.

    As Matthew 25 proclaims: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
    May you enjoy forevermore, your Heavenly Reward.

  2. Elizabeth Field, SCNA

    Sr. Mary Ellen was a wonderful and remarkable person who was always interested in me, my life, and my family. She listened intently and offered great insights and had thoughtful questions. Her talent and research abilities, especially on the books she wrote on Mother Catherine Spalding and the early days of the Community were a testimony to those gifts. I loved Mary Ellen as a 3rd grade teacher, a SCN companion, a friend and cousin, classmate of my sister, Caroline Field! My husband and I always enjoyed our visits with Mary Ellen at Nazareth Home. I will miss our frequent times emailing in-between our visits. Now, I shall switch to praying to her. My congratulations, and my condolences, to all the Sisters on the loss of a truly great member of the SCN Community!

  3. Terry Starr

    Sister Mary Ellen was a wise guide and a dear friend. I will miss our visits, her wisdom, love of family history — both her birth family and her SCN family — and her quick wit. She is an exemplar what it means to follow in the footsteps of Vincent de Paul. Thank you, SCN family, for providing a place for Mary Ellen to flourish. May all of you be blessed!


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