Celebrating 50 Years of Service – Sister of the Religious Teachers Filippini, Dorothy Sayers

By Laura Dodson and Julie Conroy, Florida Catholic Correspondents – October 30, 2017

“Fifty years later, I realize I gave nothing. God gave everything,” said Sister Dorothy Sayers, principal of Holy Family Catholic School in Orlando.

“I truly believe that when I first had an inkling of entering religious life, it was a pull of my heart,” said Sister Sayers as she recalled that moment when she was eight years old. “Listening to others sing I wondered, ‘What if I can’t sing? Can I give all this to God?’”

“As a teenager I went to daily Mass because I wanted to be with the Lord and I worshipped,” she continued. “I entered religious life at 15 and I thought, ‘I’m giving all this to God,’ but it was based on that relationship of love that came from God. I did nothing for it.”

Sister Sayers’ father was English and the family traveled. Although her siblings were born in Malta, she was born in Libya and the family returned to England soon after where she was educated. She became a teacher of history and religion, was sent to Connecticut and then Rhode Island as a principal. She came to Holy Family Catholic School in Orlando 21 years ago as its first principal.

“God puts the right people in your life,” Sister Sayers said. “When you step aside, He works wonders. The many people I’ve met working in schools and in the parish have been very supportive, very kind. At the celebration (of her jubilee) the room was filled with love.”

Sister Sayers laughed when asked to pinpoint her greatest joy – “there have been so many,” she said. But she was able to describe what gives her joy: “It is a simple prayer of the heart – you can meet God in people, in reading good spiritual books and definitely before the Blessed Sacrament. I make that a priority.”