Sister Elizabeth Ann Doyle (formerly Sister Maria Clare) was a Sister of Mercy for 65 years. Sister Betty attended St. Leo School and St. Mary Academy, BayView. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, and a master’s degree from St. Michael’s College in Winooski, Vermont.
In 1957 she entered the Sisters of Mercy. She began a career teaching Grade 2 in Cleary School in Providence and St. Peter and Paul School in West Warwick, and Grade 8 in St. Joseph, Pascoag in the diocese of Providence, Rhode Island. She then moved to Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro, Massachusetts, where she taught religion for eleven years. Sister Betty loved teaching. She saw education as both her giving knowledge to students and discovering knowledge with them. Her love of imparting and receiving information was a hallmark of her ministries after she left the formal classroom.
Betty earned a degree in Spiritual Direction and Parish ministry from Mercy Center in Colorado and returned to minister at LaSalette Spiritual Life Center in Enfield, New Hampshire. She then came to Mercy Lodge in Cumberland, where she offered retreats and spiritual direction and served as the Mistress of Novices for the Providence community.
In 1995 she moved to Our Lady of the Cape Parish in Brewster, Massachusetts, where she engaged in various parish ministries, including liturgy preparation, religious education, home visitation of the sick, adult prayer, and discussion groups. After 18 years on the Cape, she moved to Pawtucket, where she was active in St. Raymond Parish and her Mercy community.
At her final profession, she chose as her motto: “To bear witness.” As a teacher, spiritual director, parish worker, and friend to so many, she bore witness to God’s love and mercy through her words and actions. In the last three years, as she battled illness, she witnessed to living life as fully as she could—with the help of friends, she continued to participate in family, parish, and community activities. Her attendance at the Fresenius Kidney Care in Pawtucket developed a bond with the workers and other patients, where her faith offered a source of hope to others.