Sisters Enjoy Opportunities for Service

Sisters in the Spotlight

Sister Ellen Gaynor, OP

What has been your favorite ministry over the years? Oncology/hematology physician and practice.
What do you love most about being a Dominican Sister of Sinsinawa? Opportunities for service and community.
What has been your most poignant or memorable moment through the years? Being Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s physician during his cancer diagnosis.
What is the best advice you have given? Telling a patient that there is no more cancer treatment that can be given. Being honest with patients.
What is something about you that you are most proud of or that not many would know about you? Having scored on the top 10 percent in the nation on the MCAT which allowed me to attend University of Wisconsin Medical School.
Who has been the most influential person(s) in your life and why? Sister Jean McSweeney, OP, and Sister Collette Mary White, OP, for their continual support now and the past.
Additional musings? It’s been a privilege to be a physician to some of our Sisters and during my 40 years at Loyola Medical Center in Maywood, IL.


Joan Duerst, OP

What has been your favorite ministry over the years? Advocate for prison reform through Madison Organizing in Strength, Equity, and Solidarity (MOSES).
What do you love most about being a Dominican Sister of Sinsinawa? Being a sister to everyone I meet.
What has been your most poignant or memorable moment through the years Being with my sister, Mary, when she took her last breath.
What is the best advice you have either received or given? Go make a difference.
What is something about you that you are most proud of or that not many would know about you? I once skied down a mountain in Colorado.
Who has been the most influential person(s) in your life and why? My father taught me about organic gardening.
Additional musings? Being a Sinsinawa Dominican has been a wonderful adventure. I am able to go places and meet people I would not have been or met on my own.