Sister Dwina Marie  

Sister Dwina Marie                 ND 4948                PDF Download

(Formerly Sister Mary Alice Timothy)

Dwina Cecelia TOWLE

Rosa Mystica Province, Thousand Oaks, California

Date and Place of Birth:            July 20, 1937,       Santa Monica, California
Date and Place of Profession:   August 16, 1957   Los Angeles, California
Date and Place of Death:          May 13, 2018       Mary Health of the Sick Convalescent Facility,  Newbury Park, California
Date and Place of Funeral:        May 19, 2018       Notre Dame Center, Thousand Oaks, California
Date and Place of Burial:           May 21, 2018       Our Lady of the Assumption Cemetery, Simi Valley, Calif.

Here I am Lord.  Send me.

Sister Dwina Marie was the third of Myron and Alice Cambel-Filkins Towles’ five children.  Dwina considered herself especially fortunate to have been the middle child.  Later she wrote, “I had the joy, happiness and advantage knowing those older and those younger throughout my entire life.  I am very close to my family and enjoy being part of their lives.”

Following her graduation from St. Augustine Elementary School in Culver City, Dwina attended Notre Dame Academy, Los Angeles.  Her friendships with Sister Mary Cordelia May and Sister Mary Giovanne Vidoni fostered a desire to become a Sister of Notre Dame.  Dwina entered the Congregation on February 2, 1955.  At her investment, she received the name Sister Mary Alice Timothy.  Later she returned to her baptismal name becoming Sister Dwina Marie.

In 1982, Sister Dwina Marie attended the National Conference in Chardon, Ohio.  One of the highlights of this experience was the opportunity to get to know the other women who had entered the Congregation at the same time as she.  Sister later said: “After being the only one in [my] party in California, [I] had the joy of meeting about eighteen ‘brothers.’”

During her religious life, Sister Dwina Marie served in a variety of ministries — elementary education, health care, and community service.  Throughout these years Sister was guided by the saying, “Where you go, take your heart with you and you will always adjust to the new situation.  You will belong where you are.”

Of all these assignments, however, Sister Dwina Marie loved her years managing the Sewing Department at Notre Dame Center the most.  Sister had posted a sign near the door that read: “Welcome!  Interruptions are my ministry.”  She greeted each sister as if meeting her wardrobe needs was the most important thing she had to do that day.  No request was too small or too difficult.  Calmness, patience and love were the hallmarks of her service to her community.

Beginning in 2006, Sister’s ministry became one of prayer and presence at Notre Dame Center.  Despite her physical limitations, she continued her love of gardening through her attention to the plantings in the courtyard adjacent to the health care wing.  She also enjoyed knitting and crocheting, telling a funny story, and working jigsaw puzzles.

Sister Dwina Marie moved to Mary Heath of the Sick in Newbury Park at the beginning of May 2018.  Although Sister’s passing was anticipated, it happened more quickly than her sisters had expected.

Sister will be remembered as someone who used her talents in the service of others.  She had a poster in the sewing room depicting a mother sewing a heart-shaped patch on the seat of a little boy’s britches.  The caption read “Sew in Love.”  This was Sister Dwina Marie’s secret.  Everything she sewed for others, she sewed with love.  Everything Sister Dwina Marie did for others, she did with love.

May she rest in peace.