Doris Hoag (1931-2014)
Ladies of Charity USA (LCUSA) President 1994-1998
AIC Representative 1998-2006
Margaret Hanson and Albe McGurk share:
We were at the national assembly in Milwaukee, Sept. 11-14, when we received the news that Doris had suffered a stroke. Her daughter Suzanne Johnson, soon to be installed as the next LCUSA President-Elect, immediately left to be with her father and family. All sorts of emotions and memories come when you receive news of this kind.
Doris was first and foremost a wife and mother. She and her husband John had 10 children, 37 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. For the ordinary woman this would have been enough, but Doris was not an ordinary woman. In addition to attending nursing school and working as an RN, Doris volunteered at school, church and various organizations. She enjoyed reading, quilting, golf, dominos, bridge, dancing and traveling. She had a fun loving spirit and liked a good party.
Doris lived a truly Vincentian life, exemplifying “To serve rather than be served in Humility Simplicity and Charity.” After becoming a Lady of Charity in 1977, Doris worked tirelessly in various activities of the local association and served as the President of the Kansas City Metropolitan Association in 1988-89.
During her tenure as the LCUSA President much was accomplished by her enthusiasm, hard work and cheerful demeanor. She encouraged local associations to add to their membership and promoted the initiation and formulation of a long range plan. Doris not only found a new meeting place for the spring board meeting at the Franciscan Prayer Center in Independence, Mo., when the Daughters of Charity closed a previous site, but also with the help of the Vincentian Fathers was able to relocate the National Service Center to their provincial office building. Doris oversaw the production and sale of a pocket calendar and a national cookbook in time for the 1996 Biennial Meeting in Cleveland.
It was Doris’ insight that in order to grow and expand the organization of the Ladies of Charity as the new century approached, change must occur. Under her guidance LCUSA considered ways in which it could be better prepared to serve those in need. During the biennial meeting in Cleveland, workshops on leadership motivated the members to realize their potential and provided inspiration to participate in the organization more fully. Doris introduced the tradition of a shared breakfast for association presidents and regional vice-presidents at the annual meeting, as a way to share ideas and provide an opportunity for presidents to know better their regional vice president. In 1998 in Orlando Doris presided over the first national assembly LCUSA held independently of Catholic Charities USA, a practice continued successfully to this day.
When her two terms of office as President of LCUSA ended, Doris went on to serve as the representative of LCUSA on the executive board of the International Association of Charities (AIC). Laurence de la Brosse, AIC president, said “she was so very dynamic, ready to help, full of joy, a genuine member of the AIC family.”
I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. (2Timothy 4:7)