Cody Tredik, Communications Staff

Sister Dolores Brinkel, SCL, Diocesan Archivist, has retired after blessing our diocese for 20 years. She came to us in 1998 to work for the Montana Catholic Conference while managing the archives at St. James Hospital in Butte. In 2000, she moved to Helena to begin work in the Chancery Archives, and has been running the Archives ever since.

Born and raised in Broadview, Mont., Sr. Dolores took her final vows for the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth in Kansas in the 1955. From there, she served as a teacher for 20 years in Kansas City before moving into Criminal Justice where she developed Christian-based programs for inmates and lobbied to end the death penalty.

She then moved to Washington D.C. to work in Rural Ministry Education, and became the first Associate Director of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry in 1986. In this role, she helped to plan the 5th National Catholic Youth Conference, which was the first to be hosted in Indianapolis. Over the next 10 years she served the Washington Office on Latin America and Providence Hospital Foundation before her journey finally brought her home to Montana.

Sr. Dolores (center) with family members at St. Mary’s Parish.

A reception was held on August 22, the anniversary of her final vows, to celebrate her time and service in the Diocese of Helena. Members of her family from Broadview, fellow women religious from around the diocese, chancery co-workers, and Diocesan Administrator Msgr. Kevin O’Neill attended the luncheon and celebration.

On her time with the Diocese, Sr. Dolores said, “I’ve absolutely loved working in the archives for these years…I’ve been so impressed by the number of people who cherish the beginnings of our church, our state, and our families… this great history not only allows us to look back at who we are as a diocese, but it also aids us in helping the younger generation to look forward.”

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