Dominican Sister of Peace Alicia (Maria Alicia) Alvarado, OP (73), died on September 17, 2022, at the Regina Health Care Center in Akron, OH.
Sr. Alicia was a native of Villalba, Puerto Rico, one of seven children born to Rosa Maria Rodriguez and Felipe Alvarado. Her family immigrated to Cleveland, Ohio, when she was a child, and she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Secondary Education from Cleveland State University, a Certificate from the College Parallel Program from Cuyahoga Community College, and a Master of Arts in Social Sciences from Case Western University.
Sr. Alicia worked as a Social Services Coordinator for the Spanish American Committee in Cleveland. In 1979, she received a call from God to enter religious life. She took her final vows in 1985 and lived vowed Dominican life for 40 years.
Sr. Alicia spent the majority of her religious life in ministry to her beloved Latine family. She served as Hispanic Program Coordinator for Cleveland’s Commission on Community Action, as Associate Director of Hispanic Ministry in the Toledo Diocese, and as a family counselor. She returned to college in 1989 to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Radio and TV Production and used this new set of skills to continue to minister to the Latine community and to work for social justice.
Sr. Alicia traveled extensively in her work for social justice, including to Colombia, Chile, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. No task was too big or too small, as she did everything from driving a van in an outreach ministry to serving on the National Farm Workers Board to serving as a member of Leadership for her congregation.
Sr. Alicia received numerous awards and recognitions for her community service, including induction into the Cleveland Ohio International Hall of Fame in 2018, the Individual Award for Justice and Peace by the Cleveland Commission on Catholic Community Action in 2003, and the 2004’s Madrina Award (Godmother of the Community). She belonged to numerous professional societies and was the first Hispanic woman on the Board of Trustees of Cuyahoga Community College in 2001.
Despite the recognition she received, Sr. Alicia remained more concerned for those around her than herself. In fact, a friend described her life’s priorities as “God is first. The poor and the needy, and the weak in the community and her family next. Alicia is always last.”
Sister Alicia is survived by sisters Carmen, Lucia Marie and Lourdes Dorsey; brothers Philip, George, and Alberto. She was preceded in death by her father, Felipe and mother, Rosa.
A Funeral Mass was offered at Our Lady of the Elms Chapel in Akron, OH on September 22. Per her request, Sr. Alicia’s body has been donated to science.
To download a printable copy of this memorial, click here.
Memorial gifts in Sr. Alicia’s memory may be sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr. Columbus, OH 43219 or oppeace.org.