Sister Denise Roche (Sister Mary Vincent) Sixtieth Jubilee

Written on: April 22, 2021

Sister Denise Roche is a Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart with deep roots in the city of Buffalo. She was born and raised in the City of Light and studied with the Grey Nuns at Holy Angels Academy and D’Youville College, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Social Work. She went on to receive a Master’s degree in Sociology from Boston University and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts.

Sister Denise became a well-respected sociology professor at D’Youville and in 1979 rose to become the youngest president in the college’s history. Under her leadership, enrollment, endowment, the number of academic programs and the physical size of the college expanded. She retired from that position in 2016 as one of the longest-serving college presidents in the United States.

Sister Denise’s additional accomplishments, honors and volunteer services are too many to list. One that is especially meaningful is when she received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal in 2016, the highest medal awarded by the pope to non-ordained members of the Church.

In 2018, Sister Denise was elected President of the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart.

She lovingly serves our community with the gifts of her intelligence, her experience and her spirituality.


Grey Nun life has blessed me in many ways and given me grace to move more deeply into the heart of God. When I entered, I knew little about Marguerite d’Youville.  Now, I cannot imagine life without her as a companion who has shared with us her love for the poor, her complete confidence in God despite the many difficulties and obstacles she faced and the courage she had to be steadfast in her mission of caring for all God’s children.

Praying and living with other Grey Nuns has allowed me to absorb the spirit of remarkable, resilient, resourceful women who live their commitment to God in good times and challenging ones.

The people with whom I have served and those who it has been my privilege to care for have been messengers of God, reminding me daily that God lives in us and among us.

It has been my joy and privilege to experience each of the 60 years I have lived as a Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart

To read about our other Jubilarians, click here>>

8 thoughts on “Sister Denise Roche (Sister Mary Vincent) Sixtieth Jubilee

  1. Mary Ann (Laughlin) MacMillan says:

    How very inspiring to see your enviable level of success as you continue to promote learning with God at the center of our lives. I believe you may have been in my 1960 Holy Angels Academy class. As I grandma I still look back on the Gray Nuns (Sister Joshephine and Sister Adrain, among others) as having made an indelible impression on my life. My goal now is to encourage similar influences for my 3 young gradchildren (11, 6 and 1 week old). Living in CA in our “woke” world requires a little extra effort keeping the focus on serving others and walking with Jesus Christ.

  2. Mary Pfeiffer says:

    Congratulations Sr. Denise. Thank you for your yes to God’s call, you have certainly worked hard to carry on the mission of the Grey Nuns! May god continue to bless you with all that He knows you need to be a good and faithful servant.

  3. Colleen Luckie says:

    Congratulations Sr. Denise,

    What a very special time for you! My D’Youville days were amazing, and inspiring. You lead our campus with your smile and devotion to serving others.

    God’s Blessings,
    Peace…Colleen Luckie ’83

  4. Bridget Goldthwait says:

    God bless Sr. Denise. Everyday I try and represent D’Youville teaching children and spreading her vision.
    Bridget Lynch- Goldthwait ‘84

  5. Joan McElwain says:

    Congratulations on your Jubilee. You have been a true daughter of Marguerite.

  6. Dawn M Hewitt says:

    Congratulations from a D’Youville grad 85′. You were a wonderful president and miss your leadership.

  7. Joe Tebo says:

    Congratulations Sr. Denise on your sixty years of religious life and all you do for the Sisters and Associates from the Potsdam Associates.

  8. Cathy Sheed says:

    Dear Sister Denise,
    Congratulations on your Jubilee. As I look back it does not seem possible all that we have experienced. One of these days
    I hope to make it to Philadelphia and would love to stop in to say hello to you, Donna, Ceil and Jean.
    So grateful to the Grey Nuns for sharing their faith and education with me.
    Cathy Woeppel Sheedy

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