75th – Diamond Jubilee
Cabrini Bartolo SL
Cabrini was received into Loretto April 25, 1948. Among her many years of service, Cabrini worked in Canada in response to Bishop Paul O’Byrne’s invitation to her to serve as coordinator of the Diocesan Health Care Office. While up in “the Great White North,” she also worked with those on the Reserves regarding the disease of chemical dependency. Cabrini was a consultant to volunteers, hospitals and nursing homes. She initiated a survey for the pastoral care status of all faiths in 33 nursing homes in Southern Alberta in collaboration with the University of Calgary’s Research Department.
A member of the National Clergy Council on Alcoholism and Related Drugs (NCAA), Cabrini was elected to its board in 1978, serving for six years. In 2000, she was presented with the Women of Distinction Award by the Soroptimist International of Fairmont, W.Va., in recognition of her professional, voluntary accomplishments in the area of human rights. She was a member of the Loretto Hunger Fund Allocation Committee, 2007-2010.
Cabrini had an uncommon gift of obtaining financial support for her “works” in a timely fashion. Through her initiation, organization and training of others to carry forward, she has created lasting “first works” throughout her religious ministry. Cabrini lives at the Loretto Living Center at Loretto Motherhouse, Nerinx, Ky.
Johanna Brian SL
Johanna had this to say about her experience in the Loretto Congregation: “Four years of boarding school in Loretto schools taught me a lot about the Sisters of Loretto. However, joining the group seemed to have a radical dimension for me as I tried to live into the implications of being present in body, mind and spirit. I have found belonging to this group to be challenging, rewarding, and exhilarating.
“Teaching was what we did so I really didn’t choose to do it although it fit me well. Teaching English and Religion were wonderful arenas for using all of the creative and spiritual energy I could generate. After 38 years in the classroom, life on life’s terms led me to a homeless shelter where I was able to continue teaching and sharing a from deeper level of knowledge and experience in the field of addiction for 25 years. Today, with a clear understanding that it is in giving that I receive, I continue to try to deepen and respond to my understanding of what it means to be a spiritual being living a human experience.
“As I look back over the years, I feel truly blessed and grateful to belong to this diverse group of members and co-members who are striving to be spiritually awake and who sincerely desire to take responsible action to address the needs of our desperately needy planet and all of its inhabitants.”
Pat Frueh SL
Pat had this to say about her experience in the Loretto Congregation: “Joining the Sisters. of Loretto in 1952, I saw it as a chance to serve the Church. I didn’t go to any Loretto school. But Father Mark Hoskins CP gave me an introduction to two Loretto Sisters when I was a freshman. They were so friendly and helpful at the summer school in our parish. I wanted to join after a year of being a secretary in Des Moines, Iowa.
“I enjoyed teaching primary children in St. Louis and Louisville. Then in 1971 I became a parish religion coordinator in Louisville and Kansas City. I had always wanted to be a nurse, so in 1987 I received my R.N. and served our Sisters in the Infirmary and then in home health until 1998. I volunteered in eastern Kentucky for two years. Then did various jobs at the Motherhouse, and loved gardening the most.
“Belonging to Loretto has meant being a part of our ministry of teaching and helping others. I thank God for my vocation each day.”
Mary Quayhagen SL
“When I entered Loretto 70 years ago I knew nothing about religious life in a congregation as even after 12 years of co-education in Catholic schools, the Sisters only concentrated on the boys (as also did we girls). In Loretto, both blind obedience and silence were quite foreign to me, and frankly, are two things that have never become part of me. To my joy, I could keep my baptismal name as my religious name, that is Mary Pauline.
“After two years of teaching second graders in what my principal called “the best college course they ever had”, and following a summer in Loretto Infirmary I was asked to pursue nursing as my career. This new direction took me from nursing homes on to an inner city hospital for the poor and finally to university teaching. For my clinical research I co-developed a creative cognitive stimulation program for spouses dealing with early stage dementia, with subsequent grants awarded multi years of funding from the National Institutes of Health. Through publications and presentations of the findings, other researchers nationally and internationally have been able to adapt and expand our work, creating a legacy we treasure and also the resultant “path finder” designation. When serious health challenges shortened my nursing career, I directed my knowledge and skills to an outreach mission in retirement.
“I am so grateful to my religious congregation, the Sisters of Loretto, for allowing me the wonderful opportunity to pursue both higher education and my nursing and clinical research career for the service of the elderly amid the spectacular beauty in California and Colorado. Having lived and worked in several states I have been able to know and appreciate the richness that both vowed and co-members are continuing to give to the Loretto Community by sharing same values and commitment to God.”
Anthony Mary Sartorius SL
Anthony Mary was received into Loretto April 25, 1953. Looking back at her life in Loretto, she spoke of her memories of joining the order, her mission experiences and what aspects of Loretto meant most to her. Asked if joining the Congregation was what she thought it would be, Anthony Mary answered, “Yes,it was because I had the experience of having the Sisters in Kansas City, and I knew what they were about. Then with our training in the novitiate we found out about prayer and reading that helped us.”
Which mission experiences brought out her gifts? Said Anthony Mary, “I spent a lot of time as a teacher so I learned a lot of things in administration and planning. Helen Sanders invited me to be on the retirement staff, and I enjoyed being with older people and being involved in their lives. These experiences brought out my gifts — different experiences brought out different gifts.”
What aspects of belonging to Loretto have meant the most to her? “Community comes to my mind and all that Community means and does for us. I suspect it has also increased an appreciation and an understanding of the values that Loretto stands for.”
Anthony Mary lives at the Loretto Living Center at Loretto Motherhouse, Nerinx, Ky.
Mary Ellen McElroy SL
“Joining Loretto was nowhere near what I thought it would be. My only goal that I had at the time was to ‘save my soul!’ So back in 1957 when I left home was pre-Vatican II days with a belief in the now ancient theology that was taught!
“First of all, I was never fond of teaching — and the rest of my experiences were great. I was a hospital chaplain for about nine years, which I really liked. Then I was a bereavement counselor for Hospice of Peace for about 10 years and truly loved that. And then I became certified as a spiritual director, which I am still doing, and that was my favorite. I work well with one person at a time, and I learned how to listen with my heart, so being a spiritual director was quite fitting for me. I have grown spiritually throughout these experiences, and the last one has been my favorite.
“Belonging to Loretto has enriched my life because of the members of Loretto. I was never taught by the Sisters of Loretto with the exception of three years at Loretto Heights. And it was not until I became older, into my 50s, to really appreciate so many wonderful women! Spiritually, I have grown with the help of many, many, beautiful spiritual women. And belonging to this progressive group, I have learned so much that I would have never had a chance to learn if I had not joined Loretto.”
Judith Marie Popp SL
Judy says that joining the Loretto Congregation was even better than she thought it would be. As she reflected on her various mission experiences, she said one stood out: “I think working for the Trappists and getting to meet so many people was the greatest. The gifts I used just seemed to come naturally. I loved being with the people and learning about them was wonderful.” Said Judy, “I appreciated the chance to be with my Sisters and all the religious experiences I was given.”
Claudia Calzetta SL
This year Sister of Loretto Claudia Calzetta is celebrating her combined 60-year jubilee! She has 30 years with the Apostles of the Sacred Heart and 30 with the Sisters of Loretto. When asked to reflect on her memories of joining Loretto, mission experiences and what aspects of Loretto meant most to her, here is what she had to say:
Was joining the Congregation what you thought it would be? Said Claudia, “As a transfer I would say yes. Loretto allowed me to do the mission work that I longed for — to accompany young adults seeking to learn about justice and peace. In 2001 I began my work as campus minister at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) and stayed there for 12 years — 12 of the happiest years of my life. I met incredible young adults who responded wholeheartedly to Loretto’s values and mission to ‘work for justice and act for peace.’ These young adults visited the Loretto Motherhouse and thoroughly enjoyed working with and for the sisters doing various things, planting trees, cleaning out basements, helping the Community wherever needed, even providing entertainment for the Infirmary residents. I will never forget these days. One person even became a Loretto Volunteer. While on campus they spread the love of Loretto for those who needed help.One example that will always remain with me is when the group collected an actual ton of shoes for the ‘shoeman,’ who later used the profit from these shoes to provide clean water for Haiti. Because of this effort, the student ministry received an award from the college as the most outstanding service group on campus.
“I would say my gifts were brought working with young adults — at SIUE and later on for seven years as an assistant coordinator in St. Louis for the Loretto Volunteer Program. During this time I worked with incredible women directors: Katie Jones, Molly Butler and Mallory Daily. They were the giants of the program and developed it in ways not ever dreamed or imagined. As the years progressed, while I met many outstanding young men and women, these years were more difficult as young adults began to change their reasons for participation in the program. The gifts I used and tried to develop were patience, love of each individual and love of justice and community.”
What aspects of belonging to Loretto have meant most to you? Said Claudia, “Learning to be me in Loretto and honoring the person that I am.”
Eleanor Craig SL
Eleanor shares her reflections with us here: “I honestly don’t recall whether I had concrete or specific expectations [for the Congregation]. What I wanted to be was with these women who were wonderfully energetic, intelligent, articulate and engaged. They were very comfortable to be with, natural and inviting in their manner. It was obvious that they liked each other, and they liked us, their students. I wanted to be with them in their work and life together.
“The dozen years I spent developing and conducting outdoor adventure trips with blind teens was by far the most exuberant time of my life. The work of designing the activities and coordinating the staff gave me great freedom to use all my teaching skills and imaginative insight. The program for blind teens built on my earlier years of traveling and camping with teens along the historic westward trails to Oregon and California. Creating appropriate activities along the trails for blind kids stretched me to use every resource and collaborate with many people. And raising the funds to make it all happen challenged every ounce of my ingenuity and organizational skill. The work was totally satisfying for the kids, the staff, and myself.
“Belonging to Loretto has been and is for me a whole-life experience. My early family life lacked support and structure. Loretto’s history, mission, members and efforts in the world have focused my life, giving me support and challenge. As a young sister, I thought I would be told what to do and how to do it, directed to my role in Loretto. But I entered Loretto in the month when Vatican II opened, so all the structures I was learning in the novitiate quickly began to shift and change. And the biggest change was toward personal responsibility, albeit in the context of the common good and community life. That change and all that came with it has been the most valuable gift for me.”
Maureen O’Connell SL
“Looking back 60 years to my decision at the ripe old age of 18 to join the Sisters of Loretto, I could not have imagined how my life would unfold. The Loretto sisters were my teachers at St. Patrick Grade School in East St. Louis, Ill., were good teachers, warm and happy people who were also very kind to my parents with a big family of 11 children.
“I had no idea that the Second Vatican Council would convene just as I entered the novitiate, opening the windows for fresh air in the Church and also a fresh invitation to religious life to look at changes that could meet current needs and times. Loretto embraced the challenge for change in customs, structure and options for mission. From previously receiving appointments for mission, a member was now challenged to listen to what the Spirit drew one to do to meet needs for service and justice. I was in the last novitiate class to receive an assignment — to teach history and social studies at Loretto High School (LHS) in the west end of Louisville, Ky.
“Each of the two main ‘works’ of my life were challenging and life-changing, requiring use of every gift I had, and the need to stretch to learn so much more! In the west end of Louisville, African-American families’ seeking housing were often met by discrimination and ‘white flight’ from the neighborhood. The struggle for civil rights and human rights was led by members in the neighborhood, some of them parents of LHS students. The opportunity to learn from the students, parents and leaders and to join in the struggle was life-changing, and drew me into a new understanding of white privilege and the many faces of racial and economic injustice. During my five years in Louisville, I experienced great love and support from the large Loretto community at 45th and Broadway.
“A chance encounter led to a summer volunteer experience in a largely white rural Appalachian area in eastern Tennessee. People in these communities faced destructive impacts of unregulated strip mining for coal, and general economic decline and neglect. After three summers of volunteering, I felt led to move to Tennessee and embark on life as a community organizer with a grassroots organization called Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment, previously Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM). With a focus on winning improvements in communities as well as leadership development of local folks who made decisions and acted for change, SOCM grew across the state, with a multi-racial membership.
“In my 60 years in Loretto I feel profound gratitude to the great people in the Loretto Community who I’ve learned so much from, have been inspired by and have felt support from. I feel likewise so grateful for the inspiration and courage of people and groups I’ve met in ‘works’ in which I’ve been privileged to be involved.”
50th – Golden Jubilee
Magdalena McCloskey CoL
Magdalena’s connection to Loretto began in 1924 at Loretto Academy in St. Louis. She reflects, “It was my first experience being in a Catholic environment. It was my first experience of being mirrored, that is, reflected back of ‘Who I Am.’ Although I had a happy childhood, I never felt valued until the Loretto Community shed their love and appreciation on me. I was aware that every child, student was valued and appreciated. That initial impression of valuing everyone and reflecting joy, light is always with me. I knew I wanted to be that for others. The way to answer that call was to become a Sister of Loretto.”
After graduation in 1950 Magdalena entered into the novitiate and taught for 15 years as a Sister of Loretto. She lived 18 years as a vowed member before she left the Congregation to marry her husband, Don McCloskey, who died in 2015. They had two children and five grandchildren. She and Don became the first couple co-members in 1973 and attended the first Loretto Assembly with their children. Maggie, as she is fondly known, is an active member of the Colorado Peaches softball team and recently threw the first pitch at a Colorado Rockies game!
Edward Sakurai CoL
Co-member Edward Sakurai originally joined because his wife, Anna Barbara, was a former Sister of Loretto. Says Edward, “She left the order and married me, and I always felt very close to the Community.” Once a co-membership option was available he joined her. What aspects of belonging to Loretto have meant the most to him? He says, “I guess, the people that I met. My wife, of course, and Sister Anne Sullivan among others. There are so many members that I think are just wonderful people. Overall I have all good feelings about the order and all the people I’ve met. My relationship with Loretto has been very, very wonderful.”
I guess, the people that I met. My wife, of course, and Sister Anne Sullivan among others. There are so many members that I think are just wonderful people. Overall I have all good feelings about the order and all the people I’ve met. My relationship with Loretto has been very, very wonderful.”
25th – Silver Jubilee
Vivian Doremus CoL
Vivian Doremus had no idea what to expect when she entered the novitiate. She recalls, “It was all a total surprise.” She adds, “In 1955 there were still medieval, monastic aspects to religious formation: an old-fashioned habit to wear, long periods of silence, hours in the chapel daily, regimentation of work and study periods. However, as I was a very curious 17-year-old, I went along with it as it seemed quite novel. I always wondered what would happen next! Besides that, as an Army child, lots of moving around and meeting new people had prepared me to take on new people as potential friends and good companions for as long as we’d be together.
“That was really what kept me going — my classmates were wonderful people and for the most part I enjoyed them immensely. Lifelong friendships of support and caring resulted.
“Once out of the three years of Loretto, Ky., training and two years at the House of Studies, living in a new Community of Sisters in a convent attached to a school, was like meeting a new group of potentially very good friends. A great plus, after a rocky start, I discovered I loved teaching. This was a surprise as in my previous school life, I had been a lackluster student.
“Teaching was really the gift Loretto gave me, and it shaped the subsequent course of my life. Analyzing the skills required to teach well and spending decades working to polish those skills became a central focus of my life. Another wonderful surprise — a classroom full of students is another potential community of mutual respect, affection and relationship. Hundreds of young people enriched my life immeasurably. Many of them have subsequently told me that I helped them grow. Who could ask for anything more!”
Patricia Hennessy CoL
Patricia Hennessy was a dear friend to Sister Rosemary Grawer, former principal of St. Ferdinand in Florissant, Mo. Pat would often come to see Rosemary Grawer at the former Loretto Center on Nerinx Hall’s campus. She taught at St. Ferdinand Parochial School in Florissant for many years, including during 1983-2000 when Rosemary was principal. Thank you, Pat, for your longtime commitment to the Sisters of Loretto and dedication and work in education in Loretto schools.
Peg Jacobs CoL
Sister Eileen Custy had this to say about Peg Jacobs: “One of her gifts was photography. She kept a record of events at the Motherhouse with pictures. She did that for several years and put together a ‘historical’ notebook for each year. Peg had three daughters, two of whom died. Many Sisters attended the funerals from the Motherhouse for one and in Denver for the other.” Mary Swain says, “that sealed Peg’s love for Loretto. She is a dear and loyal friend.”