Home » Features » ‘And Sarah Laughed…’

‘And Sarah Laughed…’

Posted on February 1, 2017, by Annie Stevens CoL

Strike a Pose! — Above, Elaine Prevallet mimics the Sarah statue. Elaine’s face was the model for Sarah’s face. Below from left are Barbara Ann Barbato, Elaine, Sarah, Annie Stevens and Nancy Wittwer, all of whom attended the statue’s dedication.
Photos courtesy of Anie Stevens

A joyful crowd of more than 100 gathered Oct. 9, 2016, at the main entrance of The Sarah Community in Bridgeton, Mo., to dedicate a statue of the Biblical Sarah, whose upturned face is that of Loretto’s own Elaine Marie Prevallet.

Months ago, Elaine was visiting with friends when the storytelling led to laughter. “I suddenly was aware of a voice that said, ‘Sarah! Sarah!’ and I realized that one of the women was looking intently at me,” Elaine recalls. The voice was that of Mercy Sister Marie Henderson, an artist in Michigan who had recently accepted a commission to create a lifesize bronze statue of Sarah for The Sarah Community,

“Marie had us re-create our storytelling conversation the next day,” Elaine said, “and she snapped photos from every angle as I laughed and laughed!” From these photos, the face of the Sarah statue emerged, with laugh lines and upward tilt of joy.

As the artist explained at the dedication ceremony, she used several women as models for different parts of the statue, which she created using the lost wax method. “This method is very precise, even to the inclusion of any fingerprints or precise detail that was found in the original clay.”

Members of The Sarah Community’s five founding religious communities unveiled the statue, which stands on a foundation which contains symbols of each community. The Loretto image of Mary at the foot of the cross is in the middle. From this foundation, the welcoming statue of Sarah beams her joy.


Annie Stevens CoL

Annie has lived Loretto life, both as a vowed and a co-member, since 2001. She loves teaching at Webster University, serving on the board of Nerinx Hall High School, and researching Loretto history. In her free time, she likes to travel and frequently visits the Missouri Botanical Garden. She enjoys sharing her flower photos on Facebook.
Cupola Cross 2-Icon

Loretto welcomes you

Learn more or plan a visit to the Motherhouse!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cupola Cross 2-Icon

Loretto welcomes you

Learn more or plan a visit to the Motherhouse!