Loretto Welcomes New Motherhouse Service Coordinator
There’s something new at the Motherhouse. Anthony Mary Sartorius is getting to retire at last after two-and-a-half terms as service coordinator. After extensive searching for a person to take on that job, Michael Bickett has been hired. He begins as the new coordinator July 15 and is the first man to hold this important job.
A few bits of information about Michael include that he goes by Michael, not Mike; that he’s been married to Rosie (nee Mattingly) for 35 years; and that their daughter, Olivia, will be a freshman at the University of Louisville in August. Also Michael has two adult step-children, Ed Masterson and Dee Petri. His parish is St. Joseph’s in Bardstown, even though he’s worked the past few years in Louisville.
Michael no stranger to Loretto
Michael is no stranger to Loretto. He was raised on a small farm in the town of Loretto, about a mile from the Motherhouse. He attended St. Francis in Loretto, where he was taught by the Ursulines. He spent two or three summers at Loretto’s summer camps. It was his first experience of swimming, and he thinks it was the first time he held a musical instrument. He’s always loved music. He’s now a cantor at St. Joseph’s, and he plays the guitar.
About Loretto, Michael says, ‘Spiritually and philosophically, it’s a place where I want to be. I feel we match up well in all avenues of the job and mission. I’m eager to join the Loretto Community.’
“When I take a position, I’m all in,” says Michael. “I dedicate myself, and I’m excited to be coming. I’m doing my homework. When I met with Sister Barbara [Nicholas], I said I’d read Venture Into the Unknown by PJ Manion about Loretto in China. It was very interesting and exciting. I went to the Nelson County Public Library to look for material about Loretto, but it was the only thing they had. So I asked Barbara, “Do you have anything else?” She gave me Only One Heart, Naming Our Truth and Century of Change. I find inspiring stories in there that give me great respect for these ladies, their dedication to justice and equality. In my capacity as coordinator I want to be aware of those things and display those very characteristics I’m reading about. I asked Barbara about PJ, and I regret that because of her poor health I won’t get to talk to her a little.
Growing up nearby Motherhouse
“Because I grew up so near, lots of the staff know me, not well, but they know me. After high school I worked in a factory for four years. I was about 22 when I went to college. When I took algebra, it stumped me. I came up here and Sister Eleanor Craig tutored me. She doesn’t remember me from then, but I got a C in the class, and I was proud of it.
“My mother, Ann (Cecil) Bickett, was a resident more than five years ago. She had Alzheimer’s disease. Sometimes when I visited, I’d bring my guitar and play in the common room for anyone who might care to listen. My daughter, Olivia, sometimes played the piano there.”
Michael received a master’s of arts in teaching from the University of Louisville and has worked in Kentucky schools all his career. He says anytime his school needed a coach, he’d volunteer — football, girls’ and boys’ basketball, tennis, soccer (despite never having even played soccer himself).
His wife, Rosie, retired from work at the University of Louisville in the registrar’s office. Michael and Rosie go U of L all the way. She volunteers in Bardstown for St. Vincent de Paul and the Guthrie Opportunity Center for individuals with learning challenges. She helps train young people in how to prepare food at the group’s restaurant there. She is also on a parish bereavement team.
Michael is a constant reader, Grisham and Follett for example, and biographies. Recently he read Revelations by Elaine Pagels because he’d been hearing so much about the Book of Revelations from Evangelical friends. He says the Pagels book was quite a revelation!
About Loretto, Michael says, “Spiritually and philosophically, it’s a place where I want to be. I feel we match up well in all avenues of the job and mission. I’m eager to join the Loretto Community.”