Mary Catherine Rabbitt SL
I was born in St. Louis in 1946, the third of four children born to Dan and Charlotte Rabbitt – and the only girl. I attended Immaculate Conception Grade School (“Lafayette”) from kindergarten to eighth grade where I was taught by the Sisters of Loretto. When it came time for me to choose a high school, I chose Nerinx Hall in Webster Groves. This involved a long trek each day (4 buses); in fact, my father remarked that I was the only one of his children who went away for high school (my three brothers attended St. Louis University High). I graduated from Nerinx in 1964.
I entered the Loretto Novitiate in Kentucky in the fall of 1964 and moved to the House of Studies in St. Louis in the fall of 1966. I graduated from Webster College in May 1969, with a double major in theology and history. I spent that summer (and the following summer) volunteering at the Catholic Worker House in the Bowery in New York City.
I began teaching at Loretto in Kansas City, Mo., in the fall of 1969. In 1970, I moved to Fairfield, Iowa, to work in pastoral ministry and campus ministry and worked there for four years. In the fall of 1974, I began graduate studies in theology at the School of Applied Theology in Berkeley, Calif., (part of the Graduate Theological Union) and received a master’s in theology in 1976.
In the fall of 1975, Helen Sanders asked me to serve as Loretto’s Social Advocate, a position I held for five years. I then attended law school at the University of Denver College of Law and received my J.D. in 1984. I began working as a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Denver in the fall of 1984, after passing the Colorado Bar Exam and becoming a licensed attorney. I spent the next 16 years there as a staff attorney, specializing in health and elder law. While there, I was a litigator in class action lawsuits affecting low-income clients receiving Medicaid and other public benefits. I worked there until November of 2000.
I was first elected to the Loretto Executive Committee in 1982 and served for four years, then was elected again in 1992 and in 1996. In the summer of 2000, I was elected President of the Sisters of Loretto/Loretto Community and served in that position from 2001-2006. During those years, I also served on the Hilton Fund for Sisters Board and on the LCWR Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
In the spring of 2008, I began working at The Legal Center in Denver, serving as the Colorado Legal Services Developer for Elders. I held that position until I retired in December of 2016. In that position, I provided training and technical assistance to legal providers across Colorado and to local nursing home ombudsmen and served as the legal adviser to the Colorado Long-Term Care Ombudsman.
Since retiring, I have devoted my energies to serving Loretto on various committees, including the Pakistan Mission Committee and the Motherhouse Coordinating Board and its Farm and Land Committee. After being elected to the Executive Committee and Forum in 2018, I was also appointed to the Motherhouse Land Preservation Working Group.