Mary Denis Bruck, Mary Kenneth Lewis Celebrate 75th Jubilee
April 25 the Loretto Community celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of Mary Denis Bruck and Mary Kenneth Lewis with a Mass and special dinner at the Motherhouse. At dinner in the dining room after Mass, two reserved tables with 12 settings each were set aside for Mary Denis’s and Mary Ken’s invited guests. The special meal was served to all. The honorees’ meal was topped off by two cakes baked by Patti Byrd, one each for Mary Denis and Mary Ken.
Seventy-five years earlier, the two women received the habit of the Sisters of Loretto April 25, 1943. Remembrances shared over the day revealed that Mary Denis and Mary Ken were excellent teachers with many classroom memories.
Mary Denis recalled that California was special for her because of the people and the beautiful natural views, especially the ocean near San Diego, where she once lived and taught. After retiring from teaching, she was inspired to take art lessons. Many of her beautiful paintings that were displayed earlier in the week at the Infirmary demonstrate her impressions.
In our conversations, Mary Ken remembered her various classroom experiences and recalled acting as director of religious education in Longmont, Colo., and having instituted the Center of Spirituality in Denver. A special, lasting gift to the Community was the collection of prayer sessions brought together in the Loretto Community Prayer Book initiated by Mary Ken in 2012.
During the celebration Mass, the celebrant, Father Marty Lally, shared that Mary Ken was his favorite teacher and since being her student in 1964 their relationship has become a special friendship and partnership. Together they have given retreats, even having gone to Ghana twice in 1990 and 1993 to preach and offer retreats. They dramatized Gospel stories and explored the implications in our lives based on our response to God’s unconditional love.
Marty also told the story of one occasion when he had been late for class and had to request a tardy slip from his principal at Holy Family High School in Denver, Mary Denis. Mary Denis noticed the watch on his wrist and suggested that he should make use of that watch and not be late again, a lesson well learned.
Both Mary Denis and Mary Ken continue to be amazingly alert and active since retirement at the Motherhouse. It is delightful to visit them, to share remembrances and to learn from conversations with these fine women celebrating 75 years of dedicated life to Loretto.