Paulette Peterson ‘Finally’ Celebrates a Jubilee
Paulette Peterson’s description of her time with Loretto is one of invitation. As a student at Webster College, she was invited by Therese Stawowy to live at Mullanphy House where sisters and students lived in community near housing projects in St. Louis. She lived there until she graduated and was invited again by Therese to move to California. She lived with sisters in Santa Clara and started a preschool. When that house closed, she moved to Kansas City, Mo., and taught at Loretto Academy. In each city where she lived in community with us, she got to know the Loretto members in the area, building lifetime friendships. Through these relationships and sharing the work, she decided to become a co-member in about 1972.
Through her Loretto friends, Paulette was invited to join the Community living in Montebello, a relatively new suburb of Denver for low/moderate income families. She started a preschool. In 1974, she decided to explore vowed membership in Loretto. During her formation time, she lived and worked at the New York Catholic Worker, in Vietnam, at the Motherhouse and then moved to St. Louis, where she worked with Ann Manganaro at a kindergarten in an economically poor neighborhood. (Periodically she will invite us at meetings to join in a song and actions from those preschool days.)
Helen Sanders encouraged Paulette to continue her education. She attended the New School for Social Research in New York and received her master’s and doctorate in psychology. She wrote her dissertation on anger and gratitude. During this time, she returned to her co-membership status in Loretto.
Paulette worked at the Veterans’ Center in New York for 29 years, just recently retiring. She and Mark have been married for 18 years. These two sentences carry a wealth of unimaginable experiences, challenges, joys and dedication. She reflected that there is so much suffering in the world. We do what we can where we can. Belonging to a community makes it bearable.
During these many years Paulette has remained active in Loretto through Community Group 21, CPC, Alternative Investment, Discernment and Peace committees and the Loretto Africa Project in Ghana. Since her retirement she has been even more active in Loretto on the Volunteer Advisory Board, Loretto Link Board and the Community Forum. Paulette brings her sensitivity to people, her belief in the power of relationships and her vision of a Community that can move into the future together.
Throughout her life, Paulette received many invitations from a litany of Loretto members. These experiences have changed and formed her as she has grown into the generous person she is today. She also has offered invitations to others, making it a priority to continue to nurture healthy, strong relationships in Loretto. She and Mark offer wonderful hospitality in New York City.
We officially celebrate Paulette’s 25th Jubilee in Loretto. The reality is that we are celebrating the 54 years she has been deeply connected with Loretto. We are grateful Paulette, for the gift you are for Loretto.