Remembrance of the Life of Sister Julia Anne McEntee SL
Sister Julia Anne McEntee
December 29, 1932-October 29, 2013
Sister Julia Anne McEntee was born in St. Louis and named Patricia Anna by her parents, Thomas Joseph and Julia Agnes Donovan, both of St. Louis. She was the seventh of eight children, one of two girls. She entered the Sisters of Loretto in 1954 from Little Flower Parish in St. Louis, four years after she graduated from Nerinx Hall High School. Describing her vocation at the time of her Golden Jubilee, Julia Anne wrote:
“[My family] moved to St. Pius School after the death of my father [when I was in the third grade]. This was the beginning of a blessed relationship with the Sisters of Loretto. Even at this early time, I had a desire to be one of them. … Through the years this call never left me. Later, at Nerinx Hall High School, I was again blessed with being with the Sisters of Loretto—one of the reasons for my choice of that school. The sisters seemed to me to be so dedicated, caring and considerate of each other, and interested in their students. Obviously they had a special connection to someone greater than anyone could imagine. I wanted to be part of them and was sure I could live out the invitation I felt I had received. However, my mother died when I was a senior, so it was four years before I felt I could answer this call. I later requested her name at Reception.”
Julia Anne entered the novitiate in May 1955. Following her profession of first vows, May 24, 1957, Julia Anne completed her preparation for teaching at the Loretto House of Studies in Webster Groves, participating in the dedication of the “new wing.” She began her teaching with two years at St. Michael’s School, Houston. In 1961 she was assigned to Loretto Academy, El Paso, as Maintenance Director, where she learned Spanish quickly in order to communicate with local tradespeople. There she continued until 1971, when she was “struck off my horse” with a cerebral hemorrhage that brought her close to death and nine weeks in bed. When she recovered, she moved to Denver, living with Sisters Rosalie Elliott, Mary Jean Tenhaeff, and Helen Ann Reynolds.
For a few years, Julia did office and clerical work at Boulevard Nursing Home and for the city and county of Denver. She was secretary to the President of the Sisters of Loretto in 1978. She had been well prepared for these tasks by her four years as a clerical worker following high school. In 1974 she received a commendation from the Denver Mayor granting her an Unusual Ability Increase in salary “in recognition of your distinctly superior work performance.” Similar commendations followed her for the next 25 years of her work in the public sector.
In 1980 Julia began a second career, earning an LPN and then an RN. She began her nursing at Denver General Hospital, the spent two years at Yavapai Community Hospital in Prescott, Ariz. Back in Denver in 1984, she served at the Lutheran Medical Center and again at Denver General Hospital. Julia spent her final years of active nursing at the Loretto Center in Littleton, from 1994 until her retirement to Loretto Motherhouse in 2000.
About her early retirement years Julia wrote: “I still share my nursing a little with older sisters. Since returning to the Motherhouse, I have added pastoral care to my experience. As part of a team, I take communion to the sisters in our infirmary. I pray with two groups. To others I offer some time of presence with them.” Until earlier this year, Julia was a presence throughout the Motherhouse, daily walking the halls, checking doors and lights, on the lookout for small maintenance problems. Serving the people of God was always Julia’s goal. Loretto joins many others in saying Thank you, Sister Julia Anne, for your many years of faithful service.