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Ruth Routten’s Journey Continues

Posted on July 1, 2016, by Ruth Routten CoL

Ruth Routten
Ruth Routten

My first encounter with the Sisters of Loretto was in 1973 in Saigon, South Vietnam, when I met Mary Nelle Gage and Susan McDonald caring for orphans. I escorted some of the adopted orphans to their new families in the United States and Canada.

After 40 years of discernment, I decided to throw my lot in with the Loretto Community, became a co-member Dec. 16, 2013, and celebrated at the Loretto Center in Denver with Martha Crawley and Maureen Flanigan. My formation process was enriched by my contact persons and taught me how to live with joy and how to die with hope. Rosemary Wilcox and Marie Joann Rekart loved Loretto and were true examples of how to live the values of I Am The Way.

Becoming a member of the Loretto Community has opened up opportunities to play an active role in meeting the needs of aging Loretto. Mary Nelle and I have helped numerous sisters who for health reasons have needed to move to the Denver Loretto Center and/or Loretto Motherhouse. Sorting possessions, staging garage sales and packing boxes have been annual activities. Prior to Susan Swain’s death, she asked us if we would help Alicia Ramirez close their house down and ready its sale.

We just completed our third garage sale at the Denver Loretto Center, working with Loretto Center Coordinator Judith Baenen, Theresa Kinealy and the Denver Center sisters.

Lydia Peña asked Mary Nelle and me if we would help with the Loretto Heights College Cemetery. Five crumbling tombstones needed replacing. An older gentleman extended himself and created five beautiful replacement stones. A Vietnamese refugee and his lawn service crew set the stones, asking only for the prayers of the sisters.

Taking photos is a hobby of mine, and I am happy to serve as a photographer at local Loretto events.

The 150th anniversary of the massacre of Native Americans at Sand Creek took place in November 2014. I was honored to participate in the three-day event with several Loretto sisters and co-members who gathered food and beverage donations for the events at Sand Creek Battle Grounds and the Colorado State Capitol.

I have volunteered for the past 13 years with Earthlinks, co-founded by Cathy Mueller, to benefit homeless and low-income persons in Denver. Selling products at craft fairs, I am sometimes joined by Bernie Feeney, I.T. Marquez, Mary Ellen McElroy and Joan Spero.

I.T. and I have an aluminum recycling program at the Denver Center with the proceeds going to the Loretto Hunger Fund.

Being a member of the Loretto Special Needs Committee provides me with an opportunity to help individuals and organizations. I wish each Loretto member could know the positive impact your support has on the lives of these people in need.

As a member of Community Group 8, I have been blessed to share with others who live the Gospels and have supported me in my mission of being the answer to someone’s prayers.

I look forward to volunteering at the upcoming Loretto Golf Tournament and helping to stuff Christmas cards for mailing. These are opportunities to mingle with other Loretto Community members.

As you can see, being a co-member with Loretto is both rewarding and challenging. The Loretto Community can move mountains together, one stone, one Community member at a time.


Ruth Routten CoL

Ruth met two Sisters of Loretto who were working at a Vietnamese orphanage in 1973 during the war. She was a flight attendant with American Airlines for 40 years and loved every minute of serving people. Ruth became a Loretto Co-member in 2013 and serves on the Special Needs Committee.
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Loretto welcomes you

Learn more or plan a visit to the Motherhouse!