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Jubilarians | Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross (SL)

Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross (SL)

60th Reception of the Habit

Sister Donna (Edward Marie) Day

Birth name: Madonna Elizabeth Day

Birthplace: St. Louis

Entrance: 1961

First profession: 1964

Final profession: 1969

Education: Bachelor’s in history, with minors in education and theology, Webster University, Webster Groves, 1966

Master’s in religious studies, Mundelein/Loyola University, Chicago, 1971;

Continued studies, theology and urban planning, Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, 1996

Service in the archdiocese: Community staff health and retirement coordinator, Sisters of Loretto, St. Louis, 1988-97

Executive director, Intercommunity Housing Association: Pillar Place/Compton Place, St. Louis, 1997-2004

Member, LCWR Region X, Loretto Executive Committee, 2004-08

Vice president, Loretto Executive Committee, 2006-12

Loretto staff, Loretto Staff Office, St. Louis, 2006-present

Co-editor of Interchange, Loretto newsletter, and service on Loretto committees, Loretto Communications Team, 2012-present

Service outside the archdiocese: Teacher, All Souls Church and School, Englewood, Colorado, 1966-68

Religious education director, St. Mary’s Parish, Sterling, Missouri, 1968-70

Director of religious education, St. Joseph Parish, Rawlins, Wyoming, 1970-73

Pastoral assistant, St. Leander’s, Pueblo, Colorado, 1973-75

Associate director of religious education, Diocese of Pueblo, Pueblo, Colorado, 1975-78

Rural education ministry, Diocese of Pueblo, Pueblo, Colorado, 1978-80

Adult education coordinator and liturgy, St. Joseph Parish, Pueblo, Colorado, 1980-86

Director of religious education and liturgy, St. Anthony Parish, Denver, 1986-88

About Sister Donna Day: Sister Donna was received into Loretto May 31, 1962. She grew up in St. Pius V Parish and participated in the St. Louis archdiocesan and national Catholic Youth Organizations, which helped her to develop her awareness of service to the people of God. During much of her religious life, Sister Donna has served Hispanic and African-American communities and taken part in developing parish pastoral programs and housing projects into sustainable communities. She is known for writing homilies, planning liturgies, music and membership on Loretto committees. She notes, “Loretto has given me the freedom to use my gifts. The faith from my family and friends, the interconnectedness with each member of Loretto and with those we serve has given me a path to God.” Currently, Sister Donna resides in Webster Groves. She loves all things Irish, books and beagles.

Sister Sharon (Marie Kenneth) Kassing

Birthplace: St. Louis

Entrance: 1961

First profession: 1964

Final profession: 1969

Education: Bachelor’s in chemistry, Webster College, Webster Groves, 1967

Master’s in natural science with an earth science option, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, 1976

Master’s in liturgical studies, St. John’s College, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1996

Service in the archdiocese: Teacher, Visitation-Holy Ghost, St. Louis, 1967-74

Teacher and assistant principal, Visitation-Holy Ghost, St. Louis, 1972-74

Teacher, St. Pius V School, St. Louis, 1974-98

Educator, St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis, 1998-2003

Training teachers and Center for Science Teaching and Learning (CISTL) liaison, St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis, 2003- 2012

Teacher programs coordinator, St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis, 2010-12

About Sister Sharon Kassing: Sister Sharon was received into Loretto May 31, 1962. In addition to 42 years in formal and informal education, she has enjoyed planning liturgies and providing musical accompaniment for community celebrations. As a native St. Louisan, Sister Sharon greatly enjoyed capping off her teaching career at the St. Louis Zoo. She continues to reside in St. Louis and spends time working on the Loretto Executive Committee and the Community Forum and creating mandala art.

Sister Carol Ann Ptacek

Birthplace: St. Louis

Entrance: 1961

First profession: 1964

Final profession: 1969

Education: Bachelor’s in Latin, Webster College, Webster Groves, 1965

Master’s in nursing, New York Medical College Graduate School of Nursing, Valhalla, New York, 1970

Service outside the archdiocese: Latin and religion teacher, Loretto Academy High School, El Paso, Texas, 1965-68

Nursing as an aide, Loretto Infirmary, Nerinx, Kentucky, 1967-68

Part-time aide, Nazareth Hall, El Paso, Texas, 1967-68

Director of nursing, Nazareth Hall, El Paso, Texas, 1970-85

Health care coordinator, Loretto Center, Littleton, Colorado,1985-92

Nurse, Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary, Nerinx, Kentucky, 1992-95

Convent community nurse, Loretto Motherhouse, Nerinx, Kentucky, 1995-2015

Volunteer, Finance Office and wherever needed, Loretto Motherhouse, Nerinx, Kentucky, 1995-2015

About Sister Carol Ann Ptacek: Sister Carol Ann was received into Loretto May 31, 1962. Her first mission was to teach Latin and religion in a girls’ school. For two summers she worked as a nurse’s aide in the Loretto Motherhouse nursing facility. For a year and a half, Sister Carol Ann worked in a nursing home part-time in El Paso, Texas, while she continued to teach on a part-time basis. After three years she knew she had to make a decision — to teach or to nurse. Sister Carol Ann then received permission to go to nursing school. After two-plus years, she was a registered nurse with a master’s in nursing. Sister Carol Ann retired from nursing after almost 45 years caring for the Sisters of Loretto and lay residents in Loretto’s nursing facilities. The decision proved to be the correct one. Sister Carol Ann currently lives at the Loretto Motherhouse.

Sister Helen (Helen Miriam) Santamaria

Birthplace: El Paso, Texas

Entrance: 1961

First profession: 1964

Final profession: 1969

Education: Bachelor’s in Spanish, Webster College, Webster Groves, 1966

Master’s in education, Washington University, St. Louis, 1975

Master’s in educational policy and leadership, Washington University, St. Louis, 1982

Master’s in pastoral studies, Loyola University, New Orleans, 2010

Graduate certification in spiritual direction and directed retreats, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, 2016

Service in the archdiocese: Spanish teacher, Nerinx Hall High School, Webster Groves, 1966-73

Teacher, Visitation-Holy Ghost, St. Louis, 1973-74

Spanish teacher, Nerinx Hall High School, 1975-81

Director, Club 44, Kirkwood, 1975-81

Principal, Nerinx Hall High School, 1982-89

Service outside the archdiocese: Director of development and public relations, Loretto Academy, El Paso, Texas,1989-91

President, Loretto Academy, El Paso, 1991-95

Vice chancellor, Diocese of El Paso, 1997-2004

Jesuit Refugee Services/USA associate chaplain, El Paso Processing Center, 2004-05

President and interim director, El Paso Villa Maria, a Home for Women in Temporary Crisis, El Paso, 2003-13

Sacristan, Loretto Academy, El Paso, 2010-present

About Sister Helen Santamaria: Sister Helen was received into Loretto May 31, 1962. An example of where she felt she made a difference in mission in her 60 years as a Loretto was when she was supported by the Loretto Community in successfully birthing Villa Maria, a temporary home in El Paso, Texas. To date, more than 2,000 women experiencing homelessness have transitioned from homelessness to wholeness. Villa Maria continues with strong womanly leadership and God’s loving direction. In St. Louis, Sister Helen was appointed to the Regional Forum-Citizen Advisory Board to East-West Gateway Coordinating Council, 1981-84. She received the YMCA Outstanding Volunteer Award in 1981 and was appointed by the St. Louis County Executive Council to a five-member panel to recommend candidates for two vacancies on the St. Louis Special School District School Board, 1983. She resides in El Paso, where her primary ministry is spiritual direction, and she serves as sacristan at Loretto Academy. She coordinates volunteers while offering spiritual services at the EP Opportunity Center for the Homeless, is a member of the diocesan Deacon Advisory Board and continues in an advisory capacity to the Villa Maria board of directors. In 2016 Sister Helen was recognized as a Woman of Impact, an award recognizing women having made a significant impact on the El Paso community.

65th Reception of the Habit

Sister Rita (Ann Frederick) Bruegenhagen

Birthplace: St. Louis

Entrance: 1956

First profession: 1959

Final profession: 1964

Education: Bachelor’s in French, Webster Groves, 1961

Master’s in business administration, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1967

Service in the archdiocese: Administrative assistant to finance director, Cardinal Ritter Institute, St. Louis, 1984-86

Business manager, Incarnate Word Academy, St. Louis, 1986-95

Accounting instructor, Archdiocese of St. Louis, 1995-97

Bookkeeper, St. Peter Church, Kirkwood, 1997-2012

Retired, Webster Groves, 2012

Service outside the archdiocese: Assistant to the congregation treasurer, Loretto Motherhouse, Nerinx, Kentucky, 1961-66

Sisters of Loretto Southern Province treasurer, El Paso, Texas, 1966-67

Business manager, Loretto Academy, El Paso, Texas, 1966-75

Teacher and office assistant, Loretto in Kansas City, Missouri, 1975-77

Secretary, campus ministry and marriage preparation, Archdiocese of Denver, 1977-82

Finance director, Catholic Education Vicariate, Archdiocese of Denver, 1982-84

About Sister Rita Bruegenhagen: Sister Rita was received into Loretto May 24, 1957. She began the Sisters Council in El Paso, Texas, served as the finance person for Mile Hi Religious Education Conferences in Denver and taught PSR at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Sister Rita also has volunteered working with adults with special needs and filing for immigration lawyers. Her concern for detail, her organizational and financial skills plus her sense of integrity are valued by others who also consider her a woman of great faith, great humor and loyal friend. She loves history and talking with those with stories to tell of the past, visiting history exhibits and historical sites. Sister Rita currently resides at the Loretto Motherhouse, where she often is called on for projects and serves on the Loretto Constitutions’ study groups for new members in process.

70th Reception of the Habit

Sister Barbara Ann (Mary Bernard) Barbato

Birthplace: Denver

Entrance: 1952

First profession: 1954

Final profession: 1958

Education: Bachelor’s in history, with minors in English and philosophy, Loretto Heights College, Denver, 1952

Doctorate in European history, Saint Louis University, 1964

Master’s in management, Webster College, Webster Groves, 1981

Service in the archdiocese: Teacher, St. Ann School, Normandy, 1955-56

Teacher, Nerinx Hall High School, Webster Groves, 1958-61

Professor, Webster College, Webster Groves, 1963-67

Professor, Webster College, Webster University, 1969-70

Part-time services staff for congregation, and part-time faculty at Webster and counseling, Webster College, 1971-76

Professor of history, director of Center for Individualized Studies, Webster University, Webster Groves, 1976-2001

Professor emerita, Webster University, 2003-present

Service outside the archdiocese: Teacher, Bishop Toolen High School, Mobile, Alabama, 1956-58

Teacher, Loretto Junior College, Nerinx, Kentucky, 1962-63

Teacher, Loretto Academy, Kansas City, Missouri, 1967-69

Work services staff, Littleton, Colorado, 1970-71

Disaster service action volunteer, American Red Cross, St. Louis, 2003-2012

About Sister Barbara Ann Barbato: Sister Barbara Ann was received into Loretto Dec. 8, 1952. She has served on many boards of St. Louis schools and congregational committees. Sister Barbara Ann is a past teacher at Nerinx Hall and Webster University professor emerita. She taught history for more than 40 years at Webster, which was founded in 1915 by the Sisters of Loretto. Any student will remember how much history they learned from Sister Barbara Ann! Achieving certification, she regularly served as a first responder and dispatcher for the American Red Cross Disaster Action Team and on an as-needed basis with disaster service human relations in mass care sheltering and feeding, 2003-12. She currently lives in Shrewsbury and is a member of St. Michael the Archangel Parish.

Sister Valerie (Valerie Ann) Novak

Birthplace: Joliet, Illinois

Entrance: 1951

First profession: 1954

Final profession: 1957

Education: Bachelor’s in education, Webster University, Webster Groves, 1956

Study, International Pastoral Institute for Latin America, Quito, Peru, 1970

Master’s in theological studies, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, 1986

Service in the archdiocese: English and Spanish teacher, Nerinx Hall High School, Webster Groves, 1961-66

Co-coordinator, Loretto Center, Webster Groves, 2001-17

Service outside the archdiocese: Service outside the archdiocese: Teacher in Texas and Kentucky

Catechetical trainer, Tacna, Peru, 1967-70

Assistant director, Bolivian National Pastoral Office, La Paz, Bolivia, 1971-73

Local coordinator, Rockford Diocese Spanish-speaking apostolate, Sterling, Illinois, 1973-77

Diocesan coordinator of Spanish Apostolate, Diocese of Rockford, Illinois, 1977-86

Organizer and facilitator, Mustard Tree Community, Louisville, Kentucky, 1986-88

Senior center program coordinator, Whiteside Co., Sterling, Illinois, 1988-91

Diocesan Hispanic ministry consultant, parental care and bilingual counselor of Catholic Service, Sterling, Illinois, 1998-99

Parental care and Hispanic ministry, Sterling, Illinois, 1999-2001

About Sister Valerie Novak: Sister Valerie was received into Loretto April 25, 1952. She wove her experiences, opportunities for study and development of her own interests into her ministries through the years. Sister Valerie notes, “I was a teacher of the Spanish language for many years. I was able to work with the people in Peru and Bolivia more easily due to my ability to speak Spanish so well. Therefore, I was exposed to more enriched opportunities while living in Peru and Bolivia. I am so grateful for the love and support of the entire sisters of Loretto Community, who have filled my life with many blessings. I am sure religious life was my calling and am glad I accepted the challenge.” On returning from Latin America, the call to parental care opened a door to work with the Spanish-speaking residents of her own hometown. She participated in all levels of Hispanic ministry organization-local, diocesan, regional and national-and was a member of HERMANAS. Sister Valerie Ann attended the historically important Hispanic Encuentro II in Washington, D.C., in 1977. To support the calls for immigration reform, in 2010, she attended the prayer vigil in Iowa to commemorate the tragedies of the Postville 2008 raid. Her current ministry is volunteer work at Loretto Motherhouse, Nerinx, Kentucky, where she currently resides.

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