The funeral Mass for Loretto Sister Carol (formerly Sister Mary Gerard SSM) Kaiman was celebrated Jan. 2 at the Church of the Seven Dolors on the grounds of Loretto Motherhouse in Nerinx, Ky. Sister Carol was a registered nurse who served in Missouri, South Carolina, Wisconsin and South America. She died Dec. 23 at Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary.
She was 83 and in the 40th year of her life as a vowed religious, with 24 years as a Sister of St. Mary and 16 years as a Sister of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross.
Carol Mary Lucienne Kaiman was born in Mt. Olive, Ill., to her birth parents Lucienne Deschodt and Robert Braun. Very early in Carol's life, her birth mother married Lambert Kaiman, who adopted Carol. She attended Holy Redeemer School in Webster Groves and St. Mark High School in St. Louis, graduating in 1952.
She entered the Sisters of St. Mary later that year and was received into the community in 1953, taking the name Sister Mary Gerard. She made first vows in 1955 and began work on a bachelor's degree in nursing at St. Louis University, earning her degree in 1959 and passing her nursing state boards. She served in health care in Baraboo, Wis., and at Firmin Desloge Hospital in St. Louis from 1960-62. In 1962, Sister Carol went to La Paz, Bolivia, to help staff a 45-bed hospital. It was next door to Colegio Loreto, run by the Sisters of Loretto and where Sister Carol first came to know the Sisters of Loretto. In 1967, Sister Carol was sent to Arequipa, Peru.
In 1968, she returned to St. Louis and served at St. Mary's Health Center in Richmond Heights and Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis until 1970. From 1970-76, she served as head nurse, head of social services and director of nursing service in Dillon, S.C.
In December 1976, Sister Carol left the SSMs, but stayed in Dillon. Over the next nine years, she earned a certificate at the University of South Carolina as a family nurse practitioner and worked in South Carolina nursing homes. From 1985 to 2000, Sister Carol worked at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence, S.C., in oncology and hospice practice.
In 2000, Sister Carol retired and moved back to St. Louis to be closer to her family and "to be open to respond to God's call back to religious life." She was invited to reside at the Loretto Center in Webster Groves. She was received into Loretto on March 4, 2001, making first vows July 25, 2003, and final vows Aug. 13, 2006.
From 2001-07, Sister Carol worked as a parish nurse and in hospice work in St. Louis and at Bethesda Nursing Home in Webster Groves. From 2007-10, she served in a hospital in South Carolina. She "retired again" to St. Louis, working the next few years with Msgr. Robert J. Gettinger of St. Augustine Parish to provide nursing care there.
Sister Carol moved to Loretto Motherhouse in 2015. She moved to the Motherhouse Infirmary in August 2017, carrying out a life of prayer and presence until her death this past December.
Sister Carol is survived by her adoptive mother, Marjorie Sullivan Kaiman, and sisters Marjorie Estha Kaiman and Kathleen Sullivan Kaiman, all of Webster Groves; and her brother, Thomas L. Kaiman of Alton, Ill.