A memorial Mass for Loretto Sister Mary Genevieve Cavanaugh was celebrated Aug. 23, in the Church of the Seven Dolors on the grounds of Loretto Motherhouse in Nerinx, Ky. Sister Mary Genevieve died Aug. 9 at Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary. She was 98 and recently celebrated her 80th jubilee as a Sister of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross.
Sister Mary Genevieve taught for six years in the St. Louis Archdiocese and 43 years in three other states.
Born Jeanne Cavanaugh in Kansas City, Mo., she entered the Sisters of Loretto in 1938. She received the habit and took the name Sister Mary Genevieve in 1939. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music theory in 1952 from Webster College (now University) in St. Louis and a master’s degree in music theory in 1965 from DePaul University in Chicago.
In the St. Louis Archdiocese, Sister Mary Genevieve taught at St. Ann School in Normandy from 1941-47. Elsewhere, she taught music, literature, English and religion in elementary and secondary schools in California, Colorado and Texas and at Loretto Heights College in Denver. She managed an apartment complex for seniors and established a ministry for the elderly in Wyoming before moving, in 2010, to the Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary.
Sister Mary Genevieve came from a farm family and had a passion for the earth and environmental issues. When once asked if she had decided to enter Loretto after graduating from Loretto Academy in Kansas City, she had answered, “No, I decided after my First Communion that I wanted to be a Sister of Loretto.”
Sister Mary Genevieve donated her body to the University of Louisville School of Medicine.