The funeral Mass for Dominican Sister Loretta Butler was to be celebrated Dec. 6 at the Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel in Sparkill, N.Y. She died Nov. 27 in Siena Hall at the Dominican Convent in Sparkill, NY. She was 93 years old.
Born in St. Louis on Jan. 23, 1925, as Mary Patricia Butler, she entered the Dominican Congregation of Our Lady of the Rosary in Sparkill on Sept. 8, 1942, and received the name Sister Loretta Marie. She professed first vows in 1944 and final vows in 1949.
Sister Loretta received a bachelor’s degree in French from Fontbonne College (1955); a bachelor’s and master’s in art from Pius XII Institute in Florence, Italy (1960); a master’s in French from Columbia University in New York (1968); and a doctorate in educational psychology from Fordham University in New York (1972). In addition, she was a visiting scholar at The Catholic University in Washington, D.C. (1984-85) and after receiving, Fulbright Grant, she ministered in Bahawalpur, Pakistan (1985-86).
In the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Sister Loretta taught elementary school at St. Patrick School in Rolla (1944-45) and St. James School in St. Louis (1945-55). Returning to New York, Sister Loretta taught at the high school-level through 1971, then moved up to the collegiate level in 1974 for 30 years, the rest of her ministry. She served as an administrator in New York City and New York State, Colorado and Ohio; and taught in New York, Pakistan and at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (1999-2004). Sister Loretta also was a researcher for OPUS, a collaborative research project of the Dominican Sisters Conference in St. Louis (2003-05). In 2005, Sister Loretta retired to the Dominican Convent in Sparkill, N.Y.
Sister Loretta is survived by a brother, Russ, and three sisters — Dorothy Heldman, Lois Wiepreck and Therese Folsom.