The funeral Mass for native St. Louisan Loretto Sister Rosemary (formerly Sister Mary Alvera) Grawer was celebrated Sept. 14 at the Church of the Seven Dolors at the Loretto Motherhouse in Nerinx, Ky. Sister Rosemary died Sept. 7 at Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary.
She was 93 years old and recently celebrated the 74th anniversary of her reception as a Sister of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross. An educator for 57 years, she served in schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and in Colorado, Illinois and Wyoming.
Born Sept. 4, 1925, in St. Louis, she attended parish schools, including Sacred Heart, Perpetual Help and St. Michael High School. She entered the Loretto novitiate from Holy Rosary Parish in St. Louis in 1944. She was received into the congregation Aug. 15, 1944, taking the name of Sister Mary Alvera. She made first vows Aug. 15, 1946, and final vows Aug. 15, 1949.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in English, with a minor in education, in 1962 from Loretto Heights College in Denver and a master’s in education in 1966 from Loyola University in Los Angeles.
Many of her nearly 60 years teaching were spent in first-grade classrooms where she taught 2,500 children to read. In the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Sister Rosemary taught at St. Stephen Protomartyr School in St. Louis from 1982 to 1983. She moved to St. Ferdinand School in Florissant, where she served as principal from 1983 to 2000. Retiring from teaching in 2000, Sister Rosemary did volunteer work and that year was appointed as co-coordinator of Loretto Center in Webster Groves, serving as a team coordinator, until 2008.
Sister Rosemary taught for 14 years at elementary schools in Colorado and Illinois. She was a teacher, principal and superior from 1960 to 1982 in Rawlins, Wyo.
Sister Rosemary moved from St. Louis to Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary in 2016, where she carried out a ministry of prayer and volunteer service to the Loretto Community.