Women religious

Thousands of retired religious seeking your support

School Sisters of Notre Dame Aloise Meurer, 96, and Marie Francis Biver, 89, visited during a celebration at the Sarah Community in Bridgeton Oct. 24 for the 178th anniversary of the founding of the School Sisters of Notre Dame by Blessed Theresa Gerhardinger. The two sisters are among many retired religious who live at The Sarah Community.

The Catholics of the St. Louis Archdiocese have more reason than most to be generous to the annual collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious on the weekend of Nov. 5-6.

Our archdiocese includes 79 religious communties -- 26 orders of men and 53 orders of women. By contrast, in the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan., there are five communities for women religious and one for men.

More than 1,700 consecrated women and men religious call the St. Louis Archdiocese home. Of those, about half are more than 70 years old, according to the archdiocesan Office of Consecrated Life.

Sr. Patricia Gillespie, CSJ

A funeral Mass was celebrated Sept. 14 at Nazareth Living Center Chapel in south county for Sister Patricia Gillespie, a retired school teacher and counselor.

Sister Patricia, 82, died Sept. 8 at Nazareth of end-stage Parkinson's Disease.

Born in Kansas City, Mo., she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1947. She received the habit and name Sister Margaret William in 1948. Her final profession was in 1953. She received a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Fontbonne College in 1960 and a master's degree in counseling and guidance from St. Louis University in 1967.

Sr. Mary E. Sloan, FSM

A funeral Mass was celebrated Sept. 12 in the Veronica House chapel of The Sarah Community in Bridgeton for Sister Mary Ellen Sloan, who served on the leadership council of the Sisters of St. Mary for more than 16 years.

Sr. Mary Ellen, 84, died Sept. 7 at Anna House at The Sarah Community, where she has lived since May 2010. She was in religious life for 60 years.

Sr. Marie P. Kettenbach, SSND

A funeral Mass was celebrated Sept. 21 for Sister Marie Pierre Kettenbach, SSND, in the Theresa Center chapel of the School Sisters of Notre Dame motherhouse in south St. Louis County.

Sister Marie Pierre died Sept. 15 at Anna House-The Sarah Community in Bridgeton from coronary artery disease. She was 88 and a former SSND provincial councilor, teacher and principal.

Sr. Rita Cascia Bange, SSND

A funeral Mass was celebrated Sept. 24 for Sister Rita Cascia Bange, SSND, in the Theresa Center chapel of the School Sisters of Notre Dame Motherhouse in south St. Louis County.

Sister Rita Cascia died Sept. 18 at Anna House-The Sarah Community in Bridgeton from pneumonia. She was 95 and a former cook and housekeeper.

A native of Shreveport, La., she entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1936 from St. Rose of Lima Parish in DeSoto. She professed first vows in 1940 and final vows in 1946.

Sr. Maria Cabrini Oldani, CSJ

A Memorial Mass was celebrated Sept. 9 at Nazareth Living Center Chapel in South County for Sister Maria Cabrini Oldani, a native St. Louisan and retired educator.

Sister Cabrini, 90, died Aug. 28 at Nazareth of pneumonia. Born in St. Louis, she was baptized Adele Teresa but was known as Julia. At Rosati-Kain High School she was influenced by Mother Tarcissia Finn, and she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1939 and made her final profession in 1945. She received a bachelor's degree in education from Fontbonne College in 1953.

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