Sister Elaine Gregory
I was born Elaine Gregory in St. Joseph, MO on April 22, 1928, the first of the eleven children of Elizabeth Ann Fisher and Leo Orlando Gregory. Our home was on the family farm southeast of Agency, MO where my parents lived following their marriage on February 5, 1927, at St. Joseph parish church, Easton, MO. This parish was always important to our family.
In 1934, I started school at Rockhouse, a one-room country school where our father, his brothers and sisters, and previous generations had attended. With the graduation of my eighth-grade class, the school closed. Our parents wanted a Catholic High School education for us. So, my five sisters and I attended Mount St. Scholastica Academy in Atchison, KS, while our brothers had the opportunity to attend Christian Brothers High School in St. Joseph, MO. Following graduation, I entered Mount St. Scholastica where I made profession of vows as a Benedictine sister.
In preparation for a ministry of teaching, I received a B.S. in Education from Mount St. Scholastica College and an M.S. degree from Creighton University. For the next 52 years, I taught or was the administrator in schools in Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. In 1967, I joined our mission in Brazil, where for 15 years I taught in the public school system, was director of the rural schools, coordinator of the adult literacy programs, and worked in parish ministry.
Upon returning from Brazil in 1982, I taught at Donnelly College in Kansas City, then worked for five years at the Mount Academy. During the next nine years, I was principal at St. James and St. Patrick Schools in St. Joseph, MO, and taught a semester at the prison in St. Joseph, MO.
Following these long and happy years in education, I desired to continue to serve and so began my ministry in Pastoral Care. In 2001, having previously studied Clinical Pastoral Education in Omaha, I began 12 years of work at the La Verna Nursing Home in Savannah, MO. In 2013, I returned to Atchison to continue Pastoral Care for our sisters in Dooley Center.
Reflecting on my past years, I am filled with gratitude for the grace of God, the loving support of my family, my monastic community, and my friends.