Sister Loretta McGuire
I was born and raised on a farm 6 miles from Barneston, Ne. I attended Barneston grade and high school. My parish was St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Barneston, a mission of Wymore’s St. Mary’s Catholic Church. I am one of 8 children born to Ed and Nell McGuire. My oldest sister and two younger brothers are still living.
I am very proud of my Irish heritage and my Catholic faith. The Benedictine Sisters taught two weeks of vacation school in Wymore each summer, and it was there that I learned about the community and prayer life of the Benedictines. Their community life and stability drew me to be a Benedictine. I have never regretted this decision.
Growing up in rural Nebraska in the 1940’s and 1950’s, I was not around diverse populations. I experienced prejudice because of my faith. So my first missions to Donnelly College and Lillis High School, both in the inner city of Kansas City, were transforming and life-giving years. These years deepened my faith, community, prayer life, passion for peace and justice, and my deep conviction that ALL persons are an image of God!
It was these years that built a solid rock bed for me to be able to work for St. Luke’s Hospice and travel to the dying patients and their families all over the area. The grace of God, the support of the Benedictine Community and my loving family empowered me to “feel at home” and minister to the dying with compassion, trust, and love.
When I am asked what I have done in community or what I am doing, my answer is, “I have just lived the Benedictine way of life–cooking; baking; caring for the sick, dying, and children; gardening; and doing whatever the need may be for the community.” I received my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from KU.
I am most grateful to the community for all the blessings and graces and opportunities I have had these 60+ years.