Eulogy for Sister Ann Loretta Moore
Sister of St. Joseph of Concordia, Kansas
Eulogist: Sister Norma Schlick
Vigil: Feb. 25, 2009
Many of us know that Sister Ann Loretta hailed from the “show me state” of Missouri, and true to form she asked me to write her eulogy and show it to her before her death. So tonight for a brief time I will share with you this pre-approved and nicely packaged story of her life.
She was, indeed, from Missouri, born to John and Frances Koenig Moore on Aug. 14, 1910. She was given the name of Lucille at baptism in the St. Lawrence Church in Monett. In her family, now all deceased, she had five sisters, Mary, Frances, Margaret, Loretta and Agnes, an infant who died at birth. Her three brothers were John, Joseph, and Clarence.
Sister Ann Loretta described her family life this way: “My parents were good, religious, hardworking people and were my greatest inspiration. They taught us to work and to love one another.” She maintained strong bonds with her family throughout her life, enjoying many visits to her sisters and families in Oklahoma and Missouri. Sister Ann Loretta always carried with her the pain of losing her sister, Loretta, at age 14.
This happened in 1929 after Sister entered Nazareth Convent as a postulant. She was given the choice of going home for the funeral and a time away with her family or remaining as a postulant. She left at that time and returned to her home. She entered again a year later in1930.
Sister Ann Loretta’s early education was with the Sisters of St. Joseph in Monett. All through high school she felt a deep desire to enter religious life and she prayed daily for this vocation. She had great devotion to the Blessed Mother and asked for her guidance. The rosary was her favorite prayer throughout her life.
Relative to her request to enter in Concordia, her pastor in Monett wrote on her behalf: “Lucille Anna Moore was born here and always lived here, so to Monett her life is an open book without stain or shadow. I hope she will be suited to religious life and that it will suit her.” After re-entering the community in 1930, she was happy to receive the name of Ann Loretta in honor of her sister. She received the habit on Aug. 15, 1930, made first vows in 1932 and final vows in 1935.
Sister Ann Loretta’s entire religious life centered around nursing and health care. In 1932 she began nurses’ training at St. Joseph Hospital in Concordia, then located at the site of the present Manna House. She completed the three year course in 1935, earned her R.N. and continued to serve at that hospital until 1939. Her other mission assignments then took her to EI Paso, Texas, and to hospitals in Sabetha, Atwood, again to Concordia, and Manhattan, Kansas and to Belvidere, Illinois.
As a professional obstetrical nurse, Sister Ann Loretta was a department supervisor in many of the places in which she served. In later years she fondly recalled the times she assisted at births and saved a number of babies from death in infancy. One birth in particular stood out for her. In Belvidere she assisted in the birth of a baby weighing less than two pounds. The doctor was not enthusiastic about the chances of the child surviving. Sister took charge and gave the infant one drop of milk at a time and nursed it into life. The baby, baptized immediately, was named Mary Ann. In recent years, after correspondence over a long period of time, it gave Sister Ann Loretta great joy to meet this baby again in the person of Mary Ann and her husband, Harold Henning, who came to visit her in Concordia. Sister Ann Loretta never tired of telling this story.
Later in life, Sister Ann Loretta put her nursing skills to good use serving elderly people, often visiting them in their homes. She spent several years living with Sister Dolorine helping to care for Sister’s elderly mother. In Stafford Hall and the Motherhouse she often volunteered to sit with the dying until her own failing health no longer allowed her to do so. At the age of 94, Sister Ann Loretta accepted the new assignment of becoming a resident of Mount Joseph Nursing Home in Concordia. This was a difficult transition for her, but she appreciated the nursing assistance she received there and she enjoyed the many visits and support of other members of the community.
As a native of Missouri, a fact we referred to earlier, she retained her outspoken attitude when dealing with life in general, a trait that might remind us of another Missourian, Harry Truman. She loved sports of all kinds and never tired of watching games on TV played by her beloved St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals. She kept abreast of the individual statistics of team members and often could be found saying the rosary for them during the games. She loved for them to win!
On a more serious note, Sister Ann Loretta was a very prayerful person who faced her own last illness and death with dignity, and she accepted her sufferings, uniting them with the sufferings of Jesus. She died at Mount Joseph on Feb. 23, 2009, at the age of 98. We pray that she is now united with Jesus in his resurrected life for all eternity.