Remembering Sister Loretta Schafer
Born on April 2, 1917, Sister Loretta Schafer (formerly Sister Michael) entered the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods on July 16, 1935.
Teaching was her primary ministry, as she taught in elementary and high schools – as well as colleges. She received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and physics from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, and master and doctoral degrees in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame.
She taught chemistry at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College for several years and also taught chemistry at Providence College, located in Taichung, Taiwan, for one year.
In 1976, Sister Loretta was elected the 13th general superior of the Sisters of Providence. She held the position until 1981.
During her time as general superior, the construction of the Maryvale Housing Complex took place, as well as work on Mother Theodore Guerin’s Cause. Sister Loretta also assigned Sister Joseph Eleanor Ryan to write the Positio, which was necessary for the canonization process.
Following this ministry, Indianapolis Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara appointed Sister Loretta as assistant chancellor of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, and in 1989, she became the first woman chancellor of the Archdiocese.
From 1992-96, Sister Loretta ministered as the promoter of Mother Theodore’s Cause.