A look at the life and ministries of Sister Loretta Clare Gehring
Recently, Mission Advancement Executive Director Sister Ann Casper received an email from Whiting, Indiana, resident Elaine Gehring.
Elaine, 90, is the niece of Sister Loretta Clare Gehring (RIP) and wanted to share some of her memories of the Sisters of Providence.
We wanted to share some of this with you for a Throwback Thursday blog, so please enjoy.
Born on Jan. 9, 1891, in Michigan City, Indiana, Clara C. Gehring was the daughter of Albert and Mary Biever Gehring.
Sister Loretta Clare entered the Congregation on May 10, 1911. In her 50 years of teaching ministry, she taught at schools in Massachusetts, Illinois, Texas and Indiana. Sister Loretta Clare came back to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 1971.
In her correspondence with Sister Ann, Elaine recalled visiting her aunt at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.
Elaine said, “We always met the nuns at the Whiting train station on August 15 to learn my aunt’s assignment. I remember visiting her and Sister Joseph Henry often during the summers of my childhood. The sisters had to travel in pairs and were not allowed to leave the ‘Woods’ grounds. “
She continued, “Our family often splurged on those hot summer days on an ice cream cone (probably cost a nickel each) from ‘the village,’ but my aunt nor the other nuns couldn’t indulge with us. We often drove around the grounds and I loved walking on the swinging bridge (at Saint Joseph’s Lake).”
Elaine said her aunt was known as the “mouse sister” because she heated marbles, put faces and tails on them and sold them in the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods booth during the Indiana State Fair.
“Though Aunt Clara was small in stature, she was strong willed and had a big heart,” Elaine said. “I truly remember the loving care she got here at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. She looked at this as her home and the nuns as her extended family. Thank you a million for caring so well for her (and the many others, too).”