Home » Blog » A look at the life and ministries of Sister Loretta Clare Gehring

A look at the life and ministries of Sister Loretta Clare Gehring

Sister Loretta Clare Gehring in an undated photo.

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. “

Sister Loretta Clare Gehring at the age of 18.

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).”

Sister Loretta Clare died on October 6, 1982. She was 91 years old and had been a Sister of Providence for 71 years. ‪#‎throwbackthursday ‪#‎tbt

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Jason Moon

Jason Moon serves as media relations manager for the Sisters of Providence. Previously, he spent more than 16 years in the newspaper industry.

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2 Comments

  1. S. Marsha Speth on July 20, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Thank you, Elaine, for sharing these precious memories with us!

  2. Thomas Golden on July 20, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Sister Loretta Clare was a vocation from All Saints Parish in Hammond, IN. I made the acquaintance of Sister Loretta Clare in 1967 when she came to St. Joseph’s in Hammond to teach seventh grade. I had graduated from All Saints in 1966, the last graduating class from All Saints. My brother and sisters finished at the consolidated St. Joseph-All Saints School. For some reason I was visiting at St. Joseph at the time of an open house or parent-teacher conference and met Sister at that time. We had a very pleasant conversation about Hammond’s “old days” and her youth at All Saints School. I believe we even stood along the sidewalk together in front of St. Joseph Convent to watch Hammond’s Christmas parade!

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane and the tribute to this wonderful sister!

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