In Memory

Sister M. Loretta McGonnell, IHM

June 9, 1848 – July 5, 1919

M. Loretta McGonnell, IHM

Sister M. Loretta McGonnell, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Saturday, July 5, 1919.

She was born on June 9, 1848 in Fairfield Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, and given the name Catharine. She was the daughter of the late William and Hannah Davis McGonnell. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 25, 1872, received the religious habit on April 14, 1873, and made profession of her vows on November 1, 1875.

Sister Loretta served as superior at St. Patrick’s Orphanage in Scranton, PA, where she lovingly cared for the resident children. She also served at Laurel Hill Academy in Susquehanna, PA.

In 1913, Sister Loretta was asked to serve as the Directress of Novices at St. Stephen Convent in Plymouth, PA, for the new Congregation of the Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius. She continued to receive postulants at the Plymouth convent and to direct novices as well as govern the affairs of the new congregation until 1917.

She was prececed in death by a sister, Rebecca, and three brothers, Edward, Charles and William.

She is survived by a brother, Thomas, a sister, Anna Frances Faught, nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be Tuesday, July 8 in the Marywood College Chapel, followed by interment at the Marywood College Cemetery, on the grounds of Marywood College in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Memorial contributions may be made to support the retired IHM Sisters c/o the IHM Sisters Retirement Fund, IHM Center, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509.

“The death of Sister M. Loretta O’Connell (sic) occurred on July 5, 1919. Sister Loretta had spent many years at Saint Patrick’s Orphanage. She was in charge there at the time of the burning of the Orphanage, and never quite fully recovered from the harrowing experience. When the Slovak Sisters left Mount Saint Mary’s to open a mother house and novitiate of their own. Sister M. Loretta was placed in charge. God sent her, as He sends to many of our senior Sisters before death, the crowning grace of suffering. ”

Excerpted from The Sisters of the I.H.M.: The Story of The Founding of The Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Their Work In The Scranton Diocese by Sister M. Immaculata Gillespie, IHM, P.J. Kenedy & Sons, NY, 1921, p. 452

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