sister mary loran aubuchon

September 17, 1932 - August 16, 2014

A generous, welcoming woman who always had a twinkle in her eye.

Raymond and Agnes (Schoener) Aubuchon, of St. Louis, Missouri, their three sons and two daughters, welcomed Dorothy Ann  on September 17, 1932.  

When Dorothy was in second grade, an accident at the car shop blinded her father in one eye. Unable to continue there, he found work at Nativity Parish in maintenance.  To help her father, Dorothy emptied wastebaskets after school throughout her elementary schooling.   

Dorothy entered the Sisters of St. Joseph, September 15, 1950. “It felt like I was going to say good-bye to my mother and father and never see them again, and my brothers and sisters.  The most freeing thing … was when I was saying good-bye in tears to my mother and father, [he] said, ‘You are always free to leave.  You always have our home to come to so do not worry about that.’  I didn’t worry about it after that.  I took it step by step and learned all kinds of new things that I wasn’t expecting.  Sister Paulette Gladis, her reception, recalls: “Sister Mary Loran was a very happy person, laughing a great deal, and making others laugh as well….” 

Dorothy received the habit and the name S. Mary Loran, March 19, 1951, [S. Rose Adele, postulant mistress, said “… we thought that your parents would be very happy to have  Father Loran and a Sister Mary Loran.”

So she was named after her brother, a Passionist priest.

S. Mary Loran taught primary grades (1953-1961) in Missouri at St. Agnes, Holy Name, St Patrick (Sedalia), and Sts. Mary and Joseph.  In 1962, she taught junior high at St. Roch Grade School.  Receiving her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Fontbonne College in 1963, she moved into secondary education at St. Joseph Academy in Green Bay, Wisconsin, followed by the Academy of Our Lady in Peoria, Illinois in 1966.

In 1970,  S. Mary Loran earned a master’s in secondary education counseling/guidance from St. Louis University.  At St. Thomas Aquinas High in St. Louis, she and three other counselors were responsible for 400 students each!  Still, S. Mary Loran found time to help with costuming for school musicals -- even sewing the wedding gown for Fiddler on the Roof.

Wanting to pursue spiritual direction for high school students, she enrolled in the Ministry Training Services in Colorado in 1979.  She became Youth Minister at St. Mary’s Parish, Littleton, Colorado in 1980; a counselor at St. Francis de Sales High School, Denver, in 1985, and spent time as secretary at the CSJ Colorado Regional Development Office in 1987.  

In 1988, she joined Upjohn Healthcare Service in Denver as a geriatric companion.  When S. Ann Murray, her dear friend since teaching together in Peoria, visited, Mary Loran told her she wanted to plan activities for senior adults.  The next visit, S. Ann said they needed an activity coordinator at Nazareth.  “I came to Nazareth as activity coordinator.  I loved working with our sisters.”  

In 1993, she became assistant director at Carondelet Senior Center.  “…they called me the party girl because I loved giving parties and would celebrate everything.”  From 2002-2014, S. Mary Loran assisted in planning activities and outings at Five Church/Five Star Senior Center.   

Sister Sally Harper writes:  “Mary Loran was such a faithful friend.  During all my years in Peru she was so constant in her correspondence and later through email.  Whenever I came to St. Louis, Mary Loran's local community was always home for me and I am forever grateful for the welcome that she and the sisters extended to me.  She was a very hard worker.  She went to work the day before she went into the hospital.  In many ways she followed the example of our patron, St. Joseph, in that she was never in the limelight, but always working ‘behind the scenes’ in service to the dear neighbor. That generosity sprang from and was sustained by a deep faith in God and love of being a Sister of St. Joseph.“  

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