Sister Loretto Bernard Beagan, SC, served as Mother General from 1960 to 1966. She brought to the office dedication, long experience in administration, and a special capacity for enlisting the talents and enthusiasm of the young and gifted. During the exciting times of Vatican II, she was a charismatic leader who immersed the community in the documents and exposed it to the challenging thinking of world-famous theologians. On March 14, 1965, fifty-five years ago today, Mother Loretto Bernard sent a relay to all the convents inviting sisters to participate in the Harlem March for racial and civil justice. That summer about thirty sisters participated in the Summer in the City Program initiated by Monsignor Robert Fox.
Missions During Mother Loretto Bernard’s Leadership
1960: St. Raymond Academy, Bronx
1960: Elizabeth Seton Junior College, Yonkers
1961: St. Vincent School of Nursing, Staten Island
1963: Trinity HS, Shiremanstown, PA
1964: St. Joseph by the Sea H.S., Staten Island
1965: St. Teresa School, Briarcliff
1965: Sisters participate in March in Harlem to bring attention to the civil rights movement
1966: St. Elizabeth Seton School, Shrub Oak
“Those were the days, my friend, we thought they’d never end…..”. I thank God, I was there walking. The sea of “black caps” was a powerful statement, and “Summer In The City” was memorable..
I had the greatest admiration for Mother Loretta Bernard. She was a charismatic religious leader, and a highly respected administrator.
In the far left, is that Sr. Basil Verra ?
No, it is Sr. Elizabeth Maria Fleming, who was the Congregation’s Secretary at the time.
The others (L to R) in the front row are Sr. Mary Raymond Commerford, Sr. Rose Frederick Jones, Sr. Margaret Dowling, Mother Loretto Bernard, Sr. Marie Clotilde Young, Sr. Margaret Rose Dean, Sr. Marie Catharine Blaine. Most were on the Leadership Council.