Sr. Lauretana Gorman, OP, retires after life of service and pastoral ministry Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 -- 12:00 AM
Sr. Lauretana Gorman, OP, stands with a gift from St. Vianney Parish in Janesville, and Pastor Fr. Paul Arinze (above) during a reception marking her retirement from the parish as pastoral minister after 24 years. Below, Sister Lauretana greets well-wishers during her reception recently held at the parish. (Contributed photo)

JANESVILLE -- After more than six decades in active Religious Life and almost a quarter century in pastoral ministry at St. John Vianney (SJV) Parish in Janesville, Sr. Lauretana Gorman, OP, has retired, and is moving on to the next chapter in her life.

Part of that next chapter for the Sinsinawa Dominican Sister will include living at the Motherhouse in Sinsinawa.

“While I’m looking at a somewhat unknown future, I will be going home,” said Sister Lauretana.

“There are always unknown aspects to the next steps in life, but I’m grateful. I’m grateful for everything.”

Feeling thankful and grateful

Upon her retirement, St. John Vianney Pastor Fr. Paul Arinze said, “For over 24 years, Sr. Lauretana Gorman has been a constant presence at SJV. She visited the shut-ins, nursing homes, the elderly, and the sick of the parish. To many, she was a calming presence in sorrowful and stressful times.

“She is well loved and respected in our community as a whole. Her passion for the sick, the poor, and the marginalized manifested itself in the many causes she championed. She will be truly missed by everyone in our community. We wish her the very best as she begins her well-deserved retirement.”

“I certainly enjoyed the many rich and varied choices I had during my tenure here at St. John Vianney in pastoral ministry,” said Sister Lauretana.

“Pastoral ministry was a really good fit. I made lots of friends. Since I ministered mainly with the elders of our parish, I walked with many of them on their continuing journey and their last life journeys.

“I learned a lot about praying and about how gratified we all are when we can engage in a deep kind of prayer with each other . . . I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful for all the experiences I’ve had in pastoral ministry.”

A celebration was recently held at the parish for the retiring Sister.

There were receptions and an open house following weekend Masses on January 26 and 27.

There, parishioners, friends, fellow Sisters, and others thanked Sister Lauretana and wished her well in the future.

A lifetime of service

Sister Lauretana became a Sinsinawa Dominican Sister in 1956.

She is now looking back on many years of prayer and service to others.

“No matter where I was, or what I was doing, each decade was a time of growth and self-realization,” she said.

Formerly from Belleville, and a graduate of Edgewood High School and Edgewood College in Madison, Sister Lauretana held many teaching positions, including at St. Dennis School in Madison and Our Lady Queen of Peace School in Madison.

She also taught in the Archdioceses and Dioceses of Milwaukee, Chicago, Omaha, and Peoria.

In addition to teaching, she served in family care and as a teacher aide at St. Mary School in Janesville before serving as the pastoral minister at St. John Vianney.

That’s a role she said she’ll miss, especially the people.

“Parish life is vibrant. I enjoy being at Mass on weekends . . . I usually recognize family members, maybe older siblings, and just the many people in the parish, as we greet one another,” Sister Lauretana said.

“While I knew lots of people by sight, I knew quite a few by name also. I’ll miss all of those connections. We speak of a parish family, and it truly does become a family.”

As she retires to life in the Motherhouse, Sister Lauretana awaits the next chapter of her life.

“I look forward to seeing what’s next,” she said, as she reflects on, “What is the next chapter of my life? What will evolve?”

“I’m sure I’ll have many opportunities, there, new opportunities,” she added.

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