Sister Mary Keefe, 88, dies at Loretto Motherhouse

Sister of Loretto Mary (formerly Sister Mary Basil) Keefe, an educator known for her music ministry, died Dec. 30 at the Loretto Motherhouse in Nerinx, Ky. She was 88 and in her 73rd year as a Sister of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross.

Sister Keefe, a native of Chicago, applied to Loretto when she was 16 and made her final vows in 1947. She served for 25 years as a teacher in Texas, Illinois, Colorado and Kentucky. In the Archdiocese of Louisville, she served at St. Augustine School in Lebanon, Ky., from 1953-1959 and Christ the King School in Louisville from 1959-1967. She also served in non-teaching duties from 1967 to 1968 at St. Benedict School in Louisville.

In 1968, Sister Mary returned to Loretto where she taught at St. Francis School, offered private piano lessons and conducted music therapy with sisters at the motherhouse and its infirmary. As a part of her music therapy, she directed a rhythm band that performed for feast days and holidays. She did similar work in St. Louis at the Loretto Center from 1984 until her retirement to the Motherhouse Infirmary in 1999, where she resided until her death.

She also composed music and lyrics, directed music programs for children and sang.

The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Jan. 3 in the Church of the Seven Dolors on the grounds of the Loretto Motherhouse. Burial was in the Loretto Motherhouse Cemetery. Donations in her memory may be sent to the Loretto Community, care of the Loretto Development Office, 4000 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Littleton, Co., 80123-1308.

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