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Sister Marissa (Mary Martha) Loringer, C.S.C.

September 24, 1929 ~ February 16, 2018 (age 88)
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Entered the Sisters of the Holy Cross from San Diego, California
Initial profession on August 15, 1948

NOTRE DAME -- The harsh winter of 2018, Sister Marissa’s last season, could not have been more different than the balmy fall days of Mary Loringer’s birth in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1929.  Her parents, Catherine M. Knadig and Sylvester “Chap” Loringer, were a Navy family originally from the U.S. mainland (Pennsylvania and Maryland).  The island of Oahu anchored the Pacific Fleet.  By the time Mary entered the Sisters of the Holy Cross she was only 15 years old and living in another port city, San Diego, California, where she had first met the Sisters of the Holy Cross at St. Didacus School.  It was unusual, but not without precedent, to accept into the Congregation in 1945 a minor who had completed only her sophomore year of high school.  There is no record as to why she was so determined to become a sister at such a young age, but her mother gave the permission.  Nor do we know how she received her name in religion, Marissa, except that it was another form of her baptismal name, Mary.  The Latin origin and meaning of Marissa is “of the sea,” evoking the title of our Blessed Mother as Star of the Sea (Maris Stella).  

We do know that Sister Marissa continued in her determination. The Congregation insured that she completed her secondary education and college preparation and credentialing as an elementary teacher.  She proved to be as “good, honest, pious and trustworthy,” making “a truly devoted Sister” as the sisters at St. Didacus had surmised.  The pastor at her parish had predicted, “For her years, she gives every indication of having a vocation to religious life.”  The girl who observed her sixteenth birthday in the convent, celebrated over 72 years in her vocation.  She had taught in various Holy Cross schools in Utah, Idaho and California for 35 years.  From 1983, she taught part-time, subbed or tutored in the Diocese of San Diego while caring for her parents who were in ill, then helped settle their estate after their deaths.  Since 1993 Sister Marissa served in a variety of ways the needs at Saint Mary’s. Her first assignment was assisting with the Ministry with the Poor Fund.  For a donation in her name to that same Ministry with the Poor Fund visit 

Visitation is Saturday February 24, 2018 in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto 9:00-10:00 a.m.; Reception of the Body at 10:00 A.M. followed by the Mass of Resurrection at 10:30 a.m.  Burial will follow in Our Lady of Peace Cemetery, Notre Dame, IN.

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