Sister Loretta Guenther received not one, but two surprises, on Friday, June 2, 2023, when she toured the newly renovated west wing of the Landmark Building of St. Joseph Children’s Home, where she ministered for 36 years as a live-in house parent and was the last Ursuline Sister of Louisville to serve there. The first surprise was seeing a plaque in a hallway off the reception area dedicated to the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville with a quote by Sister Loretta on it. Surprise two came when she visited the chapel—it has been named in honor of Sister Loretta for her years of service at St. Joe’s! Sisters Barbara Bir and Rita Dressman also were on the tour, along with Barbara Mercer and Kathy Williams, USAE employees and Associates. Grace Akers, Suzy Hillebrand and Caitlyn Green of St. Joseph’s led the tour, which included classrooms, the large quilt-making room and daycare. We thank St. Joseph Children’s Home for honoring the Ursuline Sisters and Sister Loretta in such a beautiful way.

You may read the  plaques’ wording below:

Hallway Plaque:
Ursuline Sisters: 113 Years of Love at St. Joseph Children’s Home

The Ursuline Sisters patiently cared for the children of St. Joe’s from 1897–2010 and were administrators of the home until 1972, when individual sisters were hired by the Board of Trustees. Since 1897, over 150 Ursuline Sisters have served at St. Joseph Children’s Home. They continue to be pioneers on issues of social justice and outreach in our community and women who follow Catholic social teaching in both words and action.

“It’s the simplicity, the love that children have that makes them so special. I was so blessed to be at St. Joseph because I know children are close to God.”
—Sister Loretta Guenther, OSU
St. Joseph Children’s Home House Parent and CDC employee, 1972–2010

Chapel Plaque:
The St. Joseph’s Children’s Home Chapel is named in honor of Sister Loretta Guenther, OSU, who devoted 36 years to caring for our St. Joe’s children and is made possible through the generosity of Joseph Leo and Virginia “Ginny” Mackin.

Facebook post:

5/21/24 update: this Facebook post won an Award of Excellence at the 2024 Annual Conference of the Associated Church Press!
View at the 1:12 mark:

The judges said, “Wonderful storytelling on social media. Great use of text with very compelling images.”


Global Sisters Report has a story on St. Joseph Children’s Home honoring the Ursuline Sisters and Sister Loretta Guenther:

The Record also has a story on St. Joseph Children’s Home honoring the Ursuline Sisters and Sister Loretta Guenther: