Loretta Olsen planned to become a Sister when she graduated from Notre Dame High School in Belmont; a Maryknoll sister. But God had other designs for her and Loretta realized that her destiny lay with the Sisters of Notre Dame who had so wonderfully educated her for years.
Loretta entered the SND novitiate soon after graduation and by 1943 was teaching second grade at Sacred Heart School in San Jose. As an 8-year-old student at the school, Sr. Yvonne Bondi remembers "I loved this young, new teacher and was the recipient of her patient and creative teaching!" While teaching for seven years at the school, Sr. Loretta also trained to become a licensed vocational nurse at O'Connor Hospital.
Sr. Loretta sketching at Villa Angelica in Carmel.
During her career Sr. Loretta would move between teaching assignments (including at St. Mark's in Seattle, Madonna School in Salinas, and Sacred Heart in Saratoga) and serving as an infirmarian for the SND community. Later she would become superior at the Notre Dame Villa Infirmary in Saratoga.
Sr. Loretta's love for the contemplative aspect of life drew her to the House of Prayer movement in the early '70s and later during the '90s she would serve on the HOP staff in Carmel.
A gifted artist, Sr. Loretta is also described as a "caring and loving woman who has held nothing back from giving her all to our good God for these past 70 years!" Sister continues her journey now at the Mercy Retirement & Care Center in Oakland.