Sister Lorraine Marie Ritger


Sister Marie Lorraine Ritger


Born to Life
January 11, 1930
West Bend, Wisconsin

June 13, 1947

Born to Eternal Life
December 3, 2021
Sacred Heart
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Mount Olivet Cemetery
Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Sister Lorraine Marie and her twin brother Roman were the youngest of nine children born to Mary and Alfons Ritger on January 11, 1930. They lived on a farm about six miles from West Bend, Wisconsin. She was taught by the School Sisters of St. Francis while she attended St. Matthias School in Nabob, Wisconsin and graduated in 1944. In September 1st of that year she and S. Helen Wagner came to St. Joseph Convent in Milwaukee. She attributed her vocation to her serving as a bride at the first Mass of her cousin Msgr. Sylvester Gass. During the Mass, nine-year-old Lorraine said to herself: “When I grow up, I will be a Bride of Christ.”

Lorraine was received as a novice in 1947 and given the name Sister Sidora. After her first vows she attended Alverno College. Her first teaching assignment was at Little Flower School in West Allis. Later this parish school merged with St. Therese Parish School on Blue Mound Road. In 1965, Sister was assigned to teach at Immaculate Conception School in Saukville, Wisconsin. From 1967 to 1984, S. Lorraine taught at St. Anthony School in Menomonee Falls. She ministered at St. Lawrence School in Milwaukee from 1984 until 2000. During these years Sister was a dedicated primary teacher. She especially enjoyed teaching second grade because she had the opportunity to prepare students for the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion.

1997 brought significant change for Sister personally and professionally. St. Lawrence and St Matthews’ parish schools, merged. The new school was called Prince of Peace. In September, Sister Lorraine participated in a two month sabbatical at Manna House of Prayer in Kansas. She explored her personal call to a deeper relationship with God as a religious sister. On her return to Milwaukee, Sister served as substitute teacher at Prince of Peace School and for two evenings a week taught adult learners at Milwaukee Achiever Literacy Program.

Three years later, in 2000, all the buildings of the former St. Lawrence Parish where Sister lived were sold to the Hmong community. Sister Lorraine cheerfully accepted this change and moved across the street to St Joseph’s Convent. During the school year, Sister tutored second graders in reading at Prince of Peace School. The year 2010 marked her 60th year as an educator. With a twinkle in her eye, Sister shared that she delighted in “spoiling” children by giving them bookmarks, holy cards, and sometimes cookies in addition to the one-on-one instruction each pupil received.

While at St. Lawrence Parish, S. Lorraine assisted in “bread ministry.” She received bread from bakeries, and she distributed it through a network of friends and contacts that made it available to people in the area and south side parishes. She continued this ministry at St. Joseph Center with other sisters helping in the distribution process.

In her free time, S. Lorraine enjoyed picking mushrooms with her twin brother Roman. She also enjoyed going on fishing trips with others. She relished the company of her sisters, brothers, nephews, nieces and their children whenever the opportunity arose. Sister took pleasure in playing bingo. She enjoyed visiting places in the Midwest with S. Mary La Von Lauer, and in Florida with S. Estelle Marie Druar.

We are grateful for S. Lorraine’s devotion to teaching. As we celebrate her love and reverence for the Eucharist, we note her dedication in preparing second graders for First Communion, also her efforts to distribute bread to those in need, and for the many holy hours she made in the Adoration Chapel. Peace and joy are now hers for all Eternity.

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Sister Lorraine Marie

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