Sister Mary Laurentia Cerovac of Omaha has died at age 105 — the oldest sister in the six communities that make up the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. The communities serve North, South and Central America, the Caribbean, Guam and the Philippines.
For 55 years, Sister Laurentia taught in the elementary grades, mostly at Omaha Catholic schools. During the 1930s, she worked at St. James Orphanage in Omaha. She also taught briefly in Friend, Neb.; Des Moines; and Kansas City and Marshall, Mo.
In 1965, Sister Laurentia gave up teaching for convent duties at Omaha Mercy High School. It was during this time that she and another nun started a home/hospital visiting program.
She also taught religion classes and spent time as a tutor, including working with minority students, primarily Native Americans.
She officially retired in 1993 and moved to Mercy Villa, 1845 S. 72nd St.
Although her hearing diminished over the years, she remained active. She had good eyesight and continued to read during much of the day. Up until just recently, she played bingo weekly and faithfully wore her Nebraska Cornhusker sweatshirt on game days.
She was born Anna Cerovac on Oct. 29, 1907, in Omaha; her parents were born in Yugoslavia. She died Saturday. Her funeral is set for 10 a.m. today at Mercy Villa.
In remarks prepared for a eulogy, Sister Monica Marie Reichmuth wrote:
“I started to think about what it must have been like to live so long. What kind of a relationship did she have with God after so many years of total dedication to Him? ... For many years now, it has been difficult for Sister to hear and so it seemed that she was in a world of her own. Perhaps God's was the only voice that she could hear — and I have to believe that she listened carefully.”