Laetitia Marie Lariviere, IHM


Born in Detroit on Feb. 3, 1932, to Robert and Laetitia (Connolly) Lariviere, Sister Laetitia was baptized as Helen. She attended St. Cecilia (elementary) and graduated from St. Cecilia High School in 1950. That summer, Helen entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monroe, and received the religious name Sister Laetitia.

After earning a bachelor’s degree from Marygrove College, Detroit, Sister Laetitia spent her early years teaching elementary students at Annunciation, Gesu, Holy Redeemer and St. Mary of Redford (Detroit) and six years at St. John High School in Benton Harbor, Mich. During the summer breaks, she received a grant to pursue higher education in chemistry and attended Purdue University (Indiana) and Bowling Green State University (Ohio), where she eventually earned a Master of Arts degree. She continued teaching chemistry and related sciences at Sacred Heart High School in Dearborn, Mich., through 1972.

In 1974, she accepted a position at St. Stephan Indian Mission in St. Stephan, Wyo. Her ministries there included science teacher, parish ministry and pastoral assistant and much of the ministry was dedicated to those suffering from alcohol addiction.

Returning to Monroe in 1982, Sister Laetitia joined the staff of Visitation House of Prayer, where she later served as director. She earned a Master of Arts degree in pastoral ministry from Marygrove College during this time. Soon after, parish work called to her, and in 1987, she accepted a position in Thorne Bay, Alaska, serving the parish of St. John Catholic Mission. She greatly enjoyed the native people and natural beauty of Alaska for more than 10 years.  Upon her return to Michigan and time of renewal, Sister Laetitia volunteered her pastoral skills for parishes in Monroe and Northville. She then moved to Minnesota and served the parishes of the Diocese of New Ulm. In 2007, she returned to Michigan and served her community as pastoral care staff, retiring in 2012. Only recently, did she became ill and enter the IHM Health Care Center.

Sister Laetitia is survived by her sister Pauline Beaver, nieces and nephews and her sisters in community. She was preceded in death by brothers, Robert and John.

Read her Remembering.