Sr. Margaret Lorenger, IHM, died of natural causes Wednesday, May 20, 2020, at the IHM Senior Living Community, Monroe. She was 96.
Margaret Mary Lorenger, born July 6, 1923 in Detroit, was the only daughter of four children born to Albert and Margaret (Bishop) Lorenger. Margaret attended St. Cecilia Elementary and High School in Detroit. During World War II, her brothers served in the United States Armed Forces and Margaret continued her education, earning a bachelor’s degree from Marygrove College, followed by a master’s degree from Wayne State University, Detroit.
In 1952, Margaret entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monroe, and received the religious name Sister Louis Gillet. Having already earned her teaching degree, Sister Margaret immediately began her career at St. Mary Academy and St. Michael School, Monroe, moving onto St. Raymond and Holy Redeemer, Detroit; Sacred Heart, Dearborn; and St. Thomas, Ann Arbor. In the mid-1960s, she served the congregation in formation ministry with the Scholastics, first in Monroe and then in a house of studies in Chicago. Returning to Michigan in 1970, Sister Margaret taught at Marian High School, Birmingham before joining the parish ministry team at St. Gemma Parish, Detroit.
The IHM sisters began opening overseas missions in Africa in the late 1960s. In 1972, Sister Margaret volunteered to serve in Musaka, Uganda, East Africa, teaching in the Bukalasa Seminary. After five years there, she taught for two years at Pius X Seminary, Meru, Kenya, East Africa. Returning to Monroe, Sister Margaret enjoyed a year of renewal at the IHM Visitation House of Prayer on the IHM campus, then served the community as a staff driver for the next two years and as assistant resident directress at St. Mary Academy. The focus of her next two assignments was pastoral ministry, with service as pastoral minister, liturgist, musician and pastoral associate for four years at St. Theresa Parish, Lambert, Mont. and five years at St. Joseph Parish, Martinsville, Va.
Retiring in 1992, Sister Margaret returned home to the IHM Motherhouse. She remained an active volunteer and sacristan for several years until declining health necessitated a permanent move to the IHM Health Care Center in 2010.
Sister Margaret is survived by many nephews and nieces, and her sisters in community. She was preceded in death by her brothers Albert, Bernard and James.
A memorial Mass will be held at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of the Rupp Funeral Home, Monroe. Memorials may be made to the IHM Retirement Fund, 610 W. Elm Ave., Monroe, MI 48162-7909.