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Lorraine Therese Beinkafner, Maryknoll Sister For 73 Years, Dies

Sister Lorraine Therese Beinkafner
Sister Lorraine Therese Beinkafner Photo Credit: Contributed

Sister Lorraine Therese Beinkafner, M.M. died on Friday, Oct. 18, at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll. She was 90 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 73 years.

Lorraine was born in Albany on Nov. 23, 1928, to Mary (Brust) Beinkafner and Charles J. Beinkafner. She had two sisters and one brother, Marjorie Ann, Virginia and Paul; all of whom have predeceased her.

She attended Holy Names Academy in Albany from 1942 through 1946. After graduating, she entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Pennsylvania at the Venard on Oct. 5, 1946 (from her home Parish of St. Thomas in Delmar). On April 6, 1949, she made her First Profession of Vows at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, and her Final Vows on April 6, 1952, also at the Sisters Center.

While at Maryknoll, Sister Lorraine studied at Maryknoll Teachers College and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education in 1952. She then attended Mundeleine College from 1968 to 1970 and earned a Master’s Degree in Religious Education. She later continued her studies at St. Francis Medical Center in LaCrosse, WI, where she earned two certificates in Clinical Pastoral Education.

In 1952, Sister Lorraine received her first overseas mission assignment to Ancon, Canal Zone, Panama, where she taught until 1961. She then returned to the U.S. to do promotion work for Maryknoll in Texas and Illinois until 1971. At that time, she also served as the Superior at Rosary Convent in Chicago from 1967 through 1971.

In 1971, she returned to Central America to do pastoral work in various villages of Guatemala: training indigenous leaders; setting up Christian communities and serving as coordinator of adult groups until 1976. Sister Lorraine was then appointed as Co-Pastor of a Parish that was in San Antonio Palapo, Solala, Guatemala until 1983. From 1984 to 1992, she served as Co-Pastor again, but this time she was in charge of women’s diocesan work in San Antonio Sacatepequez, San Marcos, Guatemala.

In 1993, she relocated to San Salvador, El Salvador and worked on several mission projects, involving: adult education, pastoral work and an AIDS ministry until 2001.

From 2001 to 2004, Sister Lorraine worked as Assistant Director of the Development Department at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll. She then was called to El Paso, Texas to work with the Maryknoll Border Team and assisted part-time as a paralegal at Las Americas Immigration Advocacy Center until 2007. She also worked as Co-Coordinator of the VAWA Program (Violence Against Women), helping women immigrants in domestic violence situations until 2010.

Sister Lorraine retired in 2012 to the Maryknoll Sisters Eastern Region.

A Vespers service will be held for Sister Lorraine on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 4:15 p.m. in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.

A Memorial Mass will follow Monday, Nov. 11 at 11:00 a.m. also in the Main Chapel at the Center. Sister Lorraine donated her body to science.

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