Sister Lory Schaff cofounded Hope House

obit_sr_lory_schaff    Congregation of St. Joseph Sister Lory Schaff, who in 1969 helped launch Hope House to serve residents of the St. Thomas Housing Development, died Jan. 21 in New Orleans after a battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She was 79 and had served for 57 years in religious life.
    A graduate of Holy Name High School, Sister Lory earned a bachelor’s degree from Webster College in St. Louis and master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame and Notre Dame Seminary.
    Formerly known as Sister Joannes, she was a member of the Sisters of Mercy from 1953 until 1984, when she transferred to the Congregation of St. Joseph.
    She taught at Mercy Academy in New Orleans; St. Patrick School in Walnut, Kan.; Mercy College in St. Louis; and Trinity High School in Hutchinson, Kan.
    She was director of religious education at St. Alphonsus Parish in New Orleans and cofounded Hope House, where she and other nuns lived in a small apartment in the housing development.
    In a 2011 interview with the Clarion Herald about her book, “A Tale Seldom Told,” Sister Lory reflected on her motivation for providing educational opportunities for adults who had grown up deprived of such chances.
    “My experience has been that people turn a corner once they begin to succeed,” she said. “If they haven’t been able to do something for 10 years and then, in a single month, they can do it, they begin to smile broadly and say, ‘I got that! I can do that!’”
    She also taught at St. Paul Adult Learning Center in Baton Rouge from 1983-2006, at which time she returned to New Orleans where she cofounded and taught at St. Vincent de Paul Adult Learning Center until her death.
    A memorial service was held Jan. 27 at St. Raymond/St. Leo the Great Church, and a Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Jan. 28 at St. Paul Church in Baton Rouge. She was buried in Roselawn Cemetery in Baton Rouge.
    In lieu of flowers,  donations may be made to the Congregation of St. Joseph, 4664 Jamestown  Ave., #125, Baton Rouge, LA 70808; St. Vincent DePaul Adult Learning Center, 1995 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70119; Hope House, 916 St. Andrew St., New Orleans, LA 70130; St. Paul Learning Center, 3920 Gus Young Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70802.
    She is survived by her brother Ferdinand and his wife Ursula, of West Monroe; numerous nephews, a niece and nine great nieces and nephews.

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