Sister Laurentia Cerovac has a large, loving family that gathers at Mercy Villa in Omaha every year to celebrate her birthday. This year, about 20 family members came to share cake and ice cream with her on Oct. 29.
The American flag had 45 stars when Laurentia was born in Omaha on Oct. 29, 1907. Five states (Arizona,Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska) had not yet been admitted to the Union. At that particular time, Iowa, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California.
Sister Laurentia entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1925. She taught primary grades for more than 55 years, having served in Omaha and Friend, NE; Des Moines, IA; Kansas City and Marshall, MO; and Springer, NM. She has spent the majority of her life in Omaha. She retired in 1974, but in 1977 she began tutoring and visiting the sick. She retired again in 1986 but six years later returned to her tutoring and visiting duties. Her ministry now is one of prayer. Her favorite rosary is always in her hands. She has time, though, for the weekly bingo game at Mercy Villa, at which she often wins!
Also, while she admits to not knowing a touchdown from a strikeout, she faithfully wears her Nebraska Cornhusker sweatshirt on game days.
When asked at her party how old she is, Laurentia smiled and said, “29!"