Sisters of St. Francis
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812-934-2475
Mailing Address:
Sisters of St. Francis
P.O. Box 100
22143 Main Street
Oldenburg, IN 47036

S. Lavonne Long “Gave a Little Extra”

By: S. Margie Niemer

“When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in

   our life, or in the life of another.”     Helen Keller…

Having done the best she could for ninety-six years, Sister Lavonne Long died peacefully on the morning of June 15, 2018. The third child of David and Nora (Mullins) Long, Lavonne grew up in Rushville, Indiana. After graduating from Rushville High School, Lavonne attended Marian College (University) for one year before entering the convent of the Sisters of St. Francis in 1941. This was a decision that estranged her from her father for seven years.

“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that

 He didn’t trust me so much.”       Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Lavonne was trusted by God and by her Community to be a teacher, advocate and guiding force for thousands of children and teenagers. She taught elementary students from 1944-1956. Then she began her long career at Scecina Memorial High School and St. Mary Academy in Indianapolis. She taught English at Scecina for eight years. This was always her favorite because of her love of the subject matter and the chance to inspire the students with writing and literature. Although she had no desire to be a principal, she was asked to serve in that capacity at St. Mary Academy for the next nine years. She loved the young women and their parents, but was called back to Scecina, this time as director of the guidance department.

“I could not at my age be content to take my place by the fireside and simply

  look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must

  never, for whatever reason, turn one’s back on life.”     Eleanor Roosevelt

Lavonne retired as Director of Guidance in 1995, planning to live at Scecina and serve as a volunteer for a while. But she wasn’t content to “sit by the fireside and simply look on” and accepted a position as an administrative assistant at Scecina for ten more years. In an article in the Criterion newspaper, a Scecina staff member described Lavonne as widely loved and ageless. She not only continued to mentor the students, but was invaluable as a liaison with the alumni.

  “I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that is unique

   as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you

   love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working

  hard and allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”      Oprah Winfrey

Sister Lavonne Long found her personal calling as a Sister of St. Francis and as a teacher, guide and mentor. She credited the late Sister Eileen Hoffman in helping to form her religious life and the late Sister Hortense Fougerousse in molding her professional life.

We extend our sympathy to Sister Lavonne’s family and friends and to the staff of St. Clare Hall. We especially want to thank the former students of St. Mary Academy and Scecina Memorial High School for their loyalty to Sister Lavonne who loved them so dearly. May her memory continue to inspire all of us to continued service in whatever way God calls us.

Sisters of St. Francis
Contact Us
812-934-2475
Mailing Address:
Sisters of St. Francis
P.O. Box 100
22143 Main Street
Oldenburg, IN 47036