Founding Carmelite sister came from Pennsylvania

Sister Ann Wiedemer, OCD, a Carmelite for 72 years and one of the founding sisters of the monastery in Little Rock, died July 22. She was 92.

She was born March 26, 1927, as Margaret “Peggy” Louise Wiedemer, the ninth child of Martin and Regina Weidemer. Sister Ann pointed to her Catholic education in Altoona, Pa., and her cousin, an extern sister of the Carmel of Loretto, Pa., as influences toward her vocation. At 19 years old, she entered the Carmelite Monastery in Loretto.

Little Rock Bishop Albert Fletcher invited the Carmelites from Loretto to establish a foundation in Little Rock, according to a 2018 Arkansas Catholic article celebrating Sister Ann’s jubilee. In 1950, she and five other sisters came to Little Rock in a temporary monastery on Louisiana Street. After structural damage from the bombing of the school board building next door in 1959 during Civil Rights unrest, the sisters moved to the current West 32nd Street. In 1990, she helped the Carmel in New Orleans for 10 years. For 54 years, she was a cook for the community. She spent her later years in correspondence, ministering through letter writing, including to those who wrote prayer requests to the monastery.

There are no immediate survivors.

A vigil and rosary were held July 25 and a Mass of Christian Burial July 26 at the Carmelite Monastery Chapel.

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