Interchange Online

Welcome to Interchange Online, an extension of the Loretto Community's internal monthly newsletter. Here you will find news about Loretto Community life, written and edited by Loretto Community members. Current editors are Martha Alderson CoL, Donna Day SL, Mary Ann McGivern SL and Lillian Moskeland CoL.

Welcome, Aileen!


Loretto’s new Communications-Technology Team manager Aileen Gaumond came on board this past December. The part-time staff member pronounces her first name like “Eileen,” and says it is OK to call her “I.” She is a graphic designer and photographer who also enjoys tech work. Aileen has had her photographs in national shows and wants to get them to the international level in 2017 if she can find the time. She enjoys doing a process called “Bromoil.” It makes her finished pictures look like ink drawings. She says she is passionate about her work and noted she has a photo studio … Continue reading

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Thank you, Maria!


Maria Visse completed her term as Loretto Motherhouse Service Coordinator Dec. 31, 2016. The Motherhouse Community celebrated her years of service with heartfelt thanks and a party. “We are called to be pioneers. … Pioneers filled with unwarranted confidence that visions give. Pioneers whose eyes and ears are elsewhere, who hear an echo of possibilities, as music poised to enter the universe.” — Teilhard de Chardin SJ

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Book Review: ‘Roundabout’ by Marie Ego (2016)


By Mary Anne Reese “You who loved humanity would have laughed today at your funeral and been surprised to see who gathered there when before it was too much to lift a finger for you.” So begins the poem “Akos,” one of the first poems in Marie Ego’s new full-length collection Roundabout. The poet addresses this brief communal confession to an AIDS-afflicted prostitute and continues: “[Y]ou accepted pitiful offerings as though they were regal gifts and loved the giver with forgiving eyes …” Marie Ego wrote most of these poems while serving in Ghana from 1987 to 2010. Her title … Continue reading

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Loretto Academy Restores St. Joseph’s Chapel Pipe Organ


Story By Alejandra Saldaña St. Joseph’s Chapel at Loretto Academy in El Paso had its grand reopening this past April, and, although the majority of the work was completed, one of its most stunning features, the pipe organ, built in 1939, continued to sit in silence and disrepair. Scott Weir, curator of organs, explained, “The work began with a complete disassembly of the instrument, including the removal of all 1,221 pipes. Metal pipes were washed, and their damage was repaired. Wooden pipes were freed of dust, then oiled. Leather on the organ bellows, windchests, valves and stoppers was replaced. The … Continue reading

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‘And Sarah laughed …’


By Annie Stevens A joyful crowd of more than 100 gathered Oct. 9, 2016, at the main entrance of The Sarah Community in Bridgeton, Mo., to dedicate a statue of the Biblical Sarah, whose upturned face is that of Loretto’s own Elaine Marie Prevallet. Months ago, Elaine was visiting with friends when the storytelling led to laughter. “I suddenly was aware of a voice that said, ‘Sarah! Sarah!’ and I realized that one of the women was looking intently at me,” Elaine recalls. The voice was that of Mercy Sister Marie Henderson, an artist in Michigan who had recently accepted … Continue reading

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Topical: Gift of Trust


By Donna Day “What we have to be is what we are. But being what we are requires love, gratitude, forgiveness, trust and living with the mystery that surrounds us in community. They are elusive states of being that often require nurturing and prayer together. Graced by the Spirit of God we are called and gifted into community.” On the journey of life, there are times we need to find our way back to a few basic realities, truths and values. “What we have to be is what we are.” The topic of trust is one of the signposts on … Continue reading

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A Message of Thanks from the Children’s Peace Theatre


By Marcella Hannon Shields In the spring of 1997, my husband, Eldon Shields, and I were notified that we needed to move the Centre for Creative Ministries, which we had founded in 1984 in Toronto at the invitation of the Passionist Community of Canada. We searched for a new space where we could continue the Compassionate Leadership Program and our other programs dedicated “to promoting compassion and peace for persons, communities and the earth.” It was a very difficult time through which our Loretto Community Group 21 supported us with their incredible kindness and prayers. After we found an old … Continue reading

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NCR Books Editor Speaks on Future of Religious Communities


By Mary Kay Brannan Jamie Manson, a columnist and NCR books editor, spoke to the Loretto Community in Denver Sept. 15, 2016, about the future of religious communities. In her presentation Manson spoke of the gifts religious communities offer persons seeking a spiritual community that works in areas of social justice. Vocations to religious life have dropped, but associate membership or co-membership has risen. Religious communities compete for young adults in their 20s and early 30s, but these young people are not joining. Millennials are the least likely of any generation to be religious, she said. Manson said, they could … Continue reading

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A Reflection: ‘In the Company of Seekers and Saints’


By Pat Geier
 In the wee hours of a sleepless morning, I couldn’t help but think of the opening lines from Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness … it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going the other way …” I do my best to hold on to this paradox amid … Continue reading

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