Home » Features » Come and See… The Loretto Community

Come and See… The Loretto Community

Posted on April 1, 2021, by Claudia Calzetta SL

Maribah I. and Iram N. grade student exams.
Photo courtesy of Nasreen Daniel

The year 2021 is truly a time of change, of hope for new ways of thinking, of hope for new life. We see this in our world, our country and in the Loretto Community. As of Jan. 30, 2021, Barbara Nicholas officially welcomed Maribah I. and Iram N., to the Come and See program.

Planning for the current program began two years ago when Barbara, Nasreen and I worked on a document outlining specific study components about religious life and the Loretto Community. However, the seeds for the Come and See program actually began during the administration of Pearl McGivney. Pearl asked Sue Rogers and Liz Deines to work on the initial Come and See program and Kay Carlew to be the director of the program. Unfortunately circumstances at that time did not allow the program to go forward.

As we begin with new participants this year, Barbara, Nasreen and I truly appreciate the seminal work that Sue, Liz and Kay did for this Loretto program.

The current Come and See program outline moves forward within the ever-changing reality of life in Pakistan. It truly is a work in progress, and we find ourselves forever tweaking and adapting elements of the program to the specific needs of life in Pakistan.

The beginning of this current document begins with Purpose and Duration statements, which we believe emphasize the heart of the program.

“The purpose of the Come and See Program is for the participant to acquaint herself to religious life and the Loretto Community. This includes a study of Loretto’s history, values, spirituality, vows and culture as well as the opportunity to experience community life and ministry within the Loretto Community. Prior to being accepted into the Come and See pro- gram, the candidate must spend some time living with the sisters, participating in the work(s) so that the Community can assess if she is suitable for the official Come and See Program.”

“Not less than 18 months and not to exceed more than three years. Exceptions can be made for substantive reasons, including sickness, deaths in immediate family. This determination for an exception will be decided by the president, director, coordinator and Pakistan Community.”

Some of the study sections noted in the program outline include theology, religious life, prayer, vows, ministry, community life, social justice, as well as a continued study of the English language. The intent of the program is to create a balanced approach to religious life and the Loretto Community. With that goal in mind, study groups have been formed so Maribah and Iram can learn about and discuss “I Am the Way” and Loretto history with a variety of Loretto members here in the U.S.

Who are these young women? Maribah is Nasreen and Maria’s niece. She has a distinctive history of meeting Loretto sisters who in the past visited Pakistan. As a child she met Mary Ann Coyle, Anna Koop, Cathy Mueller and Mary Catherine Rabbitt when they visited Pakistan. Maribah has been living with the current Pakistan Community since March 2020 and assists the Community in the school. With a master’s in education, Maribah is more than qualified for this ministry of education in Pakistan. Welcome Maribah!

Iram’s journey to Loretto was facilitated by one of Nasreen’s seminarian students who happens to be Iram’s brother. In June 2020, Iram’s brother let Nasreen know that his sister had a “steady desire” for many years to enter religious life. After a time, he introduced his sister to Nasreen and to Maria and Samina. All three agreed that it would be a good thing if Iram came to live with the sisters to see if she would be a candidate for the Come and See program. She came for a visit, Nasreen, Maria and Samina met her parents, and everyone affirmed that she had all the qualifications needed to be a participant in the program. Iram, too, has completed advanced studies and holds a bachelor of arts degree. Like Maribah, Iram works in the school assisting the sisters and staff.

Welcome Iram!

Maribah and Iram have “come” to Loretto and live their lives in community with Nasreen, Maria and Samina. They “see” and experience religious life and Loretto life first-hand. As program coordinator, it is my hope, and I know Barbara’s and Nasreen’s, too, that the spirit of the Come and See program will also allow Maribah and Iram to “see” with the eyes of their hearts and minds as they study all that makes Loretto a living, vibrant community.

Barbara ended her official letter to Maribah and Iram with these words: “Let’s always hold each other in our prayers so that we have the grace and courage to welcome each new day as a gift of the God who loves us and who calls us to being.”

As Barbara, Nasreen, Maria, Samina and I begin the work of the Come and See program and deepen our friendship with Maribah and Iram, we are ever so grateful that they have put their trust in us and in Loretto. We hope and pray that they, too, will experience Loretto joy, a passion for loving and living and the strong bonds of community living.

O Suffering Jesus! O Sorrowful Mary! We give you glory, thanks and praise. O bless our works and guide our ways.

Maribah I., left, and Iram N. enjoy studying the about Loretto.
Photo courtesy of Nasreen Daniel

This article is a first attempt to acquaint the Loretto Community with the Come and See program. Look forward to more articles as the program develops.


Claudia Calzetta SL

Claudia (she/her) is a Sister of Loretto and has spent many years in varied forms of education — teacher, administrator and campus minister at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. She also spent six years as the Loretto Volunteer part-time coordinator in St. Louis. Claudia retired for approximately one year and recently has returned to this position. She loves gardening, traveling and baking French tarts and pies. She raises funds for Annunciation House in El Paso by selling her delicious desserts. Contact Claudia for more info.
Cupola Cross 2-Icon

Loretto welcomes you

Learn more or plan a visit to the Motherhouse!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cupola Cross 2-Icon

Loretto welcomes you

Learn more or plan a visit to the Motherhouse!