Loretto: A Community on Pilgrimage, Following God’s Call Together for 209 Years
Loretto has been graced by God to become a Community on pilgrimage. We have walked together and believed in each other on every journey we have undertaken. Some journeys are impossible to do alone. On occasion, one person would be called to a new work. She would do it and return to tell the story. Then it became everyone’s pilgrimage and everyone’s story and everyone’s responsibility, following God’s call together.
Loretto’s first members, Mary Rhodes, Christina Stuart and Ann Havern, began their religious life together on April 25, 1812, a day now celebrated as Loretto Foundation Day each year. Join in celebration with Loretto this week as we celebrate 209 years of our Community on pilgrimage. It continues to be a great journey! You may ask, “Where have you been, and where are you going?” Where have we been for 209 years? Everywhere we could go … and go … and go.
A simple rule called “the Little Society of the Friends of Mary Under the Cross of Jesus” was composed for the Sisters of Loretto by Loretto’s priest-founder the Rev. Charles Nerinckx. His writings focused on the often-remembered quote, “Have only one heart, one soul and one mind.” Throughout our more than two centuries of existence, these very words have inspired Community members to devote themselves to God, to the neighbor and to each other.
We of Loretto stand on holy ground, made so by the people and places we serve. God hallows the ground under our feet and makes it all God’s saving work. We are stronger because we belong to each other. “Holy Ground” is a life-saving place of rootedness in each member of Loretto and in God’s call to our next venture. God speaks and we listen to the cries of the people. That same Spirit who inspired and guided us in 1812 gathers us in community today. We walk with all those Friends of Mary in a life of praise, prayer and service.
Let Loretto Be Loretto Forever!