Home » Features » Loretto Circles Offer Welcoming Way To Get To Know Loretto

Loretto Circles Offer Welcoming Way To Get To Know Loretto

Posted on June 28, 2021, by Loretto Community

Women sitting in meeting chairs talk and laugh together.
Taking part in a Loretto Circle discussion pre-coronavirus pandemic are, from left, Noeli Lytton, Nancy Wittwer SL, Marian McAvoy SL, Dory Lamont and Jen Staed.
Photo by Ashley May O’Shaughnessy

Circles are easily seen in pizzas and bicycle wheels, even birthday cakes! Circle images are in prose and poetry and in all kinds of other imagery. Through the years Loretto members often have quoted Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem “Widening Circles” to experience Rilke’s image of his relationship to God. Everyone enters the circle at her or his pace and time. More than a decade ago, Loretto chose the symbol of the all-embracing circle to serve as a broad invitation to welcome everyone.

In 2009 at the Loretto Assembly, Loretto members approved a resolution to create a Loretto Circle as a way for individuals to connect with Loretto without needing to make a vowed or co-membership commitment. Circles are an informal affiliation of individuals who want to come together with Loretto Community members to learn more about Loretto history, mission, values and spirituality through various ways. These may include studies of Loretto written materials, retreats, spirituality discussions, peace and justice activities and other mission-related opportunities. Circles meet on a regular basis, either in person or online. 

Women relax and smile together on the edge of a swimming pool.
In the Swim! — Loretto’s Nerinx Circle members enjoy a dip in the pool after getting together for a summer gathering pre-coronavirus pandemic.
File photo

Loretto Outreach became involved with the Loretto Circle to carry on the work that had been initiated by Loretto co-members, Martha Alderson and Barbara Mecker. The goals of the Loretto Circle dovetailed nicely with that of Loretto Outreach, as Circles are one way to extend the spirit and values of the Loretto Community.

Currently there are three Loretto Circles. One is based out of St. Louis and starting its seventh year; one, now in its third year, is based out of Lexington, Ky.; and a third  draws members from throughout the United States. This Circle is starting its fifth year.  

Subhead: Ways for Circle Members To Connect With the Loretto Community

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Cupola Cross 2-Icon

Loretto welcomes you

Learn more or plan a visit to the Motherhouse!