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Loretto Magazine and Annual Report – Summer 2021

Posted on July 16, 2021, by Loretto Community

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Loretto Spotlight Video – Wren Smith

Wren Smith speaks with awe of the natural world. Interpretive Programs Manager at Bernheim Forest and Arboretum in Clermont, Ky., she has been intrigued by the natural world from childhood, when she determined to become a naturalist.

Loretto & Earth

A woman sits on a large rock in the woods.

Jessie Rathburn grew up close to the land in the Texas hill country. Her parents, educated in biology, shared their love of the natural world with their two daughters. “Is the moon waxing or waning?” “What type of cloud is that?” They were questions that centered Jessie and her older sister within creation. Their parents modeled stewardship of the land and its biodiversity by lovingly tending the 5 acres on which they lived. So it’s not a surprise that, after working with immigrant families in Texas, volunteering in Russia, teaching in academia, Jessie found herself yearning to live and act from the creation-honoring values she’d learned as a child. She quit her job as a founding senior instructor at the English as a Second Language Academy at the University of Colorado to run an urban farm, growing produce for the local community and vegetable starts for school gardens. The garden was destroyed when the City of Denver took back the land to build high-end condos and a parking garage.

Read more here.


Loretto Earth Network: 30 years young and alive for Earth

While teaching math and computers at Nerinx Hall I found myself increasingly drawn to Earth and spent time sitting among the trees and flowers at the botanical garden in St. Louis. My life took a major turn when I attended a talk by David Brower, founder of Friends of Earth. After a stunning presentation, he asked, “How many of you are willing to give one year of your life to work for Earth?” I enthusiastically waved my hand and accepted the challenge not knowing where it might lead.

Read more here.


EarthLinks: 25 years bringing healing beauty of nature to homeless individuals

A person in full beekeeping protective gear holds up a fresh comb of honey.

Twenty-five years ago Cathy Mueller SL reconnected with a high school friend, Bette Ann Jaster, OP, and after many conversations they learned that they shared a joint passion: care for our Earth and care for the poor. Their vision emerged: to offer people on the margins of society the opportunity to experience community, recognizing Earth as our teacher. Adult men and women at St. Francis Center, a day shelter for homeless men and women, were invited to garden in the nearby community garden and to venture out on trips into nature. Cathy employed her gardening, artistic and teaching talents to begin a workshop in which the participants used the pressed flowers from the garden plot to decorate candles. Marketing the candles (and before long, a variety of nature-inspired products), as well as broadening participant services, brought several Loretto sisters and co-members and friends on board. Soon the growth of the program, in numbers of participants as well as workshop activities and services for participants, required EarthLinks to secure its own complex of office, retail shop, workshop buildings and, of course, ample gardening and beekeeping space.

Read more here.

Loretto Community members residing at award-winning Infirmary have mission to pray for all

Joy Jensen SL lives in Loretto’s Infirmary at the Motherhouse in Nerinx, Ky. She tells us that, while the coronavirus period has been difficult, Infirmary staff have worked diligently to keep residents healthy and to make up for the lack of social gatherings and family visits.

Pauline Albin SL says, “The staff in every department have been wonderful in their services and care under Michelle Essex’s leadership.”

Read more here.

Pakistan Community enriched by new participants

Two women in traditional Pakistani attire stand shoulder to shoulder.

Three young women live in our Community in Lahore, Pakistan. On Jan. 30, 2021, Maribah and Iram were formally accepted into the “Come and See” discernment program by Loretto President Barbara Nicholas SL. Currently there is one other woman who lives with us as a welcomed visitor who assists at the school and the convent.

Loretto’s mission in Pakistan began in 2009. Loretto President Cathy Mueller SL traveled to Pakistan to help start the program. Bishop Joseph Coutts asked the sisters to take over a school in the outskirts of Faisalabad.

Read more here.

Loretto Volunteer brings deep awareness to her work at Angelica Village

I am feeling a deep soul magnetism toward organic, regenerative agriculture. Perhaps some of this is the uncertainty, the challenge, wanting to repair and heal my communities, my soils. Some of this attraction is a rebellion against what society expects of me, not wanting to spend the majority of my waking life behind computer screens and in Zoom meetings. I am wondering, how does my lifetime fit into deep time? What does a deep time awareness in farming entail? Blessing the soil, honoring the cycles of life and death and life again, thanking the rain that comes not frequently enough in our ongoing drought. Laughing with my co-workers and the community members as we all grow older, smiling as the children of Angelica Village grow alongside the peas. Embracing the lessons, giving gratitude to Earth, honoring this “web of gift, inheritance and legacy” and my unique place within.

Read more here.

Loretto Community

Loretto Community

We are Sisters and Co-members who strive to bring the healing spirit of God into our world.
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Loretto welcomes you

Learn more or plan a visit to the Motherhouse!

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Loretto welcomes you

Learn more or plan a visit to the Motherhouse!