Home » Loretto Magazine » Loretto Magazine – Winter 2022-2023

Loretto Magazine – Winter 2022-2023

Posted on February 26, 2023, by Loretto Community

Magazine Cover listing the articles inside. Teaser text reads: Inside ... Loretto's retreat centers offer respite Loretto Outreach fosters connections Celebrate Loretto's jubilarians! Loretto marks 170 years in New Mexico Weeping with the women of Pakistan ... and more

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Loretto Spotlight Video – Susan Classen CoL

Get a view inside the newest cabin, Gratitude, recently completed, as Susan Classen CoL talks about how beauty inspires and centers us.

A Letter from Loretto President Barbara Nicholas SL

In a previous issue, I wrote briefly about my few days spent as a resident in the Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary where I recovered from the surgical procedure called a cardiac ablation. I’d like to share a little more with you about those days. When we nurses become surgical patients, there are occasions of role reversal that can be humbling and at the same time allow us to revive the teaching role that is integral to our profession.

I was able to talk about how the heart performs, beating day and night as it should until some glitch requires attention. As my cardiologist explained, he would cauterize two offending places in a ventricle that had begun to compete with the natural pacemaker for the right to set the rate and rhythm. That’s the ablation, and now I am fully discharged from cardiology.

You can read the entire letter here.

Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary wins Best of Kentucky (yes, again!)

Five people stand proudly in front of an award backdrop with the text "KAHCF-KCAL" printed repeatedly.

Everyone around the Loretto Motherhouse is exclaiming over the recognition of Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary as “The Best of Kentucky” by the Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities/Kentucky Center for Assisted Living (KAHCF/KCAL).

Administrator Michelle Essex accepted the award at the association’s annual meeting Nov. 17 at the Galt House in Louisville. “The Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary has consistently held a five-star rating which is recognition of the care provided by our amazing staff,” she said.

You can read the entire story here.

Students give back at the Motherhouse

Two high school girls holding garden tools stand outside in mulch next to two women, also holding garden tools, for a photo.

After the long pandemic-caused delay of two summers, the student volunteers from our three Loretto-connected high schools in St. Louis, Denver and El Paso returned for a week with us. Their days were spent in tasks such as cleaning gravestones, spreading mulch, weeding, planting, etc., which they addressed with single-minded determination. The 13 students and five teachers also enjoyed tours, nature walks, knitting, cookie making, fishing, visiting, etc.

You can read the entire story here.

Loretto’s ecumenical retreat centers welcome you

The outline of a woman walking, filled in by a view of trees in the woods.

The first time I stayed at Cedars of Peace, coming from a busy city and work, it took a full day for my breathing to begin to slow, my steps to find a more natural rhythm. Then, as if I’d reached a secret threshold, I felt my shoulders release their grip. I sat on the simple screened porch and listened to each squirrel, each bird, each acorn falling on the roof of Namaste, the small cabin I was graced to stay in. I watched as the light changed on tree trunks as day lengthened, and then again as it waned. Since that first visit, I’ve found myself drawn to return to Cedars’ healing environment.

You can read the entire story here.

Come away

Rockers line the wall looking out of a peaceful porch.

Welcome! The Loretto Motherhouse retreat centers, Cedars of Peace and Knobs Haven, offer rest, rejuvenation and warm hospitality.

Whether you seek the opportunity to commune with your deeper self in solitude, or prefer to organize a group retreat, you will find Cedars of Peace and Knobs Haven to be beautiful, nurturing settings on the nearly-800 acres of the Loretto Motherhouse in Nerinx, Ky. Cedars is suited to retreats for individuals. Knobs is available for individuals or groups.

You can read the entire story here.

Cedars of Peace: Retreat hermitages in the sacred woods of central Kentucky

Small wooden cabin with a front porch.

Sojourners on life’s journey find gifts abounding at Cedars. Quiet is interspersed with bird symphony. Solitude rocks you in gentle arms. Body and soul encounter deep rest.

The eight Cedars of Peace hermitages nestle into the woods on the Motherhouse property, each featuring a small kitchen and cozy sitting, dining and sleeping areas; a tranquil screened porch beckons. Cedars invites individuals to come experience the woods for a weekend or a week. Some stay longer — for several weeks or eve months.

You can read the entire story here.

Welcome to Knobs …

Two story brick building with white trim around the front posts, door and window frames.

Hospitality and gentle grace are gifts you can relax into at Knobs Haven. The beautiful wood floors and staircases, tranquil sun porch, comfortable meeting and prayer spaces, lovingly appointed bedrooms, updated kitchen — all blend with a spirit of deep rest to bring a breath of respite. A retreatant described Knobs as “a stopping place on the journey into the heart of God.” Here you might set down your burdens; you may find yourself drawing from a well of living waters.

You can read the entire story here.

Loretto Outreach fosters connections

A smiling group of people, ranging in age from young adults to seniors, pose for a group photo.

How can people be connected to Loretto who share our values?” Sandra Hareld CoL, who has served as Loretto’s Outreach Coordinator for the past eight years, shares the Outreach Team’s pivotal question. Thus far, the answer lies in offerings that include retreats, study groups, workshops, Circle gatherings, an online contemplative prayer group and virtual solstice and equinox celebrations.

You can read the entire story here.

Loretto honors 2022 jubilarians

Katherine Ann spent 36 years as a teacher, mostly in lower grades at schools in El Paso, St. Louis and Denver. She then worked as a member of the Denver Loretto staff office for 16 years before moving to the Motherhouse, where she worked in Archives and now “does lots of little odd jobs,” she says, for the Motherhouse Community.

Katherine Ann, who turned 94 in August, has outlived all of her Loretto novitiate classmates.

You can read the entire story here.

Weeping with the Women of Pakistan

A woman dressed and wearing a black headscarf and mask walks down the street in Pakistan.

I would like to share the story of a woman. Let us call her Parveen (Parveen means evening star.). She brought two girls, ages 7 and 12, to our school. She also had a little girl in her lap and was expecting her fourth child. She wanted the two older girls to be admitted to our school, but she said she could not pay even 50 rupees (about 50 cents). I asked about her husband’s occupation. She said he was a driver, but he fell in love with another woman and lives with her. I asked, “Can’t you go back to your parents?” She said her father and mother are old and dependent on her brother and sister.

You can read the entire story here.

Loretto donates historic painting to museum

Loretto recently donated a major piece of art, Miguel Cabrera’s painting, “Our Lady of Light,” to the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art (MOSCA) in Santa Fe, N.M. This painting had been with Loretto since the late 1870s, when Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy gave it to Mother Magdalen Hayden SL and the Sisters of Loretto at Our Lady of Light convent in Santa Fe. After having been a fixture in the convent for close to a century, the painting was moved to the Loretto Center in Denver when the Santa Fe Academy of Our Lady of Light closed in 1968. The painting had been on loan to museums in Santa Fe in recent years, and has not been out of the U.S. Southwest since it first arrived in the 1700s.

You can read the entire story here.

Intrepid sisters travel to Santa Fe In 1852

Ink drawing of a horse-drawn buggy bearing three bonnetted women.

Santa Fe, historic capital of New Mexico, has long been known for its jewel-like setting at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountain, and for its early cultural diversity that has left a distinctive imprint upon the city. Among the historical threads braided into Santa Fe’s rich heritage is the story of the Sisters of Loretto, who first arrived in 1852.

You can read the entire story here.

Loretto celebrates its New Mexico legacy

Two women lean in for a photo together.

Community members and friends gathered this past September to celebrate Loretto’s 170th anniversary of working and serving in New Mexico. “Our Lady of Light,” the painting donated to the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art in Santa Fe (see this article), was the focus of the first evening’s presentation and reception, held at the museum. Speakers included Loretto Historian Eleanor Craig SL, the museum’s Executive Director Jennifer Berkley and New Mexico art historian Donna Pierce.

You can read the entire story here.

Loretto welcomes Allison Grace Lemons, newest co-member

Spirits soar following Allison’s commitment ceremony and public acceptance into the Loretto Community. The ceremony was held in Santa Fe’s Loretto Chapel. Closing her acceptance speech, Allison confirmed her commitment “to work for justice and act for peace; to grow in love and service wherever I am able.” Mary Margaret Murphy SL accepted Allison’s commitment on behalf of the Community.

You can read the entire story here.

Standing up for justice in Washington!

A group of people gather for a photo in front of a house around a banner that reads "Loretto."

Loretto marched with the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) in Washington, D.C., this past June. Approximately 30 Community members and friends participated in the Moral March on Washington led by Rev. Dr. William Barber and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis. The march highlighted urgent issues the PPC confronts, including poverty, systemic racism, the war economy, climate change, voter suppression and prison injustice. The Poor People’s Campaign is Black-led, faith-based and committed to nonviolence in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr.

You can read the entire story here.


Memorials and Tributes of Honor: June 2022-December 2022


Dear Loretto Friends,

Colorful banners reads, "Be light into darkness — The Loretto Community."

It is February and the cold of winter is still with us. But the glow of holiday lights is long gone, the Salvation Army bells stilled and the needs of the poor are no longer highlighted in the news. It is up to us now to shine that light; to be “light into darkness” as Robert “Stro” Strobridge, Loretto comember, illustrates.

We can look to the Loretto Community for inspiration and direction as it does the work to light up the darkness. How does Loretto bring this light to the world?

Sisters and co-members come to the aid of those for whom there is no room in the inn: immigrant men, women and children in the desert, in asylum centers and in the cities — El Paso, Denver, Tijuana. Loretto provides relief for those devastated by floods and food for those whose cupboards are bare. Teachers light up the hearts and minds of young people in schools in Pakistan, the U.S., Haiti, Guatemala and Ghana. Staff at the Motherhouse care for the elderly with compassion.

Loretto members lift up the urgent need for a world without war, speaking up at the gates of weapons manufacturers, the halls of the United Nations and the chambers of Congress. Nasreen and her colleagues in Lahore respond to the needs of abused women, listening, weeping and taking action. Community members at the Motherhouse run programs that help us find ways to heal and be healed by Earth. All members lift up their voices, marching in solidarity or
singing in celebration.

Loretto’s light is strong. It endures. It beckons us forward. For those surrounded by darkness, it stands out as a beacon of hope. You ensure this continues, shedding your light on Loretto with an abundant generosity of donations and care.

Thank you!

Virginia Nesmith

Loretto Development Director


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!