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Loretto Magazine – Winter 2024

Posted on February 20, 2024, by Loretto Community

Cover of Loretto Magazine winter 2024. Photo of seven women posing together on the front steps of a building. Text at the top reads: Inside... Loretto's new Justice Fellowship program, Loretto welcomes migrants, Pioneers at Loretto Heights College ... and more

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Loretto Spotlight Video – Annie Rosenkranz

Annie Rosenkranz directs the new Loretto Justice Fellowship program. She previously directed the Loretto Volunteer program, which has been reimagined to fit current demands and needs. In this Spotlight Video, Annie talks about the program and its successful roll-out.

A letter from Loretto President Barbara Nicholas SL

Head shot of Sr. Barbara Nicholas taken outside on a sunny day.

As I write, it is certainly wintertime here in North America. The wooly worms whose development gets our attention in Kentucky during late fall kept us on alert to their predictions of lots of snow with temperatures “not too cold.” Given the content of this issue of Loretto Magazine, for sure our hearts will be warmed with the commitment expressed by the day-to-day activities of Loretto Community members and friends.

Read the entire letter here.

Vietnamese adoptees reunite

Two woman hold each other close side by side and smile in a photo. The woman on the left has longer black hair and is wearing a graphic t-shirt. The woman on the right is older and has short grey hair, wearing a grey sweatshirt over a red collard shirt.  

More than 55 adoptees, spouses and children came together in Colorado in August to spend time together and share thoughts and feelings about their adoptions. Mary Nelle Gage SL and Ruth Routten CoL hosted the gathering. Mary Nelle and Ruth worked with orphans during and after the Vietnam War.

Tobi Peters, one of the reunion organizers and one of the first orphans to be adopted into Colorado, said, “We had such a wonderfully packed agenda … some rest and relaxation, a documentary about Vietnamese adoptees and their personal journeys with adoption, a global video chat, food and more food, a couple of Asian cooking classes, getting to know the elders who were in Vietnam and helped save us, a remembrance for those close to us who have passed, nonprofit work for Vietnamese orphans, sharing of our own adoption stories, looking at books and adoption records, enjoying videos of our orphanages and trips back to Vietnam.

Read a full account of the adoptee reunion here.

At Loretto Living Center compassion and love remain front and center

Eight smiling women of a variety of racial backgrounds wearing pink and colorful nursing scrubs pose in front of a beach background with a beachball and inflatable flamingo as props.

“The Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary became the Loretto Living Center in January of 2023. The Living Center is a nonprofit organization responsible for the operations of our nursing facility, which includes departments for nursing, food service, environmental services, pastoral care, social services, activities and administration, along with affiliations for therapy, diagnostic and physician services.”

Read the story here.

Loretto heeds the pope’s latest urgent plea on behalf of Earth and all life

A sprawling green field of grass landscape on a bright blue day with scattered clouds in the sky as a yellow flower pops up on the left side.

Loretto learned about Laudate Deum, Pope Francis’s follow-up to his encyclical, Laudato Si’, at its October 2023 Community Gathering.

Laudate Deum is a call to heed the gravity of the moment and undertake change before it is too late for Earth and life on Earth. The pope urges us to do this “in conscience, and with an eye to the children who will pay for the harm done.”

Read the story here.

Loretto’s Justice Fellowship: a bold, innovative leap of faith

Seven latina women smile for a group photo in a row.

As so often has been the case in over 200 years of working for justice and acting for peace, Loretto is at the leading edge in responding to the calls of our times. The Community launched the 2023-24 pilot year of the Loretto Justice Fellowship program in El Paso, Texas, after an intentional process of deep listening and stakeholder engagement. Faith-based service programs across the globe are pausing, closing, consolidating and facing tough decisions at a time of uncertainty for these programs and for their sponsoring faith communities. Faced with these same challenges, Loretto took a bold and innovative leap of faith.

Read about the program and all the Justice Fellows here.

Immigration justice

A black and white photo of somebody in a hoodie, shorts and sneakers back to the camera, putting their hands on the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

In Matthew 25:35-36 Jesus tells us to “see in the migrant not simply a brother or sister in difficulty, but Christ himself, who knocks at our door,” Pope Francis has recently written. Migration, he says, is a human right.*

Loretto’s Latin America/Caribbean Committee (LACC) ministers to Christ knocking at the door, offering willing hearts and hands. LACC helps provide urgently needed help on the ground, supports migrant advocacy at the border, advocates for immigration justice and provides education about immigration realities and issues.

Read the entire story here.

Loretto pioneers of education in the West

Sepia toned photo of a college building surrounded by trees. A Celtic cross graces the building's tower.

The bodies of 62 Sisters of Loretto who had been buried in the cemetery at Loretto Heights College in Denver were moved to a new resting place at Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery in Wheat Ridge, Colo., in August 2022.

Most of the sisters had come to Loretto Heights to teach, often arriving from New Mexico, Missouri or Kentucky. They were true pioneers, and not only in the educational sense — many undertook perilous journeys before arriving in Denver. It took two months for one sister, Luisa Romero SL, to travel from Santa Fe, N.M., to Denver by ox cart in 1865, a journey of five hours by car today.

Read more about some of the sisters here.

Memorials and Tributes of Honor: September 2023-December 2023



Dear Loretto Friends,

In reading through this beautiful issue of Loretto Magazine, over and over I see love in action:

  • Love in action for the Vietnamese orphans shepherded here by Loretto sisters and co-members in the 1970s, and reunited by them years later.
  • Love in action by staff members at bedsides, in the halls and throughout the Loretto Living Center.
  • Love in action as the call is heeded to heal the earth, the land and all its inhabitants.
  • Love in action as Loretto Justice Fellows serve others and build community for the long haul.
  • Love in action propelling Loretto sisters to make long journeys to open schools in the West.
  • Love in action by Loretto members who support the needs and rights of migrants and refugees in the U.S. and in Mexico.

Supporting the rights of migrants and refugees — that’s where I met many Loretto members. I worked previously in advocacy with farmworkers, the people whose labor we depend upon for our fruits and vegetables, dairy products and more. Historically excluded from labor laws, and mostly immigrants, farmworkers take a great risk to stand up for their basic rights to be paid fairly, to work in safe conditions and to be treated with respect. Loretto members stand with them on picket lines, in marches and support their boycotts.

The hope and courage of farmworkers gives me hope. Loretto gives me hope. For over 200 years Loretto members have responded to the call to make God’s love manifest in our world, to put love into action. I am grateful to be connected to this Community and grateful to all of you who support it.

Thank you!
Virginia Nesmith
Development Director

Several people working on harvesting a crop in a field. Many of them are wearing straw hats.
Photo by Mark Stebnicki, Pexels
Brightly colored monarch butterfly wings are painted one either side of an open black door.
A mural greets those entering Casa de la Misericordia y de Todas, a shelter for migrants in Nogales, Mexico.
Photo by Maureen Flanigan CoL

It is not easy to have to move and find a new home, new neighbors and new friends. The good thing is that we also make new friends. We meet people who open doors for us, who are kind to us. They offer us friendship and understanding, and they try to help us not to feel like strangers. To feel at home.”

Pope Francis to school children in East Harlem, New York City, 2015

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!

Cupola Cross 2-Icon

Loretto welcomes you

Learn more or plan a visit to the Motherhouse!