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Nerinx Hall Celebrates Shared Past and Deeply-linked Future with Loretto

Posted on November 1, 2018, by Annie Stevens SL

Recipients of the first Loretto Leader Awards, from left, are Jen Staed, Mary Beth Weiss, Mary Clare Muehlemann, Julia Bub and Isabella Rockwell. The awards were presented at Nerinx Hall as part of Father Charles Nerinckx’s 257th birthday celebration Oct. 2.
(Photo by Jean M. Schildz)
At far right, longtime Nerinx Hall athletic director Nancy Milward shares a laugh with Barbara Roche in the Nerinx library, which will be dedicated in January 2019 in Barbara’s name.
(Photo by Jean M. Schildz)

On the 257th birthday of Charles Nerinckx, Oct. 2 of this year, the St. Louis Loretto Community and more than 600 students and faculty of Nerinx Hall gathered to celebrate our shared past and our deeply-linked future. Beginning with an all-school Mass in the gym, Loretto spirit was clearly woven through the day of activities, including tours of the newly renovated library named in honor of former President Barbara Roche and of the bright and colorful Campus Ministries wing in the former Loretto Staff Office. While students enjoyed their annual “Pink Day” outdoor activities and taco picnic, Nerinx administrators hosted a Loretto luncheon, which included a birthday cake for Father Nerinckx.

Sitting together in a circle, we discussed plans for ways Nerinx Hall will continue to grow deeper in Loretto values. Although earlier plans to retrofit Loretto Center for cafeteria and science laboratories cannot be carried out because of new earthquake safety regulations, the strategic demolition of the structure will be in accord with Loretto environmental values. The chapel windows will be removed professionally and stored for use in a future building, and bricks and aluminum will be recycled. Strategic planning, based on needs assessment and input from the whole Nerinx community, will lead to a campus master plan and capital campaign, with the goal of a new student commons, spirituality center and STEM laboratories by the centennial year 2024.

Nerinx Hall President John Gabriel talks with Loretto members, explaining the vision of the proposed expansion/renovation of the Loretto-sponsored high school.
(Photo by Jean M. Schildz)

Beyond buildings and grounds, Nerinx people are the true embodiment of Loretto mission. At the liturgy, Campus Ministries Director Hali Beebe announced recipients of the first Loretto Leader awards. This new program highlights members of the Nerinx community who live the Loretto values of faith, community, justice and respect and the Loretto charism in their everyday lives. Each month, students make nominations and a committee selects one faculty member and one student from each grade level. These are the awardees and quotes about them:

Jen Staed, English faculty

“This person lives and breathes Loretto. She is a living example of ‘preach the Gospel, and if necessary use words.’ Every person who comes in contact with her through classes, service projects, Motherhouse trips, clubs, faculty meetings and the Loretto Circle, can speak to the way she lives her faith, builds this community, works for justice and treats every living thing with respect.”

Mary Beth Weiss, senior

“She has a strong sense of who she is and what she believes in and through these beliefs builds up all around her. She gives her time to help out whenever she can and always looks for ways to be involved. For her, living the Loretto values comes naturally.”

Mary Clare Muehlemann, junior

“This woman lives the Loretto life through her dedication to justice. While visiting the Cheyenne reservation, those with her noted the passion which drove her service. Her work through Planet Patrol demonstrates a deep commitment to our Earth and educating our community about how we can make sustainability an everyday reality.”

Julia Bub, sophomore

“This woman brings the Loretto values into her everyday life, particularly through her community building. Her peers describe her as being a person who brings the sophomore class together through her kindness and respect. She is someone who works quietly to make our community a place that better reflects our four Loretto values.”

Isabella Rockwell, freshman

“She has stood out as someone who speaks up, helps out and lives the Loretto values both in the classroom and out. Her willingness to think critically, encourage discussion and be a leader show her to be a woman of Loretto. We look forward to all the wonderful ways she will help grow the Nerinx community.”

Loretto members and friends enjoy a tour of the newly renovated former St. Louis Staff Office.
(Photo by Jean M. Schildz)
Annie Stevens SL

Annie Stevens SL

Annie, a Sister of Loretto since 2004, loves teaching at Webster University and researching Loretto history. She likes visiting the Missouri Botanical Garden and sharing her flower power photos on Facebook.
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Loretto welcomes you

Learn more or plan a visit to the Motherhouse!