‘Que Loretto sea Loretto por siempre!’ Let Loretto Be Loretto Forever!
This week Loretto is in Santa Fe celebrating the donation of the Our Lady of Light painting to the Art Museum, as well as celebrating the reception of new co-member, Allison Lemons. Co-membership means that Loretto welcomes a partner in mission, a member who shares faith and the building of community. Welcome Allison!
Only One Journey to Everywhere;“One Journey to Everywhere”, music and words by Doris Pittman
Though the road be long, we must travel there.
There’s no turning back for lack of the spirit
That carries us through the wind, the rain, the darkness, the head of the day,
To a place far away.
The Sisters of Loretto arrived in Santa Fe on Sunday afternoon Sept. 26, 1852. More than 1,000 people came to greet them with flowers, and music. It was an overwhelming celebration! The journey from Kentucky was not easy. The wagon trains needed repairs, storms and high winds shook the caravan making sleep impossible. After three months the sisters, Bishop Lamy and crew arrived in New Mexico. Within a few months after their arrival, the sisters opened Our Lady of Light Academy, very near the central plaza. A school that welcomed New Mexican girls until 1968.
The early days in Santa Fe witnessed the effects of the Civil War battles. Fewer students came to school fearful of the troops in the streets. Months passed until the soldiers returned to the fort in Santa Fe. Native New Mexican children studied along with the daughters of American families. As Mother Magdalen noted, “I don’t believe I would ever have known how to appreciate the blessings of peace had I not experienced the effects of war.”
The Sister best known in the Santa Fe area was Mother Praxades Carty. She was sent to Santa Fe in 1874 to recover from tuberculosis. Her deep love of the Southwest and its people was known well all over New Mexico and Colorado. She established 51 schools, two colleges and planned Loretto’s first foreign mission to China.
Every Sister of Loretto who lived and worked in New Mexico felt the warmth of the people and the blessings of God to this land of holy faith, Santa Fe. Their prayer was a simple one: “Que Loretto sea Loretto por siempre!” Let Loretto Be Loretto Forever!