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Sisters of Loretto: United in Spirit!

Posted on June 13, 2021, by Loretto Community

Almost every young Catholic girl at some point early on in her life thinks about becoming a nun. Usually, it’s because of meeting Sisters who teach them or who work in their parish or a nearby community agency: Sisters who are happy, caring, helpful, thoughtful, smiling, great teachers, and, yes, on occasion, even pushy! Women religious are remembered not only for who they are, but for how they make a difference in the lives of others. Young girls, and people of any age, for that matter, experience more than just the name of a Sister, they experience a “relationship.”

Three joyful women smile and wave for the camera
All smiles, are, from left, Mary McAuliffe, Marian McAvoy and Katherine Widger.
File photo

Loretto, like all religious communities, is about relationships and community, no matter where we work or live. We share experiences, hopes, concerns, dreams and expectations. We talk about wanting a world in which it is easier to love. We talk about how to help create that world, to build on the gifts that God has given us. We talk about our hopes for the future. 

If those young girls were listening, they would hear about Sisters of Loretto attending a meeting concerning housing for people who are poor or about our work at the United Nations on empowering women and girls from countries far away. They would hear about relationships with the Farmworkers or stories about El Paso, where our Sisters and Loretto Volunteers live and work helping to meet the needs of children at the border between the United States and Mexico.

Loretto invites all, including our young friends and their families, to consider arranging a visit to the Motherhouse in Kentucky, where active and retired Sisters live, work and pray daily for the missions that Loretto supports. Who knows who you’ll get to meet, like Loretto Sister Maria Visse, who has worked all her life to build community. She has been a missionary to Chile, a nurse in service to families in New Mexico, a coordinator of the Motherhouse. And if the time is right, visitors might get Maria to sing for them! 

A group of high school students stand around a sister on a warm, sunny day.
Loretto Sister Maria Visse meets with a group of St. Thomas Aquinas High School students at Loretto Motherhouse.
Photo by Eloisa Newcomb

Maria likely would show our visitors around the Motherhouse: the farm, two retreat centers, the Heritage Center, an artist studio, residences where Sisters and Co-members live, and the heart of the Motherhouse, Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel. It’s a sacred space filled with the realities of life: thanksgiving, sorrows, hope and celebration, a place of quiet and reflection where Loretto members and friends pray for the needs of the world.

Those questioning young girls have a few years ahead to think of what they would like to be when they grow up. Their life questions will change from year to year, or even from day to day. As American author Annie Dillard wrote, “How we spend our days, is of course, how we spend our lives.” There is only one question which will stand every day, in every year, for each of us: What is God asking of me?

Would you like to meet some Sisters of Loretto? Check out this week’s Loretto Facebook posts. You just might see an old friend or make a new one. (Come back the following week when we highlight some of our Loretto Co-members and why they love co-membership!)

A young woman and a Sister hold a paint brush and can of paint as they stand next to a green bench.
Labor of Love — Loretto Sister Jeanne Dueber and a community service program participant pose by the bench they painted together in 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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Cupola Cross 2-Icon

Loretto welcomes you

Learn more or plan a visit to the Motherhouse!