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History

Two hundred years and counting! Loretto has responded to the call of God to serve God’s people. From children to adults, from elementary to graduate-level education, from eldercare to advocacy for the homelessness and underserved, Loretto has left its mark on the world as it seeks to “work for justice and act for peace.” Learn more about the history of Loretto.

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Experiencing the Stories: Learning History That Makes Loretto Unique

By Ayla Toussaint / December 2, 2019 /

When I was hired straight out of graduate school as the Loretto Heritage Center archivist, I was ecstatic. As an archivist, my job revolves around saving stories and preserving them for future generations. To do this, archivists collect administrative papers, photographs, personal diaries and writings and a host of other documents.  Women’s history has been…

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Forward, Forward Loretto

By Mary Nelle Gage SL / December 2, 2019 /

“Forward, Forward Loretto. Hold the torch ever firm in your hand. Let the rays of its light lead you onward.  Spreading courage and hope through the land. Thy shining fame has enrolled thy name. With the brightest of all our lights, long may you stand, so proud and grand, our own Loretto Heights.” These verses…

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Bonjour Delayed

By Mary Louise Denny SL / November 1, 2019 /

1973, Saigon, Vietnam, New Haven Nursery  A newborn, male, was dropped off at New Haven Nursery. Susan Carol McDonald was the director/nurse at New Haven. She logged the baby into the register that she kept, as she did with every child that lived at New Haven. “Name: Frank Antoine. Arrival February 6, 1973. From Allambie (another nursery…

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Father Nerinckx’s Kneecap and Other Relics

By Loretto Heritage Center / November 1, 2019 /

By Susanna Pyatt1 When I and the other staff at the Heritage Center opened a trunk said to be full of old chalices in November last year, we little expected what else we would find! The trunk had belonged to Father Charles Nerinckx and contained not just antique church goods, but also two chests of…

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Connections Across Time and Place

By Cathy Mueller SL / October 1, 2019 /

This past May when I attended the meeting of the Union of International Superiors General (UISG) in Rome, I was at the table with Claire Sykes, a Faithful Companion of Jesus (FCJ) sister from London. She asked me if there was a connection between John Nerinckx, who was significant in their community’s history, and Charles…

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Loretto Follows the Santa Fe Trail

By Carole Eschen SL / September 1, 2019 /

Eleanor Craig has been heard to say that, “a few minutes of misery can provide a lifetime of great stories.” The trip following the Santa Fe Trail that 11 of us recently experienced certainly supports this statement. The idea for following the Santa Fe Trail was rooted in Eleanor’s desire to make Loretto’s legacy a…

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Fake News Along the Santa Fe Trail

By Loretto Community / August 5, 2019 /

By Susanna Pyatt In 1867, three Sisters of Loretto – Sisters Kostka Gauthreaux, Alphonsa Thompson, and Isabella Trealler – set out from Kentucky and Missouri to follow the Santa Fe Trail to New Mexico. There they would join other Sisters in the growing work undertaken by Loretto in the American Southwest. The three Sisters traveled…

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Unraveling the Background of Victoria Whitehair’s Sampler

By Loretto Community / June 6, 2019 /

By Susanna Pyatt One of my favorite objects in the Loretto Heritage Center collections is an embroidery sampler signed “Victoria Whitehair, Osage Mission, 1859.” Victoria stitched the English alphabet five times in different styles on a linen background, interspersing her lines with decorative patterns. She joined other female students across Europe and America in creating…

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Deus providebit: Loretto’s Legacy in Texas

By Loretto Community / May 31, 2019 /

By Christina Manweller We were met in El Paso by two sisters in a canvassed-top spring wagon. The driver looked like he had never known soap, water, or a comb. Finally we reached San Elizario after dark the same evening. When daylight dawned upon us, really my impressions were not very encouraging, as it seemed…

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Loretto Heritage Center Staff Hang Together Through Thick and Thin!

By Eleanor Craig SL / May 2, 2019 /

Curator Susanna Pyatt, Archivist Ayla Toussaint and I laugh as we inspect the space beneath our building; above the crawl space, Heritage Center Assistant Marcia Mohin enjoys the less dusty pleasures of relocating boxes on our new movable shelves. Welcoming new team members We welcomed Ayla to our team in early March. She just completed…

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Nerinx Hall Dedicates Remodeled Library to Barbara Roche

By Donna Day SL / May 1, 2019 /

“The library of the 21st century is active, social, contextual and engaging.” – Dean of University Libraries Laura O. Reim March 7, 2019, marked a historic day in the life of Nerinx Hall High School, St. Louis. The school honored past President Barbara Roche by dedicating the newly remodeled Nerinx library to her in gratitude…

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A Picture Is Worth a 1,000 Documents

By Eleanor Craig SL / April 1, 2019 /

Last June the Archivists at the Loretto Heritage Center noticed buckling in the hardwood floor beneath the racks of documents. At least one sensitive nose also smelled musty, moldy smells. Investigation in the dark crawl space beneath the building revealed nothing unusual. The summer rains came and the typical Kentucky humidity. The buckling and the…

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