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LOREtto

Welcome to LOREtto, a blog created by Loretto Heritage Center to share insights into the rich history of the Loretto Community. Learn more about our Heritage Center and archives.

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Tales from the Annals: Fire in Kansas City

By Reba Weatherford / May 4, 2021 /
Historical photo of several women sitting in chairs in an auditorium.

I am coming to the end of my first month at the Loretto Heritage Center, and in my quest to learn about Loretto history I have read many interesting and detailed documents from the archives. I find that for me, the most enjoyable reads are the school annals. Anyone interested in Loretto history would be…

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Smuggling Mother Mary Out of China

By Susanna Pyatt / March 5, 2021 /
A historical newspaper photo of a nun in habit and a woman in glasses each holding the same standard.

Placed in the bottom of a display case in the Heritage Center museum is a “vexillum” or standard, a marble base and orb from which extends a metal pole with an image of the Miraculous Medal (representing the Immaculate Conception) and a sign inscribed “Legio Mariae.” It is topped by a metal dove with outstretched…

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Sr. Grace Clare Shanley in China

By Susanna Pyatt / January 8, 2021 /

We have two interesting artifacts at the Heritage Center that nearly bookend the 15 years that Sister Grace Clare Shanley, SL, spent serving in China. The first is a small scrapbook of her journey overseas in 1934. She used a pamphlet printed by the steamship company to record her travels for her friend Sister Leonella…

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Federal Census Evidence for Loretto Slaveholding, 1820-1860

By Loretto Community / November 18, 2020 /

(Editor’s Note: The Loretto Community is working to understand its complicity in systemic racism. We thank the Loretto Heritage Center staff for providing important research about Loretto’s history of slaveholding. We cannot atone and change without knowing the truths of our past.) By Susanna Pyatt Knowledge that the Sisters of Loretto were slaveholders prior to the Civil…

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Nuns at the Polls: Loretto and Politics

By Loretto Heritage Center / October 16, 2020 /

by Ayla Toussaint and Mary Frances Lottes SL It’s November, which means it is election month in the US!  This blog post was written with the help of one of our past Sisters, Sister Mary Fran Lottes.  We share this story as an example of how the Sisters of Loretto take a strong interest in…

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Sighting of Spirits and the Devil

By Ayla Toussaint / October 5, 2020 /

Throughout Christianity, there have been stories of people who have seen signs of spirits, demons, and other malevolent beings.  The frequency of these experiences, the imagery in them, and how people received them has changed throughout the centuries, but the beliefs and messages behind them have not.  This post focuses on two accounts of Loretto…

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MY EXPERIENCES AS A PROTESTER

By Eleanor Craig SL / August 18, 2020 /

I am a white female who grew up in a St. Louis suburb featured in the CBS documentary “16 in Webster Groves” (1966), a critique of the insular life of suburban kids that is still used in sociology classes and reviled by the present upper-middle class residents of Webster. My parents were educated middle class…

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Running Off to the Convent, Part Two

By Loretto Heritage Center / May 20, 2020 /

By Susanna Pyatt As Jewel, Pearl, and Ruby Rogers completed their education at Loretto Academy, their secret plans conflicted with the intentions of their father. Frank wanted his daughters to open a music school. The eldest three sisters, however, planned to be baptized in the Catholic Church and join the Sisters of Loretto, plans which…

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Running Off to the Convent, Part One

By Loretto Heritage Center / May 6, 2020 /

By Susanna Pyatt Marcia, the Heritage Center assistant, discovered an intriguing story while processing the personnel files of the three Rogers sisters. Sister Elvira, Sister Benedicta, and Sister Casilda Rogers had only basic documents in their respective files, providing just the standard brief outlines of their lives. That is, except for lengthy narratives each sister…

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Finding Sister Ann Elizabeth

By Loretto Heritage Center / March 19, 2020 /

By Roger Goose, Guest Contributor to the LOREtto Blog It’s a bright sunny day in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It’s June 2018, the 21st as I remember, and I am with my wife and two friends, Don and June, having a week’s vacation away from work. Today I am at a loose end—Don has a…

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Loretto’s Changing Habits

By Loretto Heritage Center / February 20, 2020 /
Photo of two sisters standing out in the snow in winter habits

By Susanna Pyatt Come to the Heritage Center to check out our latest museum update! We’ve added a digital interactive about the history of the habit of the Sisters of Loretto. In the past two centuries since the community was founded, the Sisters have had four major alterations to the style of their habit and…

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Twelve Days of Christmas, from the Loretto Heritage Center

By Loretto Community / January 7, 2020 /

In honor of the twelve days leading to Epiphany, the Heritage Center posted photos tied to the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” on our Facebook page. Visitors checked back each day to see what new stories we had to share. There was such an outpouring of positive response that we decided to post a…

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