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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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Tragedy and Triumph: The Early Days of Lorettines in Missouri

By Loretto Community / August 19, 2022 /
Archival photo of seven nuns in habits standing in front of a train car.

By Katie Daugherty The Heritage Center was thrilled to welcome Katie Daugherty as our 2022 summer intern. Katie came from Sylva, NC, where she is Head of the Circulation Department…

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Tales from the Ledgers: Bartering in Early Loretto Academies

By Loretto Community / July 28, 2022 /
Photo of 1887 ledger listing cost of tuition and books, and a payment of $41.25 - "By Sheep"

By Katie Daugherty The Heritage Center is thrilled to welcome Katie Daugherty as our 2022 summer intern. Katie comes from Sylva, NC, where she is Head of the Circulation Department…

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Loretto’s Years in Arkansas, 1838-1845

By Susanna Pyatt / June 7, 2022 /
Black and white archival photo of a white wooden church with a bell tower and dark roof. Headstones can be seen in the foreground.

Despite the fact that Loretto established three different schools in Arkansas, they all vie for some of the shortest-lived Loretto houses. None lasted more than four years. They were all…

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A History Mystery

By Susanna Pyatt / April 27, 2022 /
Framed oil painting by Frans Floris the Elder

Back in January, the Heritage Center staff were asked about an oil painting of the Epiphany that hangs in the Motherhouse Infirmary. This work, showing the three Magi visiting the…

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The Sisters Who Left for Chicago

By Susanna Pyatt / February 22, 2022 /
Historical photo of handwritten census document listing Sisters of Loretto in Chicago in 1870

On June 9, 1864, a Sister once lauded as “the idol and admiration of all those under her care” walked out of the Loretto convent in Cairo, Illinois, taking with…

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Loretto and the Saint

By Eleanor Craig SL / February 1, 2022 /

Imagine having an income of $1000 a day and an inclination to be helpful to the most neglected communities of people. What would you do with your money? In 1885,…

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“Christmas Always”: A Loretto Heritage Center Christmas Treasure

By Reba Weatherford / December 14, 2021 /
Red book cover. Title reads "Christmas Always and Rosemary's Wish."

The holiday season is once again upon us, and the Heritage Center would like to share one of the many treasures in our collection. The Heritage Center houses a large…

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What’s in a Date?

By Eleanor Craig SL / October 1, 2021 /
Two pages of an antique book displaying biblical images and text.

August 15, September 8 and 15, October 25, December 8, April 25, May 24, May 31. What do these dates have in common? By the zodiac, they loosely demark the…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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