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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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Tracing the Bowling Family

By Susanna Pyatt / January 31, 2023 /
Photo collage of 14 habited nuns, all sharing a family resemblance.

It’s not uncommon to find Sisters of Loretto who are biologically related to each other, usually as sisters, cousins, or aunts and nieces. Heritage Center staff may find these connections…

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“On the twelfth day of Christmas…”

By Loretto Community / December 25, 2022 /
Archival photo of young women dancing around May Poles.

Happy holidays from the Loretto Heritage Center staff! To celebrate the season, we posted photos for the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” to our Facebook page. All of the…

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Sister Gabriel Mary’s Artwork

By Susanna Pyatt / November 29, 2022 /
A smiling woman stands in a silkscreening workshop, holding up a beautiful print of pinks, reds and white.

Guess which artist is most represented in the Loretto Heritage Center? Sister Gabriel Mary Hoare! We have over 70 works by her in the collections here. People who have been…

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The Spalding Women and Loretto

By Susanna Pyatt / October 24, 2022 /
Mid-1800's Portrait of a woman in a buttoned-up dress with a lace collar. Her hair is pulled up with a wide ribbon.

Loretto numbers among its early students and Sisters several descendants of Benedict Spalding (1746-1815), one of the leaders of the Maryland-to-Kentucky Catholic migration. Benedict’s wife and children accompanied him in…

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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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