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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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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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Loretto’s Shortest Mission

By Loretto Heritage Center / September 18, 2019 /
Belen, NM Flour mill in 1904. Horses, carts and workers in front of the mill.

By Ayla Toussaint The first part of this blog post was written for us by Loretto’s second archivist, Sister Matilda Barrett!  Found in the archives vault, this short chapter recounts the story of Loretto’s shortest mission:  Belen, New Mexico – Our Lady of Sorrows Convent – (1900/9/28-1900/10/5) The shortest-lived Loretto foundation, if one may call…

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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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Sister Athanasius and the Spirited Wathens

By Loretto Community / February 28, 2019 /

Sometime around 1960, Sister Jean Paul Steube, a Loretto novice, wrote a colorful biography of Sister Mary Athanasius Wathen. In that piece, she shared many delightful stories of Sister Athanasius’s long life. For example, in her last days and weeks, at the age of almost 99, Sister was still receiving guests daily, even though she…

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Displaying Loretto at the Chicago World’s Fair

By Loretto Community / January 31, 2019 /

By Susanna Pyatt Visitors to the Loretto Heritage Center may recall a display in the museum about the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. The deep display case is designed to mimic the Sisters of Loretto exhibit at the Fair, where the Sisters placed work from their students for millions of fairgoers to see. Six years after…

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Which Way to the Novitiate?

By Eleanor Craig SL / November 16, 2018 /

On the grounds of Loretto Motherhouse, in an area of central Kentucky which is today still quite rural, two imposing brick buildings stand as witnesses to more than 175 years of Loretto’s education of young women.  First there was Rhodes Hall, one of Kentucky’s earliest academies for girls, built in 1834 on the “Bardstown Pike.”…

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The Eventful Lives of the Brown Sisters

By Loretto Community / October 25, 2018 /

By Leslee Moore Even after 12 years of working in the Loretto Archives and Heritage Center, assistant and docent Marcia Mohin still can be surprised.  As she processes files of Loretto Community members past and present, she finds stories that beg to be shared with a wider audience. While researching a list of Loretto Sisters…

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Ghost Stories

By Loretto Community / October 12, 2018 /

By Katie Santa Ana With October upon us and Halloween just around the corner, the season for ghost stories is here! Sister Joan Campbell SL (1929-2007) was always on the look out for Loretto ghost stories and gathered a few together in her files. Her notes are now in the archives as part of her…

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LOREtto: Eulalia Flaget and the Bishop’s Crucifix

By Loretto Community / September 27, 2018 /

By Katie Santa Ana In the museum collection of the Loretto Heritage Center, we have a small, unassuming crucifix with an interesting egg shaped wooden case. In now fading white ink, “Rev. Flaget’s Rosary given to Loretto 1925” is written along the juncture where the two halves of the case twist together. For over ninety…

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LOREtto Teaching: FIDES, MORES, CULTURA

By Eleanor Craig SL / September 13, 2018 /

Loretto Academy at Loretto Motherhouse, opened in 1834 in today’s “Rhodes Hall,” steadily pursued its mission of education, through times of financial boom and bust, through the fire of 1858 which destroyed most of the Motherhouse, and despite the turmoil of the Civil War. For fifty years in the original building the Sisters of Loretto…

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Teaching: From the Three Rs to the Higher Branches

By Eleanor Craig SL / August 16, 2018 /

Two buildings on the grounds of Loretto Motherhouse are in the midst of significant anniversaries. The buildings that today we call “Rhodes Hall” and the “Novitiate/Academy Building” together mark 175 years of young ladies’ education at the Sisters of Loretto Motherhouse in central Kentucky. In later blogs we’ll look at the story of the 1886…

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