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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A sneak peek at the Loretto Heritage Center oversized photo collection

By Amanda Beard / February 26, 2024 /

At the Loretto Heritage Center, I have had the pleasure of getting to learn about the amazing history that surrounds the Sisters of Loretto. I have been one of the…

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Polyglot Perspectives: Archiving Loretto’s Multilingual Collections

By Reba Weatherford / January 30, 2024 /

Imagine I handed you a document and instructed you to file it in its proper place. What’s the first thing you might do? Hopefully, you would read through the document…

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12 Days of Christmas in the Archives

By Susanna Pyatt / December 25, 2023 /
Teenage girls in shimmering dresses dance on stage with two large rings as props.

Happy holidays! It is once again time for the Heritage Center’s annual “12 Days of Christmas” spree. If you did not follow along on our Facebook page, all of the…

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The Secret Life of Photographs

By Angela Selter / October 31, 2023 /
Black and white photo of the shadow of a leafy tree on the siding of a building.

I bet that at some point you have looked at an unlabeled photograph and wondered about what exactly its story might be. The classic who, what, when, where, and why…

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Lucia Perea: Spotlight on a New Mexican Sister

By Amanda Beard / October 3, 2023 /
Archival formal photo of a young Sister Lucia Perea in habit holding her bible and posing.

Did you know that September 15th through October 15th is Hispanic Heritage month? This annual celebration began in 1968 as “Hispanic Heritage Week” and was later extended to a month…

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Exploring the School Photograph Collection, State-by-State

By Reba Weatherford / September 12, 2023 /

After more than a year of work, the digitizing of the school photographs from Loretto schools in the United States is finally complete! Soon I will begin work on the…

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5×5 Sister-Sisters

By Susanna Pyatt / August 28, 2023 /
Archived newspaper clipping showing a family posing for a photo around the piano. There are five women in one style of habit, one wearing a different type of habit, two men standing to the left of the photo and one older man sitting on the piano bench.

Browsing through Loretto’s database of Sisters and Co-members, it is fascinating to see how many members had blood relatives who also joined the community. Five family groupings in particular stand…

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Representations of the Loretto Staircase Mystery

By Reba Weatherford / July 19, 2023 /
1960 comic book cover showing a circular staircase in a church with several people standing around and looking at it. Title reads "Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact" Subtitle "The Wonderful Staircase of Santa Fe"

Archives are full of primary sources that answer historical questions, and the archives at the Loretto Heritage Center are no exception. The archives hold annals, correspondence, annual reports, photographs, journals,…

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Glimpses of Loretto’s Agricultural Past

By Susanna Pyatt / May 31, 2023 /
Black and white archival photo of two men standing by a large garden.

While the Loretto Heritage Center contains a lot of archival papers that document Loretto’s past, one aspect that is difficult to see in the archives is the history of agriculture…

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“Related to Many in the Society”

By Susanna Pyatt / April 6, 2023 /
Three-by-three collage of nine nuns, eight of which are in habits. The most recent photo is the woman in the lower right corner who is not in a habit and is in color.

A note in Sr. Matilda Drury’s file mentions that she was “related to many in the Society and in the priesthood.” Like the Bowling family highlighted in January’s LOREtto post,…

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Loretto and the Arts

By Susanna Pyatt / February 28, 2023 /
Students in an art class, standing at easels and painting portraits of a man smoking a pipe.

The Sisters of Loretto were founded in 1812 with a mission of teaching, but what were their schools like? To answer one aspect of this question, an upcoming exhibit at…

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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.

Updated on March 4, 2024 after additional discoveries in the Loretto Archives. It’s not uncommon to find Sisters of Loretto who are biologically related to each other, usually as sisters,…

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