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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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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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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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