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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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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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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LOREtto: Thomas Merton and Loretto

By Loretto Community / July 27, 2018 /

By Susanna Pyatt 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Thomas Merton’s death. As a monk at the Abbey of Gethsemani, Merton was a neighbor of the Sisters at the Loretto Motherhouse. The Heritage Center is currently planning an exhibit for this fall that highlights the friendship, mentorship, and dialogue between Merton and the Sisters of…

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Vestina Moran and the Stagecoach to Santa Fe

By Loretto Community / July 12, 2018 /

Adapted by Katie Santa Ana The following story has been adapted from an unsigned account found in the personnel file of Sister Vestina Moran SL. While we can’t confirm all the facts, it’s certainly a fascinating read! Sister M. Vestina – Mary Moran – was born in St. Louis in 1853, a daughter of Mr.…

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Sisters in Service During World War I

By Loretto Community / June 28, 2018 /

By Laurel Wilson A row of white tents lined the campus of Loretto Heights Academy in Denver during July 1917. For three weeks, the Heights was transformed into the National Service School, a camp started by the Woman’s Section of the Navy League that trained women in service skills needed during wartime and national disasters.…

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Getting to Know Florence Wolff

By Loretto Community / June 14, 2018 /

By Katie Santa Ana Flipping through the paper finding aids of the Sisters of Loretto archives, one name appears at the top of each page more often than not: Sister Florence Wolff. Her carefully typed pages served as the guide to the individual boxes and file folders that make up the archival collection here at…

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The Sisters of Loretto and the Great Flood of 1937

By Loretto Community / May 24, 2018 /

By Laurel Wilson Sister Nerinckx Blincoe SL, Superior of Loretto High School in Louisville, found herself in a predicament on Saturday, January 23, 1937. The Ohio River was flooding at record levels, and Louisville had been hit with 15 inches of rain in 12 days. Between 60-70 percent of the city was submerged, and tens…

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Loretto in Taos

By Eleanor Craig SL / May 10, 2018 /

The late August numbers of the Taos newspapers in 1913 carried the following, in Spanish and in English: GOLDEN JUBILEEThe Sisters of Loretto Spend Half a Century in Taos, New MexicoEarly in 1863, Rev. Father Gabriel Usell, the then parish priest of Taos, New Mexico, recognizing the need of a convent and Sisters to instruct…

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