‘What about the girls?’: Marian Middle School is Loretto’s answer
The question that began the project that is now called Marian Middle School was asked by Loretto Sister Nancy Wittwer, “What about the girls?” The answer to that question is held deep in the heart of Loretto. Catholic families who settled the land in central Kentucky in the early 1800s brought three young women to the area for the mission of education. And the charism of Loretto’s work was born as these women from Maryland, settling in Kentucky, formed into a religious community and began to teach. That mission of education was a call from God and has had a whole-hearted answer for the next 200-plus years.
It was well known in the early days of Catholic education that educating young men held an important place in Catholic tradition. The question of “What about the girls?” quickly led to important decisions for Loretto then and now. The development of education for women is a Loretto priority and has been so since 1812, not only in America but in all the places Loretto ventured: South and Central America, China, Ghana and now Pakistan. Co-member Joy Gerity, noted in the book “A Century of Change” that “education by its very nature changes lives.” Yes, it does.
When Sister Nancy asked the question of “What about the girls?,” the founding board for Marian Middle School in St. Louis City was born. Read the story of Marian Middle School in this week’s Loretto Facebook pages and you will learn the answer to Sister Nancy’s question.