Sisters of Loretto Celebrates 200 Years
In its 200 years of existence, the Loretto Congregation has founded numerous schools throughout the US, including Nerinx Hall High School and Webster University.
This year, the Sisters of Loretto Community is celebrating its 200 years of existence. The congregation was founded in Kentucky at the beginning of the 19th century. They are responsible for founding more than 99 schools throughout the country, 32 of them in Missouri, including Nerinx Hall High School and Webster College, which would later be known as Webster University.
The history of the Loretto congregation began on April 25, 1812, when Mary Rhodes, Christina Stuart and Ann Havern, members of Maryland Catholic families, settled in central Kentucky. Since then, the date has been celebrated annually by the congregation as Loretto Foundation Day.
“Mary, Ann and Christina had recognized the need of education and religious formation for girls in the area,” said a press release by the Loretto congregation. “As they responded to the need, they found joy and meaning in their work and life together. It was not long before they told Father Charles Nerinckx, their Belgian-born missionary pastor, that they had a desire to devote themselves entirely to God and neighbor as a religious community.”
According to a press release, there will be events everywhere in the United States where the Loretto community has a presence, including the Webster Groves congregation. The events will be held year-round.
The first event, “The St. Louis Loretto Jubilee Awards,” will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m on April 20 at Nerinx Hall High School. Awards will be given to women who are making a contribution to St. Louis and who "share goals that the Loretto Community holds dear." The awards presentation will be followed by workshops for the students.
Residents can also make donations in honor of the Loretto Community’s anniversary. Donations may be given by clicking on “Give to Loretto” on the right-hand column of the Loretto website, www.lorettocommunity.org.