My name is Gerry Strohmeyer and I first met the Sisters of Loretto when we moved into St. Michael Parish in north St. Louis in the early 50′s. I was only there from 2nd grade through half of 5th grade. My teachers were Srs. John Anthony, Terese, John Boscoe, John Martin and Sylvia. All were wonderful and had a profound impact on my life.
I’d like to tell a story about each but I only am allowed a few words so I will focus on one of the sisters. That one is Sr. Theresa Coyle, SL (aka: John Boscoe). What a wonderful example of the Loretto Community. I was a very insecure, shy, reserved, introverted kid. In my first year, 2nd grade at St. Michael I had not made my first communion. For several weeks, each afternoon I would leave my classroom and join the first grade of sacramental preparation. That first grade teacher was Sr. Theresa. Almost from the beginning we connected.
by Sandra (Crawford) Martin – Loretto Academy boarder 1941-1946
Seventy years ago my mother delivered my sister and me to Loretto Academy along with three other cousins. We were going to boarding school because of the war and there was no one to stay with us while our mothers worked. It was 1941 and I was three years old. When I first saw the nun in her habit, I recall screaming as I was handed over to Sister Rose. That night, she tucked me in at the bottom of her bed. I slept there until I became accustomed to my new surroundings— until I felt comfortable sleeping in my own little bed in the dormitory. That became my home during the school year until I left Loretto to start the third grade at Morehead Grade School on Arizona Street.
by Nancy Pineda-Madrid, PhD, Loretto Academy (El Paso) ’77
Nancy Pineda-Madrid is Assistant Professor of Theology and U.S. Latino/a Ministry at Boston College.
I graduated from Loretto Academy High School in 1977. As I look back over my life since then I am quite confident that I have had no educational experience that has influenced my life more than my years at Loretto. Loretto took seriously the importance of developing the whole person in an integrated manner by encouraging me to focus intensely on my own intellectual development, by fostering in me a deep appreciation of the humanities and the arts, and by calling me to prayer, my interior life and an ongoing relationship with God. At Loretto I learned that women could pursue and become whatever they put their minds to. Today I am one of a still limited number of Latina Catholic theologians in the United States and I teach at Boston College.
During my years at Loretto I met and studied with a number of girls from Ciudad Juárez and grew greatly in my appreciation of my own Mexican heritage. It was an enormous privilege to study with them, one I am grateful for to this day. In teaching us to value the whole person, Loretto took seriously the geographical and cultural context of the borderlands and instilled in me a love of this land that has had such a foundational impact on my identity. Recently I published a book entitled Suffering and Salvation in Ciudad Juárez, which no doubt grew out of my love for this land of my youth and early adult years.
by Donna Sullivan
Donna Sullivan has worked as the Lower School counselor at St. Mary’s Academy in Denver since 2001.
At the end of my first year at St. Mary’s, I was invited to attend the trip to the Motherhouse. At that time it was a “working” retreat, so we mostly focused on how to teach and model the four Loretto values in our classrooms. We still had time to talk with several of the nuns, to walk the grounds, and to get to know each other.
My favorite memory, however, was the mass on our final day there. Continue Reading »
by Mary Ann Place Unsell, Loretto Academy ’57
My grandmother was a Loretto Graduate from San Antonio-Socorro, N.M. My grandparents moved to El Paso, with their three daughters at that time to give them the best education they could. They went to Loretto Acadamy at that time. There were six girls in all. My brothers and I went to St. Patricks, and I went on to Loretto, my brothers to Cathedral High.
by Rose-Marie Porter Baumann, Loretto Academy (El Paso) ’57
The old stories are wonderful.
Each year before school was out, my parents gave a day of recreation to the Sisters who could come down to our farm in the lower valley. My parents arranged cars to pick them up and take them home afterward (1955-1957).
The times were so different from today. The Sisters were certainlydressed in full habit. In fact, they left Loretto rarely and always in twos.
We had a big picnic on the farm. It was fully of gaity and laughter. The Sisters were not allowed to enter the house, except if truly needed, for the call of nature. That mattered not. It was a fun refreshing time.
How I love the Sisters of Loretto. As a boarding student, I think I was blessed with a special relationship with the Sisters, as were most Boarders.
In the 1950′s, it was the best of times at Loretto. The opportunities provided and the daily virtue are still to be commended.