Sisters of Loretto, the Founders of Webster University

About the Sisters of Loretto

The Sisters of Loretto were founded in 1812 by a priest from Belgium, Charles Nerinckx. Their primary mission was education, and they started schools in Kentucky and Missouri before continuing to the American southwest, especially New Mexico.

Upon arriving in the metropolitan St. Louis area, the Sisters of Loretto began their ministry by opening "academies" or schools for girls. Eventually the Sisters expanded their reach and opened Loretto College in 1915. The institution would later change names twice, becoming Webster College in 1924 and then Webster University in 1983. They also founded Loretto Heights College in Denver, Colorado, which operated from 1918-19881.

The book, Loretto in Missouri2, describes the following major Loretto institutions in St. Louis (page references in parentheses):

1The archives for Loretto Heights College are located at Regis University.

2Owens, M. Lilliana, S.L. (1965). Loretto in Missouri. St. Louis: B. Herder Book Co.

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