Loretto Academy (El Paso, Texas)
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|1300 Hardaway Street
El Paso, Texas, (El Paso County) 79903
|Type||Private, All-Girls for grades 6-12|
|Motto||A Tradition Of Excellence|
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|President||Mary Beth Boesen, SL|
|Color(s)||Yellow, Black and White|
|Accreditation||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools |
|Dean of Students||Jane Johns|
|Athletic Director||Angela Glover|
Loretto Academy is a private Roman Catholic school in El Paso, Texas. It is a part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of El Paso alongside Cathedral High School and Father Yermo. Grades K-5 are coeducational, while grades 6-12 are all girls.
The first bishop of El Paso, Bishop Schuler, was named in 1915. He was a great supporter of the educational movement begun by the Sisters of Loretto and knew there was now inadequate space in the St. Joseph's Academy building. He and Mother Praxedes Carty, the dynamo behind the construction of Loretto Academy, became good friends. She had been Superior General of the Sisters of Loretto before her appointment to El Paso in 1922 as local superior. She was well known as a builder from the very beginning of her career.
The first possible site for the new academy was on Arizona Street but it was deemed to be "too far out. No means of transportation! No street car". Mother Praxedes conferred with Joseph Morgan and Gus Trost before deciding on the Trowbridge property. It consisted of 29 lots and two bungalows adjoining the grounds for the school. Mr. Trost was entrusted with drawing up plans for the new building.
The school opened its doors to students in September 1923. St. Joseph Academy became a residence for the Sisters who were teaching in the parochial schools in the city and continued as a day school until 1954. In spite of the great financial hardships of the time, the building process moved forward allowing for the laying of the cornerstone of the chapel in March 1924, which was named in honor of St. Joseph in fulfillment of a promise made when St. Joseph Academy in San Elizario closed. It took fourteen years to complete the three main units of Loretto Academy. The arrangement of its buildings, by design, face Mexico and reach out in a welcoming gesture. Mother Praxedes was tireless in her efforts to obtain monies for the effort. She traveled to St. Louis against doctor's orders to secure a loan of $80,000 for the completion of the project. While there, she slipped and broke her hip, an injury from which she never really fully recovered. She returned to El Paso and directed the building from her bed until she died in 1933. Bishop Schuler, her long-time friend, celebrated her funeral Mass.
Loretto Academy continued to grow in enrollment and to attract young women from Mexico and the surrounding states. Under the leadership of Sister Francetta, other buildings graced the campus - the cafeteria, elementary school, Hilton-Young Hall and the swimming pool. The convent housed nearly one hundred Sisters who staffed the Academy and various parochial schools throughout the city of El Paso. Boarders, from first through twelfth grade, lived on the third floor of the high school building. Many will remember with fondness, Sr. Rose Claire, who patiently taught so many little girls how to take care of their rooms and wash their clothes and her dear friend, Sister Teresa Claire, who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for so many years. The focus of all the Sisters was primarily in the area of education until Pope John XXIII called Vatican Council II in the early 1960s, the fresh air of which began to shape the ministry of the Sisters in new ways.
Some of the expanded works included ministry to the gangs in South El Paso, work with Girl's Club, ministry to the very poor, a school which prepared students to enter and be successful in the public school system, ministry to the deaf, a tutoring school, catechetical work, ministry to the elderly, teaching English as a second language, adult education, and pastoral ministry. Most recently, the convent has been converted to a retreat center, opening up another form of ministry.
The boarding school closed in 1975 and became a Middle School the following year. Though the number of Sisters has declined, there remains a very dedicated faculty who believe in what Loretto stands for and continue its mission.
- Field Day
- Big Sis/Little Sis (Picnic)
- Ring Rose
- Circle Drive
- International Extravaganza
- Talent Show
- Deck the Doors
- Pumpkin Decorations
- Angels for Life
- Angels Saving Pets
- Book Club
- Chamber Choir
- Environmental Club
- International Club
- Loretto Athletic Association
- Luisas de Marillac
- National Art Honor Society
- National Honor Society
- French Honor Society
- National Forensic League (Speech & Debate)
- Self Defense Club
- Show Choir
- Societe Honoraire de Francais
- Student Council
- Thespians (Drama Club)
- Women Empowering Women
- Cross Country
- School Website
- "Sisters of Loretto Have Long Tradition in Southwest". Borderlands article.
Notes and references
- SACS-CASI. "SACS-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Archived from the original on April 29, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-23.
- "Admissions." Loretto Academy. Retrieved on May 24, 2011.