History of the Loretto Academy

The Sisters' Legacy

Postcard to Julieta Amador
Postcard to Julieta Amador from Sister M. Vestina, 1906

One of the most significant aspects of the students' experiences was the close relationships that some developed with the Sisters. Juan Amador, a former student of their primary school for boys, kept in contact with the Sisters, including Mother Praxedes. Juan was not the only member of the Amador family to foster and maintain friendly relationships with the Sisters. Several pieces of correspondence between the Amadors and various Sisters can be found in the Amador Family papers at the Rio Grande Historical Collections.

The Sisters of Loretto laid the foundation for both the Catholic and public school systems that are in existence in Las Cruces today. In many ways, the girls and boys who attended the Loretto Academy in Las Cruces received an education typical of the times, one that developed and adapted to changing circumstances as the late 19th century gave way to the 20th century and the country approached World War II. The Sisters provided their students with basic skills, advanced subjects, extracurricular activities and religious education. They also sought to introduce the language, customs, and values of Anglo American culture to their students and the larger community. Throughout their time in Las Cruces, they played a dynamic and important part in this southern New Mexico community, and indeed in the history of New Mexico and Las Cruces.

Information based on the thesis The Sisters of Loretto in Las Cruces: The Education and "Americanization" of a Frontier Community, 1870-1943 by Wendy C. Simpson.