Marking NM’s Historic Women: Mother Magdalen & the Sisters of Loretto

Photo Credit: Palace of the Governors Photo Archives
Loretto Academy and Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Date: ca. 1887-1902
Negative Number 072294
Caption reads: “Convent and Chapel – Our Lady of Light”.

Mother Magdalen and the Sisters of Loretto

(Side 1) Four Sisters of Loretto, Mother Magdalen Hayden and Sisters Roberta Brown, Rosana Dant and Catherine Mahoney, arrived in Santa Fe from Kentucky on September 26, 1852. In January 1853 they established Our Lady of Light Academy, later known as Loretto, the first school for young women in the Territory of New Mexico. (Side 2) Between 1863 and 1879 the Sisters with the help of local people raised funds to build the Loretto Chapel. During the next century, hundreds of women, many of them of Hispanic heritage joined, joined the Sisters of Loretto. Lucia Perea became the first native-born New Mexican superior at Loretto, Santa Fe in 1896.

Roadside Marker Location: Santa Fe County, Alameda Street city of Santa Fe

You can view a county by county list of the Historic Women Mile Markers in this pdf.

March is Women’s History Month. During this month we’ll be highlighting some of the women featured on New Mexico’s Historic Women Roadside Markers. Text provided by our colleagues at New Mexico Historic Preservation Division