Loretto Academy’s centennial celebrations


Loretto Academy prepares to celebrate its centennial anniversary. Mother Mary Praxedes Carty founded the school in 1923. Photo courtesy of Loretto Academy

Mia Badillo and Orlyanka Tantchou, Co-Editors-in-Chief

One hundred years ago, providing an all-girls education under the Sisters of Loretto in the Southwest was a dream for Mother Mary Praxedes Carty.

On March 20, 1922, her dream became a reality as she purchased 19 acres of land in the Austin Terrace area of El Paso, Texas, which became Loretto Academy a year later.

In 1923, Loretto opened its doors to 186 students.

Over the last century, Loretto has provided the youth with the necessary tools to spread their angel wings and become leaders in the world.

Throughout the years, numerous Loretto alumnae have made tremendous impacts on local and global scales.

There is no doubt that future Loretto graduates will continue to promote a similar Tradition of Excellence.

Loretto continues to foster a sisterhood bond that is strengthened by alumnae from all of the academy’s graduating classes.

Regardless of a Loretto alumna’s graduating year or chosen path in life, one thing remains true: once an angel, always an angel.

From May 2023 to April 2024, members of the Loretto community are invited to celebrate the centennial celebration of Loretto Academy, a historic institution founded on the Four Core Values of Faith, Community, Justice, and Respect.

Celebration dates

An infographic shows a few of Loretto’s upcoming centennial celebrations. Celebrations will last from May 2023 to April 2024. Photo courtesy of @lorettoacademy on Instagram

Loretto’s centennial celebrations will begin with the Class of 2023’s graduation ceremony on May 21, 2023, at the Abraham Chavez Theater.

On Aug. 24, 2023, Loretto will revive Angelpalooza, a pre-coronavirus event where Western Playland is rented out by Loretto for students and families to enjoy.

On Sep. 29–30, 2023, Loretto’s Alumnae Homecoming will take place, allowing the classes of 1957, 1963, 1973, and 1993 to reminisce on old memories at their reunion.

The weekend will kick off with a welcoming reception at the El Convento Patio.

Mass and brunch are to follow.

On Feb. 3, 2024, the Centennial Gala will be held at the Epic Railyard Event Center.

To wrap up the celebrations, a mass celebrating the laying of the Chapel Cornerstone will take place on April 13, 2024.

Other celebrations that are scheduled for the 2023–2024 school year include celebration masses, monthly campus tours, 100 Acts of Service, 100 Angel Alumna, and more.

Detailed Centennial Celebration Calendar

May 2023 – April 2024

May 2023:

  • Baccalaureate Mass – Thursday, May 18, 2023
  • Class of 2023 Graduation Ceremony – Sunday, May 21, 2023

June 2023:

  • Alumnae Spotlight Begins

July 2023:

  • Challenge Dance (tentative)
  • Charcuterie & wine-making night (tentative)

August 2023:

  • Campus Tours – Friday, Aug. 11, 2023
    • 2023-2024 School Year Begins – Monday, Aug. 7, 2023
  • Back to School Blessing
  • Introduce 100 Acts of Service
  • Angelpalooza – Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, Western Playland

September 2023:

  • Campus Tours – Friday, Sep. 1, 2023
  • Golf Tournament – Friday, Sep. 22, 2023
  • Alumnae Homecoming Weekend – Friday, Sep. 29, 2023 – Saturday, Sep. 30, 2023

October 2023:

  • Campus Tours – Friday, Oct. 6, 2023
  • Day of Service 
  • El Paso Giving Day
  • Loretto night at Fall Play

November 2023:

  • Campus Tours – Friday, Nov. 3, 2023
  • Jingle Mingle – Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023
  • Alumnae Angel Networking Luncheon – Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023

December 2023:

  • Campus Tours – Friday, Dec. 1, 2023
  • Pure Barre class
  • Handel’s Messiah – Chapel
  • Christmas Eve Mass – Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023

January 2024:

  • Campus Tours – Friday, Jan. 12, 2024
  • 12th Annual Senior Class Mass at Loretto – Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024

February 2024:

  • Campus Tours – Friday, Feb. 2, 2023
  • Gala – Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024

March 2024: 

  • Campus Tours – Friday, March 1, 2024
  • Day of Service
  • Alumnae night at Loretto musical

April 2024:

  • Mass celebrated by Bishop Mark Seitz – Saturday, April 13, 2024, at 4 p.m,
  • Loretto Giving Day – Wednesday, April 17, 2024
  • Foundation Day Mass – Thursday, April 25, 2024
  • Campus Tours


Q&A with Loretto’s president, Ms. Nicole Cobb

  • What makes the Loretto sisterhood last forever (past, present, and future classes)?

“Friendships forged at Loretto can last a lifetime. I think this is because our students create these friendships in a space where they are authentically themselves. It is important that Loretto always strive to maintain an environment where individual differences are respected and celebrated; this not only contributes to the beautiful tapestry of diversity in the student body but allows us to learn from one another and make friends for life.”

  • Are you hoping to create new Loretto traditions for future generations or only stick to original traditions?

“There is always room for new traditions that speak to the Loretto Core Values of Faith, Community, Justice, and Respect. I worked with the admissions coordinator, Ms. Martha Nevarez, to recently create a new tradition of welcoming our incoming fresh(wo)men from the various parochial schools with roses after mass at their respective schools. This is a tradition that I would love to see grow to involve our current students as well so that our newest angels are warmly welcomed to the sisterhood in May and excited for August.”

  • Is Loretto planning on broadcasting centennial events so alumnae around the world can feel involved?

“That is a wonderful idea! Thank you, ladies, for sharing that idea. We are working on a schedule for various centennial celebrations, and this is a great suggestion.”

  • Are there opportunities to make donations/contributions for centennial celebrations?

“Yes, we are now working on finishing a needs assessment for the campus. The goal of the needs assessment is to help us figure out how to update the buildings and grounds so that Loretto is around for another 100 years! The results of the needs assessment will guide our fundraising efforts during the centennial celebrations. I look forward to sharing the needs of our campus and how angels can contribute to let Loretto be Loretto forever.”

May Loretto be Loretto forever

As Loretto turns 100 years old, the sisterhood Loretto was founded on persists as alumnae across the world make plans to attend these events.

In preparation for Loretto’s centennial celebrations, Advancement and Alumnae Director Katie Martinez, class of 2006, is accepting submissions of memories and stories from members of the Loretto community.

Submissions can be sent via email to Ms. Martinez ([email protected]) or on Loretto’s website, loretto.org.

As Loretto community members unite to celebrate Loretto Academy’s 100th anniversary, they will highlight past successes while initiating a future of tradition and innovation.