Kolkata was the first city where the Loreto nuns chose to set up their mission outside of their home ground in Ireland.
Kolkatta has a special connection to Loreto. Kolkata was the first city where the Loreto nuns chose to set up their mission outside home in Ireland. The rest is a 175-year-old story of service, inclusion and professional excellence. If Sister Cyril is a household name and the innovative scheme of the prestigious convent school in opening its spaces to street children after hours, unique and legendary, so are the many other activities of this committed band of Nuns.
Sr. Anita M. Braganza, Provincial Superior of the Sisters of Loreto, South Asia
The Catholic community in Kolkata, worried about the education of their women, asked a chaplain, Dr Bakhaus, to go to Ireland and request the Loreto nuns to come here. Head of the nuns Mother Teresa Ball relented and Delphine Hart, only 23 years old, led seven nuns and five postulants to Kolkata on December 30, 1841.
Loreto House Middleton Row became the home of these nuns. Then, this was the garden house of the governor general, who offered it to the women to stay and start their mission. The nuns converted it into a school that started operating from January 1842, with 60 students.
But that was not all. Many Loreto nuns also went to the Portugese church at Moorgihata to teach poor kids. These twin endeavours marked the foundation of Loreto in South Asia, something that was fondly remembered on Sunday as part of the on-going jubilee celebrations.
Loreto is a brand name today in quality and compassionate education & Loreto house is still the best girls'' school in Kolkata.
Last Sunday, the celebrations began.
By 7:30am on Sunday, students, teachers and nuns from all the Loreto and Rainbow schools in the city gathered at the Mohammedan Sporting grounds. What followed was a 'Legacy Walk' that saw at least 2,000 women from the Loreto brand walking down Mayo Road and Park Street up to the school on Middleton Row. After this they walked up to Raj Bhavan, where a remembrance and cultural programme was organized by the students with governor Keshari Nath Tripathi in attendance. The governor spoke about the high sense of duty and discipline that Loreto schools instil in every pupil. He also remembered the contribution of the Loreto nuns in taking education for women to a level of unsurpassed excellence.
"As we walked that stretch, we felt the spirit of the first Loreto sisters guiding us, reminding us of their unfinished duties. In our 175th year, it is time once again to pledge ourselves towards the cause of the underprivileged," said Sister Anita Briganza, province leader of South Asia.