The image shows the billboard sign of Loretto Academy; three students are standing or sitting next to it. In the background, Saint Joseph's chapel can be seen.

The Sisters of Loretto began the educational efforts in El Paso and were later supported by Bishop Schuler (1869-1944), who became the first bishop of the Catholic Diocese El Paso from 1915 to 1942. He and Mother Praxedes Carty (1854-1933), local superior of the Sisters of Loretto, were the thriving force behind the construction of Loretto Academy.
The architectural firm Trost & Trost was commissioned to design the building. In September 1923, the School was opened on the Trowbridge property, and St. Joseph Academy, forerunner of Loretto Academy, was transferred from San Elizario to the new school. 143 students enrolled – taught by eight teachers. It took 14 more years to complete the three main units. The cornerstone of the chapel was laid in 1924.

The arrangement of the buildings, by design, face Mexico and reach out in a welcoming gesture. Indeed, in the following years, Loretto Academy grew and young women from the surrounding states and Mexico came to El Paso to be educated there. Sister Francetta initiated the construction of new buildings, like 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. Gradually, many other educational activities were added; including ministry to the gangs, work with Girl's Club, ministry to the very poor, ministry to the deaf, a tutoring school, catechetical work, ministry to the elderly, teaching English as a second language, adult education, and pastoral ministry.
The boarding school closed in 1975 and was converted into a Middle School for girls.
In the 1990s, Loretto continued to accept girls from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade and boys through fifth grade. Recently, the convent has been converted to a retreat center for community organizations.
The number of Sisters has declined but the traditions and beliefs of Loretto Academy continue today.


Uploaded on 01.21.2015 by UTEP Library Special Collections

Central / Austin Terrace, (1990 - 1999), Education

  • Loretto Academy

Your comment will be visible after the El Paso Museum staff has reviewed it. This usually happens within 24 hours.

Thank you for your comment

Loretto Academy Billboard with Students, 1990 - El Paso, Texas

Report this entry

Choose the most important reason for this report

Your name

Your email address

Optional detail

Thank you for your report

More from the same community-collection

Austin High School - 2017 - El Paso, Texas

Cheerleader at a football game at Austin High School - El Paso, Texas.

Principal, Craig Kehrwald - Austin High School - 2017

Principal, Craig Kehrwald - Austin High School football game.

Austin High School - 2017 - El Paso, Texas

Cheerleaders at Austin High School football game in the year 2017.

Cheerleaders,,Loretto Academy,El Paso,TX,1969

Photograph is of cheerleaders at Loretto Academy in El Paso Texas 1969 They are in front of Hilton Young Hall.

Loretto Academy - El Paso, Texas - 2017

Loretto Academy on August 7, 2017 - Father Ed Roden- Lucero giving the blessings to the children on the first...

Irma Avila, SL

Sister Irma Avila SL came to Loretto Academy in
El Paso, TX as a first grader in 1959. Fifty...

Adeline Gemoets SL

The Gemoets family had seven children when they immigrated. Adeline their precious youngest daughter, was baptized Nov. 28, 1897 at...

Jennifer L. Alvarado - El Paso, Texas - 2005

Jennifer L. Alvarado graduation picture from Loretto Academy. Granddaughter of Tony Alvarado Jr. who went to Bowie High School -...

Sister Kathleen Corbett SL, 2012

Kathleen Corbett graduated from Loretto Academy in 1966.

Loretto Academy Board

Loretto Academy in El Paso Texas in 1984 included multiple board members.

Sister Pat Williams, Loretto Academy - El Paso, Texas

Sister Pat Williams, President, and Sister Pat Joyce SL both long time residents of El Paso, Texas. In this image...

Marion Resch Shows Off Roses - 1998

Marion Resch Shows Off Roses - 1998

Image Description: A black and white photograph of...

Maria Elena Flood, Educator at Texas Tech

Maria Elena Flood attended El Paso High School. She distinguished herself as an important business and educational leader in El...

Frances Agnes SL, Nun, Science Teacher

Frances Agnes Bechtold SL, Nun, Science Teacher circa 1941. She taught physics and chemistry to Loretto Academy students in El...

Loretto Academy, El Paso, TX, Sister Buffy Boesen, video, 2017

Video of Loretto Academy - President Sister Buffy Boesen in her office greeting Mariachi group. Mariachi band on May 22,...