The journey of the Loreto Sisters began in 1607 with an Englishwoman named Mary Ward. She held the then radical belief that by educating young women, they would be empowered to take care of the faith. With vision, missionary zeal, and Christ’s love, the Loreto Sisters of the Institute of Blessed Virgin Mary was founded.
The Arizona journey began in 1954 when Father Paul Smith, the founding pastor of Ss. Simon and Jude, was seeking a group of nuns to establish a Catholic elementary school. He contacted the Loreto Sisters in Navan, Ireland, who eagerly accepted the challenge. Five brave pioneers arrived at Ss. Simon & Jude to begin a mission that has greatly affected the lives of children for over 65 years.
Today there are still several Loreto Sisters at Ss. Simon and Jude, all highly educated, and always sharing Mary Ward’s core values: Freedom, Joy, Justice, Sincerity, and Truth. Wherever they go, the Loreto Sisters immerse themselves in the entire life of the school and parish.
A substantial number of the current Ss. Simon & Jude student body are children of alumni. This is a testament to the Loreto Sisters’ long-standing tradition of education. After more than 40 years, Sr. Raphael Quinn remains active in her role as principal.
The spirit at Ss. Simon and Jude is openhearted and open-minded. The Loreto Sisters’ philosophy is to keep the original values that inspired their missionary vision. Children of various backgrounds and cultures thrive in the rich educational atmosphere, because five brave young women with Mary Ward’s vision said, “Yes”.”