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History of the Congregation

Historia Zgromadzenia Sióstr Matki Bożej Loretańskiej 24.02

The Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Loretto was founded on 31 July 1920. The founder of the congregation is Blessed Father Ignacy Kłopotowski. By then he was a dean of Prague and parish priest of Our Lady of Loretto in Warsaw.

Initially, the Loretto sisters were a religious association with a verbal approval of the Archbishop of Warsaw, Aleksander Kakowski. Canonical erection of the Pious Association of the Loretto Sisters took place on 19 May 1928. In 1949, after the Second World War, the Loretto sisters became a religious congregation under diocesan law. On 24 May 1971 they obtained a decree of commendation and approval of the Holy See.


The community’s spiritual model was Blessed Mother and its main apostolic task was publishing work. In the first years of the congregation’s existence, it was closely connected to the publishing activity of the Father Founder, Ignacy Kłopotowski. The sisters worked as typesetter and bookibinders in his printing house at 71 Krakowskie Przedmieście in Warsaw. They also distributed books and pamphlets.

In 1927, the Loretto Printing House was established at 46 Tamka Street in Warsaw. The director of the publishing house was Sister Antonina Bartkowiak. The Loretto sisters printed monthly magazines “Kółko Różańcowe” (The Rosary Circle) and “Głos Kapłański” (The Chaplain’s Voice). The magazine were edited by Father Kłopotowski who decided on the publishing house’s programme and the quality of its texts. The Loretto Sisters’ Publishing House become fully independent from 1931 when Fr. Kłopotowski died.

In December 1931, all publishing and printing departments were moved to a newly renovated building at 6 Sierakowskiego street in Warsaw. This house also became the headquarters of the General Board. Until the Second World War, the congregation had three large outposts – two in Warsaw and one in Loretto. The parish posts were opened after the war due to the fact that the communist government tried to deprive the sisters of their publishing work. Fortunately, thanks to various efforts of the congregation authorities the publishing house with the printing house remained the property of the Loretto sisters.

Na jagodach (s. Mechtylda, s. Aniceta, kuzynka s. Anicety Danuta Borowska, s. Alfonsa, s. Krystyna i s. Januaria)

W małej drukarni s. Monika (i postulantka późniejsza s. Vianeja – wystąpiła) rok 1969


Besides publishing work, Loretto sisters also carried out other forms of apostolate. The congregation maintained day-care centres, kindergartens, organised free summer camps for children from poor families and did charity work. The first Loretto sisters worked in an orphanage in Bródno, 21 Nadwiślańska street. In 1925 another orphanage was opened in Stalowa street in Praga. However, it was run for a short period of time.

In 1928, the congregation began to organise summer camps at Loretto. This was an estate on the Liwiec River purchased by the Father Founder. Each year in the summer camps participated about four hundred children from working-class families from various Warsaw districts. The summer camps were taking place throughout the interwar period and were carried out by sisters in cooperation with the Warsaw Association for the Care of Children of the Western Borderlands.

In 1930, the congregation opened a charitable institution for poor children and old people and a sewing school for local girls in Loretto (formerly Ossówka).

For 50 years the area of apostolic influence remained only in Poland. In 1972 the Loretto sisters included other European countries. Nowadays, the congregation still has the majority of centres in Poland, but it also works in Italy (Pessano and Bergamo), Russia (Sochi), Ukraine (Bratislava), Romania (Baia Mare), USA (Chicago) and Africa (Tanzania). The printed word apostolate is also carried out by the sisters in Pessano, Baia Mare and Braclaw. For 70 years the congregation was made up exclusively of Polish nuns and from 1991 there are nuns from Romania, Ukraine, Russia and America began to join. Therefore, we are now an international community.


Blessed Father Ignacy Kłopotowski named the Loretto sisters daughters of the Mother of God. Therefore, their life is concentrated on prayer. The sisters begin each day by praising God with Psalms and the Eucharist. During the day there is space for meditation, rosary and Lectio divina. Through prayer they come closer to God and entrust themselves to Him. Through their work they seek to help people encounter Christ. The sisters work in a publishing house and a printing press to provide people with Catholic magazines and books. They run kindergartens and enter schools to bring the Gospel to children through the living word. They minister to the elderly and sick in nursing homes, organise retreats on a variety of themes and do a lot of other apostolic works.

Loretto is the important place of apostolate outside Warsaw. The land was purchased in 1928 by Blessed Father Kłopotowski where he instilled the cult of Mother of God. Nowadays Loretto is a centre of spirituality. Numerous pilgrims are drawn to the sanctuary. Many groups of adults, youth and children hold their retreats there. The novitiate in which every year a group of new girls prepare for religious life, has been located here since 1960. Furthermore, in Loretto there is also the tomb of the Father Founder and the cemetery where all the Loretto sisters are buried. Some people say that Loretto is a place where God Himself enters a person’s soul, while others add that one simply breathes God there.

Bp Jerzy Modzelewski z siostrami seniorkami (lata 1972-1976) ( s. Weronika, s. Maura, s. Benigna , s. ?, s. Dominika, s. Bernarda, s. Gertruda, s. Amanda, s. Joanna, s. Katarzyna, s. Teresa, s. Salomea, s. Celestyna, na dole: matka Cherubina, bp Jerzy, s. Gabriela, s. Alfonsa)

Matka Zofia na audiencji prywatnej u Papieża JPII w Rzymie 1983

Z Prymasem kard. S. Wyszyńskim w Sali domu generalnego – 22 sierpień 1970 r

S. Edmunda z s. Bolesława i postulantkami w drukarni 1971 r.

Dawna zecernia 1954.

S. Daria Lewczuk z s. Ignacja Gniado w zecerni (około 1970 r)


Blessed Father Ignacy Kłopotowski was a great devotee of the Eucharist and Mary. Sisters of Loretto are trying to maintain and develop his spirituality. What more one can give to God and to people than to join every day in the Holy Sacrifice of Christ at Eucharist. What greater happiness one can give than to pray for people in need, faithfully help an old woman or bring God’s love to a child. Mary is the Mother and Mistress of every Loretto sister. Each chapel has a statue of the Madonna of Loretto – a visible sign influences the building of a closer relationship with Mary. The Loretto sisters venerate Madonna in a special way and spread Her devotion. Every month the Loretto Printing House publishes “Rosary” magazine that strengthens and deepens the faith of many people.

“Różaniec” (Rosary) is accompanied by the monthly children’s magazine “Anioł Stróż” (Guardian Angel), the monthly family magazine “Tak Rodzinie” (Yes to the Family) and many religious books. A similar mine of God’s word is the printing and publishing house of the Loretto Sisters in Pessano, Baia Mare and Braclaw.

The General House is located at 18 Ks. I. Kłopotowskiego street in Warsaw. Nowadays, the congregation has 21 houses, including 7 abroad. The Loretto sisters have also opened an outpost in Drohiczyn. This place is important for the congregation because Blessed Father Kłopotowski was baptised in the cathedral of Drohiczyn in July 1866. Furthermore, many Loretto sisters come from this region. Another important information about the congregation is that the most recent place of missionary service is Tanzania.

A very important event for the congregation was the beatification of the Founder which took place on 19 June 2005 in Warsaw. The Sisters constantly feel the intercession of their Father Founder and his care for the congregation and new vocations of Loretto community.

Budowa klasztoru na Bródnie 1976-1978 S. Dorota w samochodzie z pracownikami

S. Hilariona z dziećmi, Warszawa 1974 r.

S. Ekonomka Andrzeja na budowie na Bródnie 1977

Mińsk Mazowiecki ( po 1956 a przed 1965 r.)

Żegiestów Matka Cherubina, s. Teresa, przeł. s. Chryzostoma Jakubczyk 1974


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