“Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven’t done a thing. You are just talking.”
Wangari Maathai, Nobel Laureate
1989 – The Loretto Southwest Volunteers is founded. Volunteers work for a summer with sisters of Loretto in cities in Colorado and New Mexico.
1991- The program is renamed Loretto Volunteers and expands to cities outside the Southwest. Through most of the 1990s, one volunteer usually lives in a house of sisters while working in Loretto ministries – at places like a juvenile detention center, a women’s safe house and the Denver Catholic Worker house.
1994 - The Loretto Volunteer Program houses three volunteers at the Lockwood House, a Loretto property in St. Louis, for six months.
2000 - Volunteers are offered health insurance for the first time. Five volunteers serve this year, most in Denver.
2001 - Coordinator Barbara Mecker, CoL, organizes the first Loretto Volunteer orientation at the Motherhouse, a tradition that still continues. Volunteers in Denver live together with sisters in Casa Loretto. Casa Loretto moves twice over the course of the next few years, but houses many volunteers in Denver until its closing in 2008.
2002 - The Loretto Volunteer Program places its first volunteer at the Loretto office at the United Nations in New York. The program has regularly placed volunteers at the United Nations for a year or a summer ever since.
2007 - Coordinator Barb Mecker, CoL and her husband, Brian Hammond, CoL create a Loretto Volunteer website.
2010 – The Loretto Volunteer Program opens Junia House, a volunteer house in Mt. Rainier, MD.
2012- Junia House moves from Mt. Rainier, MD to the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The program opens a second volunteer house at the Lockwood House in Webster Groves, MO.
2015 – The Loretto Volunteer Program celebrates 25 years!
2017 - St. Louis Volunteer house moves from the Lockwood House in Webster Groves to the new Tobin House in Maplewood, MO.