In 1932 the Loreto Past Pupils Union was formed – a realisation of a vision of Mother General Raphael Deasy, to have a Union of Past Pupils with representatives from all Loreto Schools. The inaugural meeting was held in Loreto Abbey Rathfarnham and the first president was Lady Broderick, a past pupil of Loreto Abbey Rathfarnham.
Monthly meetings were subsequently held in Loreto College, 53 St. Stephen’s Green until 2005 when the Union opened its own office at Loreto Hall, 77 St.Stephen’s Green. In 2016 the Union moved its office back to where it was founded, in the grounds of Abbey House Rathfarnham.
Early records set out the aims of the Union which were ‘to maintain cordial relations among Past Pupils of Loreto schools, to foster among them a spirit of mutual aid as well as loyal co-operation in the works of zeal undertaken by the past pupils’ sodalities and any such activities that may be started to support and strengthen Loreto’s participation in Catholic action’.
From the start a particular focus for members was on social work in the Dublin of that time which was a city of abject poverty and poor living conditions. The aims of the Loreto Past Pupils’ Union are enshrined in their Constitution which have been updated from time to time to reflect changing times. The Past Pupils’ Union continues to support the Loreto ethos of social justice.
From the 1930’s right up to the sixties the Union was actively involved in the Catholic Social Service of the city of Dublin mainly through various Clubs. These included North Great George’s Street Social Club, Mount Street Social Club, and Loreto Union Social Club Westland Row. The clubs provided activities and classes for disadvantaged groups. With a changing Dublin and the relocation of many Dubliners to the suburbs in the sixties the work of the clubs became redundant. However, this did not deter the Union from its mission as members continued to provide support for many local charities through fundraising and practical help.
The Loreto Past Pupils Union continues to reach out to those on the margins of society. Each year the Union organises many events to raise funds for specific charities for example the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Loreto Schools, Loreto Sisters working in challenging ministries at home and abroad, organisations that give support to the homeless.
The Past Pupils Union also meet for social events. Each year a golf outing is organised through the Loreto Golf Society, there are bridge nights and trips within and outside Ireland. Members join with some of the Dublin Loreto Schools – Crumlin, Dalkey, Stephen’s Green and Foxrock – during the month of December for Carol Singing on Grafton Street in Dublin. This event raises much money for many of the charities supported by the Union.
The Loreto Past Pupils’ Union encourages School Leavers to keep up Loreto links by joining a local branch of the Union or, if in Dublin, to get in touch.
For more information follow the Loreto Past Pupils’ Union on their website: www.loretopastpupilsunion.ie