Living the Message

SAINT JOSEPH’S LILIES AND THE LORETTO RAINBOW WERE LITERARY JOURNALS, each published quarterly by their respective communities, designed to foster a love of literature and offer a vehicle by which alumnae could stay up to date on community news, including university news. Saint Joseph Lilies, founded by Gertrude Lawler in 1911, was published until 1954, while The Loretto Rainbow, founded by Mother Filament Clancy, began life in 1892 as The Loretto Leaflets, and was published until 1959.

Saint Joseph Lilies

Saint Joseph Lilies cover, June 1922.

Saint Joseph Lilies was a quarterly literary magazine published by the St. Joseph’s Alumnae Association. The Alumnae Association was established 1911 with Gertrude Lawler serving as first president and founding editor of the St. Joseph Lilies. It had two stated objectives: “to unite the Alumnae of St. Joseph’s College; second to prove the loyalty of the Alumnae to their Alma Mater.”

Beginning in 1912, each quarterly volume contained on average 130 pages of text and at least four photographic plates. Most contributions were prose but poetry was also published. The contributors, both men and women, were drawn primarily from the Catholic community in Canada but also included American and British authors and represented both the religious and secular communities. Alumnae also contributed articles on a variety of subjects. Regular features of the magazine included reports from St. Joseph’s College School, Toronto and St. Joseph’s College at St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto.

This quarterly magazine was published by the congregation until 1954.

Editors of the Saint Joseph Lilies

Gertrude Lawler: 1912-1914

Sr. M. Emerentia Lonergan: 1914-1918

Sr. M. St. John O’Malley: 1918-1920

Sr. M. Avila McGuane: 1920-1921

Sr. M. Dympna Stritch: 1921-1926

Sr. M. Leonarda Flanagan: 1926-1954

Read the following St. Joseph Lilies publications online

The Loretto Rainbow

Detail from The Rainbow cover, 1918. (University of St. Michael’s College Archives)

The Loretto Rainbow was a literary quarterly which served as the official publication of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in North America.  The purpose of the magazine was two-fold first, to cultivate the literary taste of the pupils and to encourage young Catholic women-writers by giving them a Catholic magazine of their own during school years while encouraging an active interest in the Catholic press in post-school years.  The second purpose was to serve as a link between the schools of the Institute by exchanging news and keeping pupils and friends in touch with “Loretto” activities.

The magazine was edited by a joint staff of students and their religious teachers.  It was founded by Mother Filomena Clancy at Loretto Academy in Niagara Falls in 1892, and was published as the Loretto Leaflets until 1906 when the name was changed to the Niagara Rainbow.  As more of the Loretto schools became involved, it was called simply The Rainbow  and by 1933, became the general Loretto magazine under the name, The Loretto Rainbow.

The contributors included not only the staff and students of Loretto schools in North America, but also of houses of the Institute abroad.  As well, leading articles by distinguished writers in varied walks of life were included.

The magazine was published until 1959 under the general editorship of the following faculty members:

Mother Filomena Clancy (nom de plume, “Karalice”): 1892 – 1916

Mother Alberta Chilton (“Hildegarde”):
1916 – 1936

Mother Bernard Donnelly: 1936 – 1948

Mother Margaret Ordway and Mother Marcia Smyth: 1948 – 1959

Read the following Loretto Rainbow publications online