Sister Lupe Arciniega, pioneer in Hispanic ministry, dies at 87

Sister of Loretto Guadalupe “Lupe” Arciniega

Sister of Loretto Guadalupe “Lupe” Arciniega, formerly Sister Mary Aloysius, died Nov. 10 at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown, Ky. She was 87 and in her 69th year as a Sister of Loretto.

Sister Arciniega, a native of El Paso, Texas, was received into the Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross on May 24, 1955.

She dedicated her life to the service of Hispanic and Latino workers and families in Bolivia, Peru, Kentucky, California and Alabama. She was a co-founder of Colegio Loreto in La Paz, Bolivia, and later taught in Peru, where she developed and directed a TV and radio program to teach literacy and life skills to indigenous women. 

In the 1970s, she worked with Mexican farmworkers in Wyoming and California, alongside Cesar Chavez in Los Angeles during the lettuce boycott.

She also worked in social and pastoral ministry. In the Archdiocese of Louisville, Sister Arciniega pioneered work with migrant communities, helping establish Centro Latino at the Church of the Annunciation in Shelbyville and Casa Guadalupana in Springfield. In 1994, she began leading Catholic Charities of Louisville’s first ministry to Hispanics. 

She was also a “founding mother” of the Casa Latina Catholic Worker and La Casita Center, which serve women and families. In 2005, Sister Arciniega was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame.

She is survived by her brother Rudy Arciniega of Dallas and her sister Yolanda Talamantes of El Paso, nieces, nephews and her Loretto community.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. in the Loretto Motherhouse in Nerinx, Ky. The wake will be Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the motherhouse. Burial will be in Our Lady of Sorrows Cemetery in Nerinx on Nov. 20.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Sisters of Loretto, ℅ Loretto Motherhouse, 515 Nerinx Road, Nerinx, Ky., 40049, or online at

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