From August 2021 to August 2022, we celebrate the Bicentenary of the foundation of Mary Ward’s Institute in Ireland. Frances Teresa Ball returned to Ireland from her formation at the Bar Convent in York in August 1821. She began the first IBVM community and school in Dublin and, in so doing, established the beloved name Loreto. 

Over the next four decades, until her death in 1861, Mother Teresa Ball oversaw the growth of Loreto not just in Ireland but around the world. Under her leadership, Loreto Sisters were missioned to Canada, Spain, India, England and Mauritius and established over 30 foundations. In 1875, Gonzaga Barry and her companions were sent from Ireland to Australia in that same outward spirit of Teresa Ball’s vision. Teresa Ball was responsible for this global expansion, despite never having set out on such a path. Underpinned by her strong sense of faith, hope and courage, her enterprising leadership and responsiveness to the needs around her, Teresa Ball’s place in the story of Mary Ward’s institute is pivotal. Her desire “to go and set the world on fire”, with the love of God and in the footsteps of her foundress Mary Ward, is celebrated in this Bicentenary Year.

About Teresa Ball

On August 12, 1821, Teresa & two young Irish companions, Ann Therry (M. Baptist) and Eleanor Artur (M. Ignatia), arrive home in Dublin. These three young women were to found a new school and a new religious community – IBVM Ireland.

In holding this story of the Loreto branch of the Institute in our hearts we acknowledge the commitment and generosity of Teresa Ball and so many great members of our Institute. We bring their story to fulfilment in a way that will open up our charism and stretch it to new beginnings. We will reflect on mission and how we are being called to “go out” in today’s world, we will reflect on leadership and how we are all called as women to lead in our world and our Church today…

Sr Noelle Corscadden ibvm, Institute Leader

IBVM Bicentenary Jubilee Ecology Project

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Banner Image created by Loreto Schools Faith Development Ireland – used with permission from Loreto Education Trust.