Since her first companions gathered with Mary Ward in 1609, her vision has inspired women from every continent to join together to serve where “the need is greatest” across 45 countries. Today the two branches, Congregation of Jesus and IBVM-Loreto, work increasingly closely together, educating women so that they might live creatively their particular call from God and contribute to a better world.
About Mary Ward
Under the leadership of Gonzaga Barry the Loreto Sisters came to Australia in 1875. They founded schools in five states, of which seven are still thriving – Mary’s Mount, Ballarat (1875), Normanhurst (1897) and Kirribilli (1907) in Sydney, Marryatville in Adelaide (1905), Mandeville Hall, Melbourne (1924), Nedlands in Perth (1931) and Coorparoo in Brisbane (1927).
Two more, Loreto Osborne (1901) and Loreto Portland (1884) have formed local amalgamations and maintain links with their Loreto heritage: John XXIII College in Perth (1977) and Bayview College, Portland (1977). The sisters also taught in more than twenty parish schools, opened the first free Catholic kindergarten in South Melbourne (1912) and provided commercial training for school leavers in Ballarat and South Melbourne.
Photos from top:
Delegates at the General Congregation in Spain 2014.
Image from The Painted Life of Mary Ward Series
Loreto Portland children with dolls in the 1920s.