In recent years the Philippines has offered many religious congregations the opportunity for prospective members to prepare for religious life alongside other young women and men who feel a similar call. This possibility attracted the Loreto Sisters together with varied theology schools for further education.
Mary Ward women around the world (IBVM and CJ) are making significant links with each other and, together, established the Mary Ward Study House. This collaborative effort is significant. Over six years young Korean and Chinese Sisters have been part of the community, together with Sisters from Australia, Vietnam, USA, Tanzania, and visitors from India, Kenya, England, Canada, Spain and Hungary. The young women in the initial formation program, who over the years have come from Australia, Canada Vietnam, Bangladesh and India, live in another house and the two communities come together for important occasions.
Most of the community are English or theology students. One Sister runs a small after school learning centre for children from a poor squatter area. Of the two older Sisters, one is involved in lecturing at local theological colleges, workshops, and thesis supervision while the other is a great organizer and cares for the many aspects of daily life. Those in the formation house attend courses for young people on the journey to religious life, with input on spirituality, psycho-spiritual development and the theological and scriptural supports they need, while working at home with their formators on the charisms of Mary Ward and Ignatius.
Feature Image: Loreto Sisters from Australia, Vietnam, Timor-Leste and India gathering in the Philippines.