"I hope in God it will be seen that women in time to come will do much"
Mary Ward (1617)
Mary Ward was a divinely inspired advocate of a radical new way of religious life for women, based on the apostolic model first set out by St Ignatius Loyola in the 16th century.
She offered an audacious vision of what women could and would do in religious life and pioneered a system of education which prepared them for a role in the service of the Church and society which was not confined to the cloister or marriage.
Like the Jesuits, availability was an attribute which Mary Ward considered essential for her members and so she wished them to be free of a vow of stability.
While education has traditionally been central to her Sisters' work over the 400 years since 1609, she herself urged her members to respond to the needs of the times. Their ministry, she wrote, would be “care of the faith and other works congruous to the times”.
Loreto Ministries looks at some of the areas where Loreto Sisters are forging new paths congruous to the needs of the times.
We are companions of Jesus,
Let us meet some of the women who are involved in different ministries across the world
Imelda Poole IBVM is a member of the English Province of IBVM/Loreto. In 2005 this Province opened a new mission in Albania. She has opened an education centre for trafficked victims in Tirana.
She is the co-founder of RENATE (Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation) and URAT (Religious in Albania working against the Trafficking of Human Persons).
Mary O Dwyer IBVM is from the Irish Province of Loreto/IBVM. She belongs to an agency called Partners in Faith in Ireland. They facilitate people in personal and social development from a faith perspective, working with many different groups, particularly, with those who have few economic resources.
She loves her work in Adult Faith Development. She really enjoys relating with people who desire to see God in all the happenings of their daily lives.