A WOMAN BEYOND COMPARE
Foundress of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto), pioneer in the field
of education, Mary Ward foresaw the need for a sound religious and moral education
for young women who would assume responsibility in society.
The serenity and confidence in God with which Mary Ward accepted opposition and
sufferings makes her a model of faith, trust and courage for all. Her conviction
was that “Women in time to come will do much.”
In 1985 we celebrated the 4th Centenary of the birth of MARY WARD. In 2011, we celebrated
the 4th Centenary of the founding of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (the
Congregation of Loreto). Although her aims and objectives of education were formulated
in the early 17th century, so farseeing was she, that the goals of our education
today are in essence the same as the goals of our Foundress. In modern society,
the most important issues to be raised are issues of values and the translation
of these values into action. Hence, the goal of our education today continues to
be the all-round development of the child. This prepares every student to take her
place and make her contribution to society.
Thus Loreto education today follows the goals set by Mary Ward – ‘that incomparable
woman” who saw Integrity, Justice, Freedom and Love as essential qualities for any
Francis Ball was born in Ireland in 1794, and educated at St. Mary’s Convent, a
boarding school conducted by the members of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin
Mary, in York, England. She heard the unmistakable call of God “Seek first the
Kingdom of God and His Justice and all these things will be added unto you”. At the
age of twenty, Francis returned to New York to enter the novitiate, preparing herself
for the foundation of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ireland, and made
her profession as Mother Teresa. In 1821 Teresa Ball established the first House
of the Institute in Ireland and called it Loreto, the name by which all the subsequent
foundations made from Ireland are still known.
Loreto in India owes its origin to a visit by Dr Bakhaus to Loreto Abbey, Ireland,
in 1840 to request Mother Teresa Ball to send sisters to set up a School for Catholic
children in Calcutta. In 1841, Mother Teresa Ball sent seven Loreto Sisters and
five Postulants, all in their twenties, under the Leadership of Delphine Hart to
India, announcing that they would probably never see their homeland again. They
were welcomed at Calcutta by Bishop Carew, and installed at Loreto House, 7, Middleton
Row. They were the first congregation of Sisters to come to North India.
Mother Agnes Walsh, born on 21st February, dedicated her entire life for the cause
of education. Mother Agnes was appointed Provincial of India in1962.Being a visionary,
she proposed the formation of LORETO DELHI at a meeting held in Calcutta on 6th
January 1964. She did not wait for the building to be constructed. Instead, she
acquired a bungalow in the Cantonment,which is now 28, The Mall and started classes
in tents. The school shifted to its present location in July 1966.