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 person.
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.