Mary Ward

Mary Ward (1585-1645)Mary Ward (1585-1645)Mary Ward was a Yorkshire woman who lived at a time of struggle and persecution for the Catholic Church in her native England. Her vision of religious life for women was derived from that of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits.

Three significant moments in her spiritual journey were the founding experiences of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loretto Sisters). These experiences are commonly called:

  • The ‘Glory’ Vision (1609): her call to live for God’s glory
  • The Inspiration to take the Ignatian way of life (1611)
  • The ‘Just Soul’ experience (1615) with its emphasis on right relationships, integrity and the freedom to refer all to God.



The key concepts of our spirituality are that in everything we:

  • work for the greater glory of God;
  • seek and find God in all things;
  • work to be “wholly God’s”;
  • refer everything to God;
  • be contemplatives in action.