Our Foundress

Mary Ward

Mary Ward the foundress of the Congregation of Jesus was born at Yorkshire, England on 23rd January, 1585. She grew up at a time when English catholic suffered persecution, loss of property honor and even life for the sake of their faith. “To be wholly God’s” Mary Ward left her home and family at the age of 21 and went to France. In 1609 along with a group of companions she began a new type of religious life, inspired by Ignatian spirituality. It was founded primarily for the defence and propagation of faith through active apostolate- Education of youth, pastoral and any other charitable works which seem proper to further the glory of God and the common good. She worked untiringly for the upliftment of women and the restoration of their dignity, training them to assume their responsibilities in society and in the church. Her spirit has inspired countless women all over the world to dedicate their lives wholeheartedly to the service of humanity by “referring all to God”. The 17th century Yorkshire woman, Mary Ward, founded a new form of religious life for women based on the model of the Society of Jesus. Her vision was to free women from the cloister to work with people in the world “wherever the need was greatest”.

“I had no other desire than to give myself over in all these difficulties and place myself with these uncertainties into the hands of God.”


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