Mary Ward spent three different periods (1621-1626; 1629-1630; 1632-1637) of her life in Rome. Then Mary Ward’s first successors lived here, except Mary Poyntz, who from 1662 to 1667 lived in Augsburg. After the confirmation of the 81 Rules in 1703, the then Superior General Anna Barbara Babthorpe closed the foundation in Rome which, since Mary Ward’s time, had been situated near Santa Maria Maggiore. It was only in September 1897 that the “English Ladies” returned to Rome and opened a house on Via Nazionale and began teaching foreign languages and later opened a Primary School and a Kindergarten.
The house in Via Nomentana was founded in 1911. Until 1919 the foundation was a filiation of the English local house. In 1919 Via Nomentana house was established as a local house under the Munich-Nymphenburg Generalate.
In 1929 the General Chapter of the Nymphenburg Generalate was held and Giovanna Damascena Stegmüller, who had been superior of the Roman House, was elected as General Superior. The same general Chapter moved the seat of the Generalate from Munich to Rome in fulfilment of one of Mary Ward’s wishes, to have the centre of her Institute in Rome. At the 1953 General Chapter (Union chapter) the Generalates of Mainz and St Pölten were united with Rome-Nymphenburg, with M. Edelburga Sölzbacher as the first Superior General, and the house on Via Nomentana became the seat of the Generalate of the Roman branch of Mary Ward’s Institute, the Congregation of Jesus (CJ).
At present the members of the General Leadership Team live in this Generalate house together with a small community of sisters serving the CJ. The house is also used for international CJ and IBVM meetings and to host sisters who participate in on-going formation programmes. In addition, some of the facilities of the house are offered to host refugee women for a period of time, in a collaboration with Centro Astalli in Rome.
More information at: http://www.congregatiojesu.org/