The IBVM in Ireland was stablished in 1821, by Mother Teresa Ball, a Dublin woman who, like many Irish Catholic girls of her time, had been educated in The Bar Convent in York. Ireland was emerging from Penal Times and a charismatic Bishop of Dublin, Daniel Murray, was anxious to re-establish the Faith and Catholic Education in the Catholic Church. He asked Mary Ward Institute in York to open a school in Dublin. This was not possible for them at the time, but Mother Coyney agreed to train Frances (Teresa) Ball, who was given the task of bringing the Institute to Ireland.
Mother Teresa responded to the further call to go beyond the Diocese and ultimately to India and the wider world. During Sr. Teresa Ball’s lifetime, she opened 37 convents in Ireland and across the world
The Institute in Ireland had as its main apostolate the education of girls in faith, with a particular emphasis on “schools for the poor.” This resulted in the gradual establishment of Primary and Secondary Schools all over Ireland.
A key element has been ministry with women, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, Migrants, Refugees, the victims of disadvantage and violence in both Northern Ireland and the South and in the area of Trafficking. The Loreto Centre in Crumlin and the Counselling Centre in Omagh provided several members with the opportunities to respond to these needs.
Sharing our Spirituality has become another of our main focus. Members are engaged in Counselling, Art Therapy, in Mindfulness, as Parish Sisters, as Liturgy and Music Co-ordinators, Ministers of the Eucharist and of the Word, bring Holy Communion to Nursing Homes and to the elderly and sick in their homes, participate in Baptism Teams, and as members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, care for the poor and elderly. Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation ministry has grown and developed in recent years, with a member who links with communities and schools and who represents the Province with the United Nations and Institute JPIC Offices.
More information: www.loreto.ie