Foundations of Our Institute

Mary Ward

The Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary was founded by an Englishwoman, Mary Ward, in 1609. Her dream was to begin a new kind of community of women religious – an independent self-governing congregation patterned after that of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), free of the confines of the cloister, and responding to the urgent needs of her time.

Teresa Ball

The Institute further expanded across geographic boundaries through the incredible vision of Irishwoman Teresa Ball, who brought the Institute to Ireland. Through Teresa, the Institute made new foundations in India, Mauritius, Canada, and many other countries.