Associates, also known as Companions and Friends of Mary Ward, are located in many of our provinces/ regions across the world. They are people from all walks of life, young and old, who want to share in the spirituality and mission of the Institute of as their own life commitments allow them.
In every part of the Institute, associates and friends are playing an important role and are deeply engaged in the life of the Institute. In many places they are social and pastoral care workers, teachers, support staff and education officers, development workers, treasurers, secretaries and archivists, carers and support staff of all kinds. In some places colleagues and co-workers, past pupils and friends seek formal opportunities for commitment.
The Associate/ Friends relationship differs from province to province within the IBVM. In some countries they are directly involved in the mission of the Institute and make a formal commitment. In others, the relationship is more informal and the friends gather together to pray, learn about Mary Ward and sometimes go on pilgrimage or retreat.
All associates/friends have the opportunity to deepen their spirituality and to learn and live the charism of Mary Ward in the 21st century.