IBVM Canada

July 29, 2022

“Loretto sisters” (with double “t”, as they are known here), arrived in Canada in 1847, at the request of Michael Power, Bishop of Toronto. Teresa Ball sent five young sisters from Ireland to serve the needs of the immigrant Irish population. The community struggled under severe conditions of poverty and deprivation. A few years later, new sisters were sent from Ireland and  young women from the Catholic community in Toronto began to enter the congregation.

The pioneer Loretto community experienced a number of stumbling blocks due to their distance from the Motherhouse in Ireland. The physical distance made communication difficult and cultural differences in the early 19th and 20th centuries also necessitated adaptations.

With regret, to facilitate better administration in Canada, the Sisters applied for independent status from Ireland which was granted in 1881. Nevertheless, one century later, they were reunited with the founding branch in 2003.

Over the years, the Loretto sisters expanded their Ministry. Nowadays, their work includes outreach to the poor, ministry to prisoners, retreat work and spiritual direction, work with refugees, parish ministry and a variety of other works as needs have arisen.


Watching the Mary Ward Day TV Mass at Mercy Circle, Chicago.