The IBVM Sisters arrived in Spain thanks to the missionary impulse of Teresa Ball (Ireland). In 1845, she funded a community in Gibraltar and, from there, they came to Spain and started a school in Cadiz. The origin of the first sisters made them become known as ‘Irlandesas’, and that’s how most people know them today.
But this first experience was short: ten years later, they had to leave the country because of political instability. Nevertheless, they came back in 1888, led by M. Stanislaus Murphy. This time, they established themselves in Castilleja de la Cuesta (Sevilla), where they are still present, and from there, they expanded to Seville, Madrid, and Bilbao.
Historically, they have been focused on Education -there are six BVM schools in Spain-, but today, IBVM sisters are also involved in other ministries, such as social and pastoral work.
More info in: www.ibvm.es
In Spain, the CJ are also present, and both congregations are already working together in different aspects, for example, in the creation of a joint Foundation for the eight Mary Ward schools in the country.