A WOMAN BEYOND COMPARE
Foundress of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto) and a pioneer in the field of education, Mary Ward foresaw the need for a sound religious and moral education for young women who would assume responsibility in society. The serenity and confidence in God with which Mary Ward accepted opposition and sufferings makes her a model of faith, trust and courage for all. Her conviction was that “Women in time to come will do much.” In 1985 we celebrated the 4th Centenary of the birth of MARY WARD. In 2011, we celebrated the 4th Centenary of the founding of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (the Congregation of Loreto). Although her aims and objectives of education were formulated in the early 17th century, she was so farseeing that the goals of our education today are, in essence, the same as the goals of our Foundress. In modern society, the most important issues to be raised are issues of values and the translation of these values into action. Hence, the goal of our education today continues to be the all-round development of the child. This prepares every student to take her place and make her contribution to society. Thus, Loreto education today follows the goals set by Mary Ward – ‘that incomparable woman”, who saw Integrity, Justice, Freedom and Love as essential qualities for any person. Loreto Day School, Bow Bazar, Kolkata
Francis Ball was born in Ireland in 1794, and educated at St. Mary’s Convent, a boarding school conducted by the members of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in York, England. She heard the unmistakable call of God “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Justice and all these things will be added unto you”. At the age of twenty, Francis returned to New York to enter the novitiate, preparing herself for the foundation of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ireland, and made her profession as Mother Teresa. In 1821 Teresa Ball established the first House of the Institute in Ireland and called it “Loreto”, the name by which all the subsequent foundations made from Ireland are still known.
Loreto in India owes its origin to a visit by Dr Bakhaus to Loreto Abbey, Ireland, in 1840 to request Mother Teresa Ball to send Sisters to set up a School for Catholic children in Calcutta. In 1841, Mother Teresa Ball sent seven Loreto Sisters and five Postulants, all in their twenties, under the Leadership of Delphine Hart to India, announcing that they would probably never see their homeland again. They were welcomed in Calcutta by Bishop Carew, and installed at Loreto House, 7, Middleton Row. They were the first congregation of Sisters to come to North India.
Mother Agnes Walsh, born on 21st February, dedicated her entire life for the cause of education. Mother Agnes was appointed Provincial of India in 1962. Being a visionary, she proposed the formation of LORETO DELHI at a meeting held in Calcutta on 6th January 1964. She did not wait for the building to be constructed, instead, she acquired a bungalow in the Cantonment, which is now 28, The Mall and started classes in tents. The school shifted to its present location in July 1966.