Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Mary Ward

Mary (Joan) Ward

Mary was an English lay sister who entered the convent of Poor Clares at St.Omer (1606) and adopted the name of "Mary".

Mary founded a religious community for women in France three years later (1609) that included a school for girls. Mary went on to establish communities at: Liege, Cologne, Vienna, Prague, Rome, Naples and elsewhere. Each community would have a school for English refugee boarding students and poor local girls.

Mary attempted to establish a school in England (1619) similar to those she had established throughout Europe, emphasisng the study of Latin. However, she was forced to deny charges that it was her intent to have these women preach sermons and administer the sacrements. As such, the English authorities suppress her schools for girls. Mary will continue to operate them, defying persecution.

Pope Urban VIII issues a Decree (1631) dissolving her institutes for women. However, upon hearing of Mary's imprisonment in Germany, Pope Urban VIII orders her release from her small cell.

Mary will go to Rome where she will remain. Mary will again return to England (1639) and opens a school in her hometown of York. The Civil War is raging throughout the English countryside, causing disruptions of her classes at her schools (1642). Mary is now 57yo.

Mary will continue to run the school at York until her death (c.1645).

More on Mary Ward.

~~~ Melisende


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Wow, a woman o unquestionable faith, vision and perserverance. No wonder the the Loreto sisters enjoy worldwide recognition to date