About Us

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Mary Ward
(1585-1645)

Who is Mary Ward?

Mary Ward , the Foundress of the C.J was born and brought up in Elizabethen England where fierce persecution of Catholics had been going on. Mary Ward’s life was stamped by those hard times and she saw the necessities of Catholics in England and their great risk of keeping up Catholic faith.Mary realized that the future of the Church in England depended upon the education of children.

imageAs convents were not possible in England then, Mary crossed over to St.Omer in Belgium ( now in France) in 1609 and with the help of a few companions,started schools for Catholic Children,who were exiles from England as well as children of that place. Their work needed personal communication and conferences, but at that time women religious had to remain within cloisters and active apostolic active apostolic activities were not permitted.

imageIn 1611, God showed her that her Institute must “take the same of the Society of Jesus, in matter and manner, as far as applicable for women.” She was also shown that in administrative matters, her Institute was not subject to the Society.

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Seeing the good work done by Mary Ward’s Institute , the Civil and Church authorities of many countries in Europe invited them to open schools. At the same time accusations and oppositions mounted up that her Institute overstepped the limits which the Society had set for women, by their rejection of cloister and doing active apostolic activities. Mary Ward was the one who uttered for the first time in those days,”Let women be governed by women,” and “women in time to come will do great things.” The authorities of the Church closed Mary Ward’s schools and even put her in prison. Later in God’s time, Mary Ward’s work for the benefit of humanity was recognized and the Institute obtained approbation of the Church.

Do good and Go it well (Marry ward)