Frances Teresa Ball
The Loreto branch of the IBVM was introduced to Ireland in 1820 by Frances Teresa Ball. Inspired by the call to “Seek first the kingdom of God”, she entered the Bar Convent in York and having completed her noviciate, returned to Dublin to found a school for the education of girls. She named the first convent and school in Dublin ‘Loreto’. Other schools were founded from it at the request of bishops from other parts of Ireland as well as further afield.
All these schools were known as ‘Loreto’. For this reason, we are known to this day by many as the ‘Loreto sisters’. By the time of her death, the missionary thrust of Loreto was well under way. Following the vision of Mary Ward, the sisters provided education and care for many girls in areas of the greatest poverty and deprivation – in Manchester and also in Calcutta.