On Saturday, CJ and IBVM sisters from the UK met at Loreto VI Form College, Manchester for a ‘Links Plus’ day. These days are a wonderful opportunity for the two branches of Mary Ward’s Institute to meet and share news, get to know one another better, and explore our shared history. On this occasion we were joined by both our General Superiors, Sr Jane Livesey CJ and Sr Noelle Corscadden IBVM.
We were lucky to have with us two IBVM archivists, Áine and Sr Kathleen, who shared with us some of their research. Sr Kathleen gave a moving presentation on Mother Michael Corcoran IBVM, and her role in the efforts for CJ-IBVM union in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and Áine gave a wonderful presentation on the ‘ties of sisterly and loving affection’ so evident in the letters of superiors of both branches of the Institute.
Áine’s talk is available in the Talks and Documents section of this website here.
The Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto) was founded by Frances Teresa Ball in 1821. The Archbishop of Dublin, Daniel Murray, had asked the superior of the Bar Convent, York, Mother Elizabeth Coyney, to make a foundation in Dublin. She replied saying that she did not have sisters to spare to make a foundation, but that she was willing to train and send Teresa Ball, who had been at school at the Bar Convent. Teresa spent seven years at the Bar Convent, and returned to Dublin with a copy of the old Ignatian Constitutions, which at that point were not in use in York, which had become more monastic under the leadership of Elizabeth Coyney . Teresa always considered the Bar Convent her ‘mother abode’ and her foundation in Dublin as a daughter house. Over the years, correspondence between the superiors of IBVM houses and the Bar Convent was an important part of the journey towards recovering the Ignatian spirit of Mary Ward’s Institute.
The day finished with Mass celebrated by Fr Brendan Callaghan SJ, who gave a thoughtful homily reflecting on the sacrifice of Isaac, and the difference between resignation and faith. Fr Brendan’s homily is also available in the Talks and Documents section here.
Thanks to all who organised this wonderful day, which gave us an opportunity to celebrate our shared heritage. Ut unum sint!