Friends of Mary Ward

One of the early paintings of Mary Ward and her companions shows them sitting in an open circle, facing the viewer. Today, the Congregation of Jesus is still an ‘open circle’, welcoming many people who also find Mary Ward a source of inspiration.

Lay groups of Friends of Mary Ward have developed worldwide, and are run by lay people and supported by local CJ and IBVM communities. English Friends of Mary Ward are based around London, York and Manchester, and meet a few times a year as we seek to deepen our understanding of Mary’s vision and spirituality. Enquiries are always welcome from women and men who are interested in learning more about Mary Ward.

International gathering of Friends of Mary Ward

We aim to…

  • interpret the spirit of Mary Ward for lay people in response to the needs, challenges and hopes of our times
  • respond more fully to our Christian vocation, inspired by Mary Ward’s vision for the apostolate of women today
  • make Mary Ward better known, believing in her significance for the world today
  • foster the vision of the Kingdom by supporting and deepening the spiritual life of the members, in particular through the spirituality of Mary Ward and St Ignatius
  • collaborate in work, prayer and friendship with the Congregation of Jesus, the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and with other existing or emerging Mary Ward lay associations or affiliations worldwide

For further information, please make contact via

O my God, how generous you are, and how rich are those to whom you choose to be a friend.

– Mary Ward (1585 – 1645)