Prayer for the Beatification of Mary Ward
God, creator of all that is good,
we thank you for giving Mary Ward
to the Church and to the world.
Impelled by the fire of your love
she did not shrink from risks,
labours or sufferings.
She lived and worked
for your greater glory,
for the good of the Church,
for the nurture of faith
and for the dignity of women.
She was a pilgrim, who spread
the joy of the gospel.
A women for our times.
Grant that through the
solemn testimony of the Church
the example of her life
may be a light for all
who seek God’s will.
From January 23rd – 30th, we celebrated Mary Ward Week. With the help of our prayer booklet, beautifully written by members of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loretto Sisters) and Congregation of Jesus, all of the Mary Ward family entered more deeply into Mary’s life, mission, and charism. Together, we prayed for Mary as ‘A woman rooted in God,’ ‘A model of forgiveness,’ ‘A pioneer for women in expressing themselves through art,’ ‘A woman of courage,’ ‘A beacon of light in difficult times,’ An inspiration for 21st century women,’ ‘A compassionate woman,’ and with her concern for the marginalized. Praying across borders, reflecting on Mary Ward’s life and inspiration, and her influence in our congregation today, is an act of unity and of graced belonging in our Institute. We are women of freedom, justice, and sincerity, grounded in the joy of the gospel and in relationship with Christ.
A moving expression of our unity was our celebration of Mass in honour of Mary Ward and for her beatification on January 23rd at Loretto Abbey:
We celebrated with our Associates and Sisters with a special reflection on the movement towards union of the IBVM and CJ branches of our Institute.
At Loretto College, we celebrated Mary Ward Week in numerous ways:
- Creating a display for our residents on the life of Mary Ward and some of the creative ways the congregation has shared her unique charism and mission
- Featuring quotes from Mary Ward each day to inspire and guide our residents
- Hosting a social gathering with residents and Sisters – our ‘Mary Ward High Tea’ – and making our own lemon juice letters
- Celebrating our annual Mary Ward Formal Dinner – this year incorporating the Lunar New Year to honour the diversity of our residents
- Enjoying a ‘Marvellous Monday’ activity offering words of wisdom from our foundress and the opportunity to win a ‘Mary Ward Prize Pack’
- Sharing with our staff and extended community at Loretto College, a new Salt + Light documentary on the Loretto Sisters: Something More Than Ordinary
A week full of activity, to be sure, but even more, a week full of blessing.