Mary Ward International Australia (MWIA) is a registered charity established by the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM) to address the needs of the most disadvantaged in Australia and developing countries around the world.
Inspired by the founder of the Loreto sisters, Mary Ward (1609), MWIA is committed to working towards a more just world where there is respect for the dignity of each person and equal opportunity for all. In particular, MWIA aims to achieve the empowerment of women and children.
MWIA is part of the wider Mary Ward International Network established in 2002. As such, the Loreto Sisters and their colleagues are working on the ground, supporting projects across 23 countries.
Since 2006, MWIA has been providing support to many of these projects that align with our vision to create sustainable change for a just and loving world by empowering women to transform unjust structures that keep them in situations of poverty, marginalisation and submission.
MWIA creates ways for people associated with our projects to collaborate with our mission for justice and development.
This occurs through:
- Building partnerships and working together to achieve change
- Seeking sustainable funding options
- Raising awareness about significant social justice issues
- Educating and empowering individuals and communities to take action
- Encouraging groups to fundraise and make donations
- Promoting volunteering as a way of community
The wider Mary Ward International Network operates in every Loreto province around the world and aims to:
- Promote awareness of and interest in IBVM life and mission
- Forge and maintain ties with former students and friends
- Form links with partners such as international agencies, IBVM institutions and communities
- Seek monetary support for IBVM projects throughout the world
About Mary Ward
Born in 1585 in Protestant England, Mary Ward belonged to a Catholic family caught in the tension between religion and politics. She was condemned by a Church leadership unable to imagine new roles for women, silenced for centuries and she remains unrecognised among those named official ‘saints’ of the Church.
Mary Ward and her companions were convinced God wanted an order of women, under a women’s leadership, responsible only to the Pope, free to be sent wherever there was a need. She took for granted the ability of women to read the signs of their times and to respond where the need seemed greatest, and to remain faithful in such contexts. She identified the education of girls as a fundamental right and she and her companions devoted themselves to this task among other works of justice. Our Loreto Sisters and Mary Ward International Australia work to continue this vision today.
Click here to read more about the life and spirituality of Mary Ward, written by Sr Christine Burke ibvm.
If you would like to find out more about the Loreto Sisters in Australia and South-East Asia please click here.