To know Jesus, to love him, and to follow him is the heart of the call to religious life in the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary       (Constitution Vol II 5.1) 

In the early 1600’s, Mary Ward envisioned a religious community of women who were not cloistered, had no specific religious dress, and were free to bring God’s love wherever there was need. She firmly believed that “women in time to come would do much” for the Church and the world. Today this idea is not so novel, but in 1609, it was truly revolutionary. 


Our life is built on faith in Jesus. It is based on loving relationships with God and God’s people in a delicate balance of prayer, community, and ministry.

It is supported and strengthened by our vows of poverty (interdependence), chastity (community as primary relationship), and obedience (full participation and accountability in the life of the Institute).

We are contemplatives-in-action living in the spirit of St. Ignatius, ready to discern and respond to the needs of the time.

We respond to God who calls each of us uniquely. We look to Mary Ward’s vision of faith to inspire us and to enable us to understand our common vocation in her Institute.  We are inspired by the qualities Mary Ward deemed necessary for those “called to a vocation of love.” 

Would you like to learn more about religious life?  
To explore the IBVM possibilities, please contact our Vocations Office.

Vocations Office

 Mary Carton, IBVM
  630 868 2902  Email