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News & Current Events

News & Current Events

"It's Your World" - UN Update

Posted on September 18, 2019 in: Global News

Download below the latest news from IBVM NGO office at the UN

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Loretto Event 2019

Posted on September 13, 2019 in: Development

Our new and updated 2019 Loretto Event was a success!  Thanks to all who donated, attended, volunteered, and contributed.  A very special thank you to Megon McDonough and Peter Polzak for performing hits from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.  "Dedicated to the Ones We Love" was a fun time for our sisters, friends, donors, staff, and all who were able to attend this year!  Click the file below to read the program book from the event.  

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Diane's Health Hints

Posted on September 13, 2019 in: General News

Diane's Health Hints
Diane's Health Hints, September edition, is here!   Click below, related file, to download the current issue. Missed an issue?  No need to worry, all issues are archived on the Publications page of our website.

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JPIC Calendar September

Posted on September 01, 2019 in: JPIC

Download the JPIC Calendar HERE

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News from South Asia

Posted on September 01, 2019 in: Global News

The South Asia Province June-August Newsletter has arrived.  Click below to download.

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Our IBVM history has many beautiful, wonderful experiences. As I look at the clock in my office I remember wonderful times of liturgies, meetings, and happy memories. This clock, however, has another memory. On Tuesday, August 28, 1990 at 3:27 p.m. a tornado blew through Plainfield, Crest Hill, Joliet, Illinois and other nearby towns at 250-350 m.p.h.  St. Mary Immaculate Church and School were devastated as well as the town of Plainfield and many others. Sister Mary Keenan IBVM, the principal of the school and Gloria Sanchez, a young woman who taught music, were killed inside the school. The clock had surviv...

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STOP Trafficking in Persons!

Posted on September 01, 2019 in: JPIC

Human trafficking is an extreme human rights violation and an impediment to the United Nations Sustainable Goal as recognized in Agenda 2020 target 16.2.  In the weeks to come, we ask you to respond to the each of the five A’S  - Adopt, Attend, Adhere, Allocate, Address demand. ADOPT an action-oriented approach to prevent human trafficking, which recognizes the systemic issues that create vulnerability to exploitation, especially in women and children.  Respond to these vulnerabilities through gender-sensitive, age-appropriate strategies throughout a person’s life...

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Sept/Oct House of Prayer

Posted on August 26, 2019 in: General News

You can download the current House of Prayer below.

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Better Companies, Better World

Posted on August 20, 2019 in: JPIC

Adapted from Better Companies, Better World            by Linda Haydock, SNJM A powerful alliance is formed when religious women and men, ecumenical and interfaith groups, and non-profit partners bring their faith to bear in boardroom of the largest corporations in the world. In twenty years, there are many accomplishments in addressing human trafficking through share holder advocacy. Four areas are noteworthy: Hotels/Airports: The result of partnerships that have been devoted to addressing sex trafficking taking place in hotels and through airline travel is remark...

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July Casa Loreto Newsletter

Posted on August 14, 2019 in: Global News

Download the current newsletter from Casa Loreto and see "What's Happening" in the global IBVM world!

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Below is the second part of a five part story about the life of Reverend Mother Teresa Dease, who founded the North American Branch of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Loretto Sisters.  She was a woman of faith, courage and love—a true daughter of Mary Ward.  The first part covered her life from birth until she left Dublin with her companions to begin a new mission in Toronto, Canada. This part covers the journey from Dublin to the New World, finally arriving at Toronto. Sr. Theresa Dease, as she is known at this point of her life, is a courageous young woman, following the path that Go...

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The Cause for Mary Ward

Posted on August 03, 2019 in: Global News

Attached you will find a request for prayers and information from Elizabeth Cotter IBVM, Vice Postulator Cause of Mary Ward. Can you help?  

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Artists at work - Sipping Muse

Posted on August 03, 2019 in: Development

Artists at work - Sipping Muse
  On July 11th Sisters, Companions and friends gathered at the Sipping Muse in Wheaton for a evening of fun while raising some funds.  Please enjoy the photos from the event.   What artists we have among us!  

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UN Update Special Edition!!

Posted on August 02, 2019 in: Global News

The IBVM UN NGO Office have just released a Special Edition of UN Update on Human Trafficking.   It gives and excellent overview of the work of the Mary Ward Family at the global, continental, national, regional and local levels. It is also an excellent learning tool as it contains a lot of valuable information. We encourage the members of our network worldwide to engage with the content and use it for conversations and other aspects of your work and life. The issue is serious. Human trafficking is growing in spite of all the efforts. However we just have to trust that, with time, effort and constancy of mem...

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July 8, 2019 We, the JPIC Circle of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (all IBVMs and Companions), find the conditions and treatment of children and families seeking asylum at the U.S./ Mexico border to be deplorable, heinous and unacceptable.  We are demanding that our elected officials, the members of the U.S. Congress, provide all that is necessary to meet their needs: housing,food, clothing, physical and mental health care and safety.  It is mandatory that the necessary steps be established for them to remain in the United States while pursuing their asylum. ...

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June Issue of Connecta 86 is now available.

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Our Latest edition of Connections is here!
Our Spring/Summer 2019 Connections is now available online.  Featured in this edition is a wonderful article about our Mary Ward Center, a ministry serving the needs of many in south Chicago.   CLICK HERE  

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UN Update

Posted on June 28, 2019 in: JPIC

The latest edition of "It's Your World" from the IBVM UN NGO office is now available to download.  Previous editions can be found HERE.

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Below is the first of a five part story about the life of Reverend Mother Teresa Dease, who founded the North American Branch of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Loretto Sisters.  She was a woman of faith, courage and love—a true daughter of Mary Ward.  I hope you enjoy her story. Cindy Langlois, IBVM Today, on the occasion of my sixtieth birthday, I feel called to look back over my life.  It certainly has taken some unexpected twists and turns over the years.  I was born on May 3, 1820, the eldest of five children.  My childhood years were good, and not unusual in any...

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IBVM Artists Gather in Canada

Posted on June 15, 2019 in: General News

What happens when the IBVM artists, musicians and writers are gathered together for a Conversation Circle?  Simply put, dynamism thrives.  We were called together certainly to connect and possibly network, but also to address Call 2b…”Challenge our artists, musicians, and writers, to create materials and images that evoke our world’s reality and our response to it.” With 15 sisters (plus our two facilitators) from seven countries, and that many different accents, we came to appreciate internationality in a new way.  The two weeks in the setting of Maryholme, Roche’s Point, O...

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News covering March - May from the South Asia Province can be downloaded below.

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Gabrielle Marry, IBVM

Posted on June 03, 2019 in: In Memoriam

Gabrielle Marry, IBVM
We ask you to pray for the repose of the soul of our dear sister Gabrielle Marry, IBVM Who died June 2, 2019 in her 79th year and in the 61st year of her religious life. May she rest in peace. Sister Gabrielle Marry, I.B.V.M. (Marie Therese Marry) was the first baby born in the new Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland on January 18, 1940.  She was the daughter of Austin and Bridie (Lenehen) Marry. She entered the Novitiate in Loreto Convent, Navan, on October 17, 1958.  A few years later she came from Ireland to join the Sisters and st...

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Long time Companions, Roger and Kitty Schiltz, recently welcomed asylum seekers at the border.  Learn about their experience at the Respite Center in McAllen, Tx.

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Mary Catherine Spatz, IBVM

Posted on March 03, 2019 in: In Memoriam

Mary Catherine Spatz, IBVM Entered Life - May 1, 1929 Entered Religious Life - September 8, 1947 Entered Eternal Life - February 27, 2019 May She Rest In Peace Reflection for Mary Catherine Spatz, IBVM given by Rosemary Lynch, IBVM Obituary 

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News from South Asia

Posted on March 03, 2019 in: Global News

The January Newsletter from the South Asia Province is available.

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Celebrating Mary Ward Day

Posted on January 27, 2019 in: General News

On January 23rd, the Wheaton IBVM staff welcomed the Franciscan Sisters and staff to celebrate Mary Ward Day!     

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Hidden Treasures

Posted on January 01, 2019 in: Province Archives

Hidden Treasures in the IBVM Archives   One of the fascinating parts of working with archives is discovering treasures from the past.  Most recently we have been inventorying all of the pictures that have accumulated here over the decades.  The treasure we found is a picture of the very first chapel on the Wheaton property. In 1946, when the Wheaton property was purchased, the only occupied building was the House of the Seven Gables. It was occupied by sisters who were in their initial stage of training and probation, plus two sisters who directed them.   The House ...

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The IBVM Choir welcomes all singers! To learn more, please contact Anne Hyzy, IBVM at 630 373 0126 or email

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Christine Gilsenan, IBVM

Posted on July 18, 2018 in: In Memoriam

Christine Gilsenan, IBVM
Entered Life - December 23, 1935 Entered Religious life - September 29, 1954 Entered Eternal Life  - July 17, 2018 Our IBVM and SS Simon & Jude School Communities lost “a wee bit” of its authentic Irish heritage on July 17. Sister Christine Gilsenan, IBVM, was born in Trim, County Meath, Ireland. In 1954 she entered the Loreto Convent at Navan, County Meath. Then, in 1957 moved to Phoenix, Arizona and began teaching at SS Simon & Jude Parish.  She was an excellent educator, influencing the lives of thousands o...

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Irene Howell, IBVM

Posted on July 11, 2018 in: In Memoriam

Irene Howell, IBVM
Entered Life: July 8, 1923   Entered Religious Life:  August 8, 1942 Entered Eternal Life:  July 10, 2018, 20172   Sister Irene Ellen Howell, IBVM was born on July 8, 1923 to Ellen McCoy and Charles Wesley Howell in Payment on Sugar Island, Michigan.  Irene was the eldest of six children and attended Loretto Academy, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.  Throughout her life Irene was blessed with a loving family; her brothers and sisters, many nieces and nephews and the next generation.  Upon graduation, she en...

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Province Newsletter

Posted on July 09, 2018 in: General News

The July issue of the US Province Newsletter is available here.

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The latest issue of Connections is now available online.  Featured in this issue is "Redefining Retirement"; an inspiring look at our retired sisters at Casa San Carlo. Current Issue Past Issues can be found HERE

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The dedication of the Plaque honoring the IBVM legacy was held on June 12th.  Sisters, Associates and friends attended the event hosted by The Pulte Company.     CLICK HERE to view the video posted by the Daily Herald.   Photos from the event have been posted.

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The photos are in from the 3rd Annual Loreto Sisters Appreciation Tea held May 5, 2018.  An Irish Tea was the theme this year and over 100 people attended.  The Phoenix IBVM Associates proudly host this event every spring.  View the entire photo album.  

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del Rey Waite, IBVM

Posted on November 20, 2017 in: In Memoriam

del Rey Waite, IBVM
Entered Life: January 26, 1934   Entered Religious Life:  September 8, 1951 Entered Eternal Life:  November 20, 2017 "For Me to Live is Christ"   On January 26, 1934, God was ready to give the world a big surprise, but had to think about it.  God wanted to be sure the rest of the world was ready for a beautiful, but explosive, personality.  On January 26, 1934, God gifted us with the joy of del Rey Waite (Nancy Lee Waite).  As God knew, every moment after that, until the day she was called home, was a surprise! ...

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Concepta Murtagh, IBVM

Posted on September 27, 2017 in: In Memoriam

Concepta Murtagh, IBVM
Entered Eternal Life:  September 27, 2017. Sister Concepta ministered in Phoenix, Arizona from 1959 to 1963, when she was called back to Ireland to teach math and science in Navan, Ireland. In 1985 she returned to Arizona to teach at St. Simon and Jude School, and then Religious Education and RCIA at St. Gregory Parish. Upon retirement, Concepta volunteered with the St. Vincent de Paul Society until she returned to Ireland in 2007. Concepta served the Phoenix Community for 22 years and has touched many with her teaching skills, but even more importantly, her love...

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Jane McKirchy, IBVM

Posted on June 17, 2017 in: In Memoriam

Jane McKirchy, IBVM
Entered Life: July 2, 1942   Entered Religious Life: October 8, 1961 Entered Eternal Life:  June 17, 2017 "Giving Thanks and Singing for Joy"   Gail (Sr. Jane Patrice, Sr. Jane) McKirchy was born in 1942 and was raised in Chicago, Illinois. She first met the IBVM Sisters at St. Bride Elementary School. For much of her childhood she lived with her cousins, the Hollands.   Her cousin, Larry, wrote this of Jane: “Before you were Jane, you were Gail Before the sister you became, you were the sister we needed Love - y...

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Teresita Ryan, IBVM

Posted on March 12, 2017 in: In Memoriam

Teresita Ryan, IBVM
Entered Life:  April 24, 1918 Entered Religious Life:  October 11, 1936   Entered Eternal Life:  March 12, 2017 "To Jesus Through Mary"   Sister Teresita Ryan (Sinead Ryan) was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork, Ireland on April 24, 1918. She was the daughter of William J. Ryan and Julia (O’Donoghue) Ryan. She was one of nine children - four of whom were dedicated to the Lord’s service: two Loreto Sisters - Sr. Teresita and Sr. Celine, a Presentation sister, Sr. Sheila, and Fr. James, OFM Cap. Teresita ...

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Alice Whitehead, IBVM

Posted on January 11, 2017 in: In Memoriam

Alice Whitehead, IBVM
Entered Life: April 3, 1913   Entered Religious Life:  August 15, 1932 Born to Eternal Life:  January 11, 2017 " With You, in You, to You"   Alice Whitehead lived the length and width of her life to the fullest for 103 years. And she departed this world leaning into the love of her God. What really mattered for her was not the bookends of birth and death but the middle time of life. Her middle time consisted of three passions: books, library work and traveling. She was a book enthusiast, reading some books twi...

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Mary Creighton, IBVM

Posted on January 05, 2017 in: In Memoriam

Mary Creighton, IBVM
Entered Life:  May 29, 1931 Entered Religious Life: September 8, 1949 Entered Eternal Life: January 5, 2017        “My God and my Help!” Mary Creighton chose these words as her motto at Final Profession. These words are few in number but they are profound. I believe they formed the foundation, the anchor, that provided Mary with the grounding she needed to live her life. Although Mary did not have an easy life, God was her lifelong companion. I’m sure that God was right there beside her to grasp her hand and guide h...

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Patricia Pendleton, IBVM

Posted on December 06, 2016 in: In Memoriam

Patricia Pendleton, IBVM
Entered Life: April, 1932   Entered Religious Life:  September 8, 1949 Entered Eternal Life:  December 6, 2016 "Through Him - With Him - In Him"   Patricia Pendleton was born on April 2, 1932 to Mary and Roy Pendleton. She was welcomed to the family by her seven brothers and sisters. The Pendletons lived in St. Lawrence Parish on the south side of Chicago. As a true “south sider”, Pat was an avid fan of the Chicago White Sox. She never missed a game on the radio or TV and would attend in person if at all possib...

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Sharon Whelan, IBVM

Posted on September 28, 2016 in: In Memoriam

Sharon Whelan, IBVM
Entered Life:  October 15, 1934 Entered Religious Life:  September 8, 1952 Entered Eternal Life:  September 28, 2016 “In God’s Will is my peace” is the inscription on Sharon Whelan’s profession ring, and was also the motivator for her life, one day at a time. Her journey as an IBVM has been one of love, faith, trust and discovery.  As she has said, “a journey sometimes on a mountain top, sometimes in a valley, but always in the sunshine of God’s love.” Sharon was an educator, teaching first grade, (&...

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Jean Frye, IBVM

Posted on March 24, 2016 in: In Memoriam

Jean Frye, IBVM
Entered Life:  February 7, 1942 Entered Religious Life:  September 8, 1959 Entered Eternal Life:  March 24, 2016 "Unless a Grain of Wheat …"   In our IBVM Constitutions it says "A great love of God An attitude of openness to all good works A freedom to refer all to God And a readiness to follow the way Of justice and sincerity In lightness of spirit This is the charism that Mary Ward desired To shine through all our words and works"   Jean embodied the Constitutions. She was definit...

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Rita Rzeppa, IBVM

Posted on February 11, 2016 in: In Memoriam

Rita Rzeppa, IBVM
Entered Life:  July 30, 1927 Entered Religious Life:  February 2, 1946 Entered Eternal Life:  February 11, 2016  "God is He who is; I am who am not."                                                      Like each one of us, Rita Rzeppa was a complex person. To quote Yoda in one ...

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Therese Fenlon, IBVM

Posted on December 12, 2015 in: In Memoriam

Therese Fenlon, IBVM
Entered Life:  August 17, 1931   Entered Religious Life:  September 8, 1949 Entered Eternal Life:  December 12, 2015 "God is my strength and my wisdom." “God is my strength and my wisdom.” Those words were chosen by Therese to be engraved on her final profession ring many years ago. She lived those words throughout her life in both the good times and in the times that were really tough on her.   Anyone who has experienced the loss of sight as Therese did knows the limitations and the challenges that come your way ...

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Miriam Scanlon, IBVM

Posted on July 04, 2015 in: In Memoriam

Miriam Scanlon, IBVM
Entered Life:  October 22, 1930 Entered Religious Life:  September 8, 1948 Entered Eternal Life:  July 4, 2015 " Lord, I come to do your will."   Kathleen, known as Miriam by most of us, was the Irish colleen among her four brothers. After graduating from Loretto Woodlawn, she entered the IBVM in 1948. Miriam's passion was education. She began as an elementary school teacher at St. Bride in Chicago and continued her studies to become an administrator and guidance counselor in both California and Arizona. Many of her 31 yea...

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Mary Gleason, IBVM

Posted on June 27, 2015 in: In Memoriam

Mary Gleason, IBVM
Entered Life:  July 25, 1932   Entered Religious Life:  September 14, 1950 Entered Eternal Life:  June 27, 2015 "Through God, with God and in God"    As we listened to words of remembrance given by Mary’s family, friends and her IBVM Sisters, there was laughter (Mary herself caused laughter— she had an amazing sense of humor), there were tears of sadness (we will miss her), joy (Mary has won the race and has received the prize) and remem-brance (Mary brought tears to our eyes, she also wiped away our tears and...

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Mary Madigan, IBVM

Posted on March 31, 2015 in: In Memoriam

Mary Madigan, IBVM
Entered Life:  July 25, 1922   Entered Religious Life: August 8, 1940   Entered Eternal Life: March 31, 2015  "The mind in Thee be also in me."   Mary was a real scholar with a doctoral degree in English Literature. She loved reading and had almost exhausted the collection at the Wheaton library. In addition, Mary also kept current with America, Commonweal, Theological Studies, and Time or Newsweek. Whenever you visited her at the Life Center she was reading. Mary was an accomplished musician, seamstress...

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