X

News & Current Events

News & Current Events

St Josephine Bakhita Day

Posted on January 24, 2019 in: JPIC

St Josephine Bakhita Day
IBVM-CJ, Together Against Human Trafficking. On February 8, St Josephine Bakhita Day, the entire Mary Ward Family is invited to participate in a celebration of prayer and reflection against human trafficking.   This initiative came from the Institute’s NGO office at the United Nations, through which a network is articulated that brings together all the provinces to know the work that each one does against human trafficking.   The objective is that the sisters, associates, colleagues, friends and all the people who are part of the...

Read More

Help Wanted

Posted on February 07, 2019 in: General News

Searching for a Registered Nurse to join the IBVM Health Care staff in Wheaton.     Please share this incredible opportunity with anyone who might be interested. More Details

Read More

Introducing the Companions

Posted on February 06, 2019 in: General News

“How happy a thing it is to love God and serve Him and seek Him.”  Mary Ward   How happy a thing it is that for 30 years Associates and Sisters have joined together in loving, seeking and serving! Today we are pleased to announce the official new name of the Associates: COMPANIONS OF MARY WARD   In the spirit of our 2018 Assembly theme, we look back to our source and forward to our future.  The Affiliate program was first introduced to the General Council in Toronto in 1981 but wasn’t approved until eight years later.  The first Associates were received...

Read More

By Popular Demand....

Posted on February 06, 2019

Planning has begun for an online Lenten Journey,  siimilar to the Advent event. All Sisters, Companions and friends are invited to embark with us on a journey with us this Lent.  We will be using the devotional booklet, Pope Francis: With Your Whole Heart  and will begin on Ash Wednesday, March 6, 2019. If you are interested in writing a reflection please contact Laura Allen. More details, including how to get a booklet, coming soon.   

Read More

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!     

Read More

Phoenix Celebrates Mary Ward Day!

Posted on January 27, 2019

Sisters and Associates gathered on Saturday January 26th to celebrate Mary Ward and officially welcome four new Associates.   

Read More

Sacramento Associates Gather

Posted on January 27, 2019

The Sacramento Associates, led by Laura Allen, gathered together on January 19th at the Chadsworth house in prayer and friendship.   With Sr. Mary Carton, Sr. Esther O'Mara and Sr. Arlene Connelly as witnesses, the Associates celebrated their committment Ceremony.  

Read More

Diane's Health Hints

Posted on January 23, 2019 in: General News

Diane's Health Hints
Diane's Health Hints can be found here every month.   January's issue will debunk some of the FAKE MEDICAL NEWS floating around the internet.  Fake Medical News may put your health at risk so read on you will find some tips on how to use the internet to find reputable medical information.    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.

Read More

  The Joliet Franciscan Sisters recently honored Jean Okroi with the Mother Alfred Moes Award for her work in shedding light on the issue of human trafficking.  This award is named after Mother Alfred Moes, the Joliet Franciscan foundress,  and recognizes individuals and organizations who transform vision into service. Congratulations Jean, an honor well deserved!  

Read More

UN Update

Posted on January 11, 2019 in: Global News

The January 2019 edition of "It's Your World" is now available to download.  Previous editions can be found HERE.

Read More

Hidden Treasures

Posted on January 01, 2019 in: General News

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 ...

Read More

Jan. - Feb. House of Prayer

Posted on December 30, 2018 in: General News

You can download the current House of Prayer.

Read More

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

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

Province Newsletter

Posted on July 09, 2018 in: General News

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

Read More

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

Read More

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.

Read More

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.  

Read More

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! ...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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, (&...

Read More

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...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More