Mard Ward was a remarkable woman who pioneered the higher education of Catholic women.
Loreto Secondary School Balbriggan, founded in 1857 is a Catholic Voluntary Secondary School for girls. It is a member house of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (I.B.V.M). The Institute was founded in 1609 by the venerable Mary Ward (1585 – 1645). Mary Ward’s vision for her schools was strongly influenced by “Ratio Studurium” of Ignatius of Loyola. The Jesuit influence on Loreto Education has continued to this day in schools spread across the world.
The Irish branch of the Institute was founded in 1821 by Frances Ball, a native of Dublin. Her first foundation was at Rathfarnham and was called Loreto Abbey, from which title the members became known as Loreto Sisters and all subsequent foundations at home and abroad were called Loreto.