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Our History

St. Agnes’ Loreto Day School is a Catholic Institution under the management of The Lucknow Loreto Educational Society - represented by the Sisters of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto Sisters). The School is recognized by the Secondary Education Department of Uttar Pradesh (Anglo-Indian Board) and affiliated to the Indian Council for Secondary Education (I.C.S.E.) & I.S.C. (Indian School Certificate), New Delhi.

St. Agnes’ Loreto Day School has completed over 100 years in the educational service of the region. In order to understand the story of St. Agnes’ Loreto Day School you must know a little about Mary Ward, the Foundress of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose members, popularly known as ‘Loreto Sisters’, manage the school.

Mary Ward

Mary Ward was born on January 23rd, 1585, in Elizabethan England, at a time of great religious intolerance. She was a victim of the persecution of Catholics and, woman of great faith that she was, saw the need for a sound religious education for young women who would assume responsibilities in society and in the church, for, as she said, ‘women in time to come will do much’.

Inspired at the tender age of 15 to renounce the world, she decided to dedicate her life to God, having refused many proposals of marriage. In 1609, she left her homeland and, with a small group of companions, opened a school at St. Omer, Flanders, where girls were taught reading, writing, and sewing, as well as the principles of Christian life.

She had a passionate love for Integrity, Justice, and Freedom and she consistently endeavored to live out these qualities. The new type of consecrated life which she began - free from enclosure, without religious habit and ruled by a woman - received much opposition. This vision of a woman’s role in the Church was unacceptable and looked upon with suspicion in those days. In 1631, Mary Ward’s institute was suppressed and she herself was imprisoned as a heretic for some time.

Mary Ward, described as “a woman beyond compare”, died at York on January 30th 1645. “Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone” (John : 12, 24). The serenity and confidence with which she accepted all kinds of sufferings, even physical ones, her fidelity to the Church despite multiple- tribulations, made of her the “grain of wheat” sown by God and which, after the rebirth of her Institute, would bear fruit world-wide in all the continents, down to the present day.

Teresa Ball

Frances Ball was born in Ireland in 1794, and educated at St. Mary’s Convent, a boarding school run by the members of the institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in York, England. She heard the unmistakable call of God : “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Justice and all these things will be added unto you”. At the age of twenty, Frances returned to York to enter the novitiate, preparing herself for the foundation of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ireland. She professed her vows as Mother Teresa. In 1821 Mother Teresa Ball established the first House of the Institute in Ireland and called it Loreto, the name by which all the subsequent schools/institutions originating from Ireland are still known.

Delphine Hart

Loreto in India owes its origin to a visit made by Dr. Bakhaus to Loreto Abbey, Ireland, in 1840 to request Mother Teresa Ball to send some sisters to set up a school for Catholic children in Calcutta.

In 1841, Mother Teresa Ball sent 7 Loreto Sisters and 5 Postulants, all in their twenties, under the leadership of Delphine Hart to India, announcing that they would probably never see their homeland again. They were welcomed at Calcutta by Bishop Carew, and installed at Loreto House, 7 Middleton Row. They were the first congregation of sisters to come to North India.

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