Ball, Frances Mary Teresa

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Foundress of the Irish branch of the sisters of lo retto (Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary): b. Dublin, Jan. 6, 1794; d. Dublin, May 19, 1861. Her father, a wealthy Dublin silk weaver, sent her to the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Micklegate Bar, York, England, for her education. In 1814 Bishop (later Archbishop) Daniel murray of Dublin, hoping to introduce the institute into Ireland, arranged for her to make her novitiate at York. In 1822 Frances, now Mother Teresa, established Loretto House, the first Irish branch of the institute, at Rathfarnham, Dublin. After Catholic emancipation (1829), which afforded new opportunities for Catholic education, she opened boarding, day, and free schools in rapid succession. Guided by Peter Kenny, SJ, Tom Bourke, OP, and Archbishop D. Murray, she sent her sisters to India to found the first Loretto (or Loreto) foreign mission (1841). There were 34 Loretto convents in Ireland, England, Spain, Canada, India, Mauritius, and Gibraltar by 1861. Before 1900 the institute had spread to Australia and Africa.

Bibliography: h. j. coleridge, Life of Mother Frances Mary Teresa Ball (London 1881). Joyful Mother of Children by a Loreto Sister (Dublin 1961).

[m. m. shanahan]

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Ball, Frances Mary Teresa

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