Mary Ward’s week celebrated in Mauritius (23rd January – 30th January 2016)

“ Show yourself at all time glad and joyful for almighty God loves a cheerful giver.” Mary Ward

Mary Ward’s week was greeted and marked with great enthusiasm in all the Loreto schools in Mauritius.
The value of JOY was chosen for this year. In all our Loreto schools and development Centers (7 secondary schools, 2 primary and 2 development Centers) Mary Ward’s week has started with a special morning assembly for all the students and staff : There was a thanksgiving prayer for our foundress Mary Ward with a joyful song, the message of Sr. Christine, the provincial was read and well valued.
A special poster on Joy with a few photos of students from one of our Loreto College Port Louis taken on the occasion of 170th anniversary of the presence of Loreto Sisters in Mauritius was launched in each school.
Activities have been prepared for all the students of different grades (quiz on Mary Ward’s life, games ‘Jeu de mots’, representing Mary Ward’s values on a poster with reflection and sharing. For the newcomers a power point on Mary Ward’s life was presented. During this week the students were motivated to get involved in these activities and to know more on Mary Ward’s life. Even the Province library ‘Médiathèque Mary Ward’ was well visited by the students and teachers who were looking for materials on Mary Ward’s life.
Schools who organized a Eucharist celebration for the beginning of the year have taken JOY as their theme and Mary Ward who has been faithful and joyful to serve the Lord has been well emphasized.
We’ll continue to reflect on the value of JOY during the whole year 2016.


Sr Thérèse YAW


Illuminated Delights

PaulineDunne_DecorativeChart                              RaphaelDeasy_DecorativeChart

During a New Year’s clean up of the Archives strong room, we came across a series of these beautiful, decorative charts produced for each Mother General from Teresa Ball to Pauline Dunne. They had been so safely stored that we’d almost forgotten about them! They’ve now been listed and will soon be rehoused in more suitable containers. They were a beautiful surprise ‘rediscovery’ on a grey January morning!

Happy New Year fellow Archivists!

Áine, Dublin.



Galloping Girls

BannerWe decided the 2016 exhibition theme for the Australian Province’s Archives Centre would be travel and journeys.  So I have attempted to take Loreto’s journey from Mary Ward to current Australian Province missions in Vietnam and East Timor etc.

Starting with a hopscotch game on the floor we follow floor decals to different stops along the way – Mary Ward, Teresa Ball, Gonzaga Barry, Australian schools, current missions emerging from the call for ‘Courage to Move’.

Hopscotch 2

The hopscotch idea came from Francesca Salva, a teacher in the Loreto school in Mauritius and Sr. Clotilde ibvm.  Sr. Denise Desmarchelier, who had recently been to Mauritius told me about the idea and I thought it would be perfect for our theme of travel.  Ours is a more historical journey theme but Mauritius made a vibrantly coloured and illustrated representation of the Mary Ward story fitting into a hopscotch grid.

Science equipment

Pioneers drawers 2

Gonzaga's desk

The exhibition was great fun to set up and, hopefully, will be useful in telling Loreto’s story.


“Challenges, Obligations, or Imperatives: The Moral & Legal Role of the Record Keeper Today”, ARA Conference August 2015

The Annual Archives & Records Association (ARA) UK & Ireland conference arrived in Dublin last week, to explore various ethical and moral dilemmas facing the record keeping profession.  After the opening keynote address, simultaneous sessions ran on the themes of Archives & Records, Conservation and Digital Preservation. As the three streams ran simultaneously, it involved some hasty note gathering and a dash to attend the next input.

ARA Conference 2015The key note address by James King explored the Boston College Belfast Project, where after some legal wrangling, access to ‘sealed’ oral archive recordings with participants in ‘the Troubles’ was successfully granted to authorities. The influence exerted by stakeholders and the role of the archivist in facilitating justice was explored. Poor record keeping practices identified by various inquiries into past abuses in state and church institutions in Ireland, the UK & Australia and the management of medical (mental health) records in Ireland, provided the background to a number of talks, which probed our traditional concepts of access to and ownership of records. There are ever growing demands from care leavers – the subjects of these records – for open access to and, indeed, ownership of records containing their personal information.

We were challenged as a profession to advocate for good record keeping practices on the basis that the personal and social consequences of the failure to do so, are now accepted and well documented. The Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011, drafted as a result of recommendations from an inquiry into historical abuse, was widely praised. The difficulties facing the practitioner working in the private sector, who is responsible for managing and preserving records without the framework of ‘enabling legislation’ were acknowledged.

The various inputs prompted me to consider the ‘official’ records of individual Sisters & those whom Loreto work for and amongst. They seldom had any input or control over the creation of records relating to them. As Loreto archivists we have an obligation to honour the unique contribution & life of each Sister, but also all those – the empowered and the disenfranchised – whom Loreto worked and continue to work & live alongside.

We, as Loreto archivists, are accountable not just to the Loreto Sisters, who are our primary stakeholders, but also to the wider communities which they serve. I hope that the Loreto Archives Policy will provide us with an enabling structure to work towards the fulfilment of the duties and responsibilities of our roles, and our moral and ethical obligations to all our stakeholders.


Institute & Irish Province Archivist, Dublin