4 female students standing next to each other and smiling at the camera.

Legacy of the Loretto Sisters

From the earliest years of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our founder, Mary Ward and her companions engaged in the works of education, particularly education of women.

The five Loretto Sisters who first came to Toronto from Ireland in 1847 opened the first Loretto School in North America with nine initial boarding students. The traditional “free school” for the children of St Paul’s Parish followed soon after. The Loretto Sisters became known for excellence in education and went on to establish private schools in various areas of Ontario. Schools were established in Toronto, Guelph, Niagara Falls, Hamilton, Lindsay and in Sedley, Saskatchewan. 

After the Separate School Act in 1863 Loretto Sisters went out daily to teach in a variety of urban and rural Separate Schools throughout Ontario and Saskatchewan.​

Today our ministry of education continues to evolve in response to the needs of the times. Loretto Sisters continue to be educators in very diverse settings including:​

  • Education for justice, peace and the integrity of creation.

  • Educating for personal growth and leadership through workshops and presentations in various community and parish settings.

  • Serving the Catholic Community as Diocesan Directors of Religious Education.

  • Teaching in university and seminary settings

  • Educating for Christian formation through RCIA and scripture study.

  • Teaching English as a second language to refugees and immigrants.

Loretto College School

Loretto College School is very proud to be part of this over 400 year education legacy and are proud to be partnered in sisterhood with over 100 schools worldwide. Truly, the Venerable Mary Ward continues to inspire and challenge young women today.

Our Loretto students cherish the crest that they proudly don everyday. The crest is kept close to their hearts as a reminder of their mission in their academics and in their lives, reflected in our motto - cruci dum spiro fido – in the cross, while I breathe, I trust.

Visit IVBM Canada to learn more about the Loretto Sisters.

Loretto College Celebrates 100 Years in Education

In 2015, Loretto College School, along with the Loretto Sisters, celebrated the 100th anniversary of our school.

Take a look at our Centennial Celebrations: Loretto Centennial