Bumping into Mary Ward … Bumping into Jesus …

In conversation with Fr Michael Stoney SJ, whom we are fortunate to have preside at many of our school Eucharists and who always has wonderful words of wisdom, he told me a lovely story which set me thinking about the foundress of our own community, Mary Ward.  During his time as principal of Xavier College in Melbourne, a rather large statue of St Ignatius of Loyola was made for the college and the decision had to be made as to where to place it.  He suggested that it be placed right in the middle of a very busy corridor, but the objection was raised that the boys would bump into it.  Fr Michael responded that that was just the point, to bump into Ignatius, and that if they bumped into him, they would bump into Jesus as well. 

Well, that got me thinking about that wonderful woman, Mary Ward, about what it might mean to bump into her, and how that might indeed mean that we bump into Jesus.  As you may know we have a beautiful statue of Mary Ward in the quad outside the Gonzaga Barry Centre and she is in full view every day as the girls and staff cross the courtyard or sit out there during recess and lunch.  I often find myself drawn to a moment sitting out there contemplating Mary and wondering about her.  There are two other wonderful Loreto women in our tradition, Gonzaga Barry and Teresa Ball, and I think that, equally, to bump into them is to bump into Jesus as well, and I hope to share some thoughts about them in future reflections.  But first of all, Mary Ward, and how her life, her longings and aspirations, her words, her commitment, her choices, her suffering, all speak of Jesus and lead us to him.


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Ms Kerry McCullough

Liturgy and Spirituality Coordinator