Budapesti Ward Mária School, sustained by the Hungarian Benedictine Congregation Archabbey, reopened in 1997, after a change of regime. The previous sustainer, the convent called Congregatio Jesu handed over the right of sustenance to the Benedictine Archabbey, after 25 years of work.
The mission of our school is based on Mary Ward’s disciplines of education and on the thousand-year-old benedictine traditions. Educating the whole person is very important for us. We aim to be a community during the process of education and to find our way to God in this community. Education of arts, languages and improving social skills have a great importance among the methods of Mary Ward. These are always present in our everyday work.
Our mission has three parts:
KNOWLEDGE – Not only teaching but finding the talent in each student.
SPIRITUALITY – It is important for all the teachers and students to know sprirtual trainings so that they can become open to new changes, be able to improve, be devoted and the way they lead their lives can become reflective.
SERVICE- Through volunteerism students can get closer to groups of society that need help, for example the elderly, the disabled or the disadvantaged people. With helping these kinds of people they get to know each other and themselves better and learn solidarity. They also become more sensitive to unfairness in society and fight for a fairer world.
History of the school
Our institute was known earlier as the School of Loreto Sisters. Education takes place here since 1787. Our ancestors were always brilliant in the fields of Hungarian education. They started many forms of training, some of them were used for the first time in our school. We are proud of the history of our school, because it can be described as a devotion to improvements and as an advanced way of thinking that transcends the spirit of the age.
After a change of regime, education started here again in 1997. Then in 2004 we released the four-year-long secondary school. After we became a convent-sustained institute, not a state one, a reconstruction has started that is still ongoing, according to the requirements of the 21st century. Beside the outside reconstruction, our school could offer new ways of learning. Due to this, our students could start their studies here in 2015 in the vocational music school.
We have started a new kind of language course in 2023.
Congregatio Jesu gave the rights of sustenance to the Hungarian Benedictine Congregation Archabbey in 2023, after 25 years of work.
Mary Ward was born in 1585, in Ripon, near Mulwith. In these decades Catholics were pursued by Anglicans. Monasteries did not work at that time in England. Mary, as a child, experienced people risking their properties, even their honour or their lives because of their beliefs. At the age of 15 she was a part of a conversation with her relatives about the privileges of being a monk. The feeling for being a monk awakened in Mary. Both her family members and her friends wanted her to get married and have children, they thought these were more advantageous in strengthening Catholic faith, because children could hand on beliefs to their children. Mary was praying and doing penance all the time. She turned to God and from deep in her heart she asked him to fulfill his will on her. She was certain that God is with her.
However, one could not just join a monastery so she left her country on a ship. Answering the call of God and the advice of her religious leader, she joined a Clarissa convent. She was 21 years old then. She wanted to do chants in a choir and live a contemplative life. She could not have the possibility for doing these, she could pass into the laical sisters’ group. She did not have time to pray because she had to beg all day long. Her 9-10 months there finished with a visiting priest commenting on this and saying that this kind of life was not for her. After saying goodbye to the sisters, she decided to establish a Clarissa monastery for women, refusing all the doubts and temptations. Despite of this on the 2nd of May, 1609 she felt she was called by an inner voice, suggesting she had to do something else. She did not know what this was, she only knew she could not stay in the Clarissa convent.
In a short time, she returned to England. In London, she dedicated her life to the spiritual healing of people. She prepared them for the means of grace and made sure they can secretly get them from the priests. She also took care of those who were ill. She strengthened people in their Catholic belief in great dangers. All this should have happened in the least visible way. Her deeds were fruitful. She was sure that what she did was for the glory of God. In London she had many friends joining her, the brave young lady. They all returned to St. Omer around 1610. They started Catholic education of English girls in Flandria, where they found safety. A lot of English noble families entrusted them with their daughters.
She made sure that God wanted her to establish a community in which members give themselves to God and are free to serve salvation of people. In 1611, due to an inner voice Mary understood how to establish this community. „Take the Association’s ... (meaning the Constitution of the Association of Jesus) ... „general will never allow you to go to him”. She felt absolutely sure about these words came from God because the words gave her so much brightness.
In those days it was a revolutionary initiative to establish a convent for women. Convents for women were under the control of convents of men, in strict closure, and were working on the salvation of their own souls. Mary Ward wanted to adapt the rules of the Jesuit convent, with an own highest principal, without the strict closure, with possibility to move freely to work on salvation of people.
The young community established institutes in St. Omer, Luttich, Cologne, Trier, Rome, Naples, Perugia, Munchen, Pozsony, Prague and Vienna for educating young girls.
Mary Ward went to Rome three times to get the pope’s approval. After meeting the pope in person she could hope getting it. But because her deed was new, it got her many opponents. She advocated her case in front of the cardinals nominated by the pope, but she did not get the approval in her life. Yielding to the pressure of the cardinals Pope Urban VIII. supressed the institutes and Mary was taken to captivity. She was dispensed later. The convent got the pope’s approval in 1978, after the Second Vatican Council.
Mary submitted to the sentence of the church but she still kept believe that God would make triumph with her case in due time. She died with this belief in 1645 in Hewarth, near York.
The decision of the general congregation was approved in 2002, and on the 30th January 2004 the community assumed the name of Jesus – Congregatio Jesu – instead of the Istitution of Blessed Virgin Mary. It also fully adapted the contitution of the Jesuits.