In 1821 Mother Teresa Ball introduced the congregation of Ireland and named the first of many convents Loreto. When Bishop Hughes invited a religious order to establish a school for Catholic girls in Gibraltar in 1845, Mother Teresa accepted the offer. A community of four nuns arrived on 13th December 1845 and started their first school at Gavino’s Dwellings, off Cornwall’s Lane, Gibraltar.
Some years later the nuns moved into the present building on Europa Road. The school began as a private boarding and day school for girls, and the nuns also taught in other schools in Gibraltar. In June 1940 the community was evacuated to Ireland. After the war, the Government asked the nuns to return to Gibraltar to reopen the private school and continue their work in various government schools.
On 13th December 2005, the Freedom of the City of Gibraltar was conferred upon the Loreto Sisters. The sisters were the first women to receive this accolade – Mary Ward would have approved!
At Loreto, Gibraltar we are very proud of our four-hundred-year heritage and feel privileged to continue the work started by Mary Ward. We maintain strong links with Loreto in Ireland and rejoice with other IBVM school that Mary Ward has been declared Venerable by Pope Benedict XV1 in December 2009.