We are a congregation of women religious sisters founded by an Englishwoman, Mary Ward, in the early 17th century. She believed, at a time when it was not a widely held belief, either in the Church or in society, that women could “do much” in the service of God. Her special significance lies in the fact that she was the first to found a congregation of women which was to be world-wide, strictly organized and yet without the restrictions which hampered freedom of movement. She was a pioneer of the apostolic religious life for women and her order now exists in every continent.