Who is Mother Mary Loyola?

$520 of $7,500 goal

Raised by 15 people in 53 months
Mother Mary Loyola was a household name among Catholics of her time.  Her writing earned her the love and praise of generations, as evidenced by the comments found in contemporary Catholic journals:

"Catholic literature, doctrinal and devotional, owes a great deal to Mother Mary Loyola. There is a certain wholesomeness, naturalness, geniality about her spirituality that at once wins a place in the Catholic heart for whatever she writes."

                    --The Ecclesiastical Review,  January 1918

"The writings of Mother Mary Loyola have carried the Bar Convent beyond all barriers.  She has been beyond doubt the greatest benefactress of the pen known to the present growing generation of Catholics in these islands, and her readers are counted by tens of thousands overseas."

                                       --The Tablet, November 1912

Today Mother Loyola's work is beginning to see a resurgence, especially through her wonderful allegorical work, The King of the Golden City.  Though a century or more has passed since she wrote her dozens of books, they speak to us powerfully today of the deep faith necessary to withstand the deadening influence of our modern world.

With a body of work as large and as unique as hers, one cannot help wanting to know more about her and how she came to be the teacher and writer she was.

Unfortunately, Mother Loyola was a nun, which means that her few possessions and letters were discarded after her death.  No one alive today can point out her face in the photographs held by the Bar Convent.

We have spent countless hours researching on the internet, establishing contacts overseas, and piecing together the bits of information we have found.  There is much more to be found collected in archives in Rome, London and York, but continued research requires feet on the ground in those cities. 

We need your help to realize this dream of filling in the blanks and bringing Mother Loyola's life story to the world.  Who knows, this groundwork could even form the basis for a cause for sainthood...

...but none of that can happen without your generous donations.  Please consider giving whatever you can, even if it is only a few dollars.  You can help bring Mother Loyola's story to life!
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We have been so busy working on this project that I have not been in the habit of posting updates. We arrived home this past Saturday from our second research trip, which was more fruitful than we had hoped, so I'd like to share some juicy morsels with you to thank you for your support!

We met with several living relatives of Mother Mary Loyola and they graciously shared a number of photos with us, some identified, some not. By piecing together these clues like a huge jigsaw puzzle, we have been able to discover some images that we strongly believe to be Mother Loyola's parents and siblings--and maybe even Mother Loyola herself, before she entered the convent! Once we are able to get further confirmation of these educated guesses, we will share those images with our donors here on GoFundMe as a thank you for your patience and support.

During our trip, we also visited the Bar Convent Archives and were able to study the convent annals for details about Mother Loyola's life there. It took a lot of time and perseverance, but we found a 3-page account of Mother Loyola's last days and her death that was incredibly touching and was a testament to how well loved she was:

"December 18, 1930: When Reverend Mother went to the infirmary in the morning, Mother Mary Loyola opened her eyes and said 'home.' This was her last word. She became unconscious and gradually grew weaker till she died at 1:45 with the whole community around her bed. RIP. She looked most lovely in death, so much younger & so peaceful. The nuns never ceased visiting the infirmary during the days the body was with us. In spite of our grief there was a wonderful feeling of joy."

Years ago when I first began my research into Mother Loyola's life and found that there was so little information to be had about her, I supposed that any biography of her would have to be very short. But with time and now finally the ability to get feet on the ground to do this research (thanks to your help!) we have been able to achieve so much more!

Thanks again for your support and I will do better with updates...one with photos should be coming soon!

God bless,
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We traveled to Rome and to England in April 2015 as planned and were able to collect a great deal of information. The good news is that we were able to shed a lot of light on her life, which opened a few more doors. The bad news is that our time and scope were limited, and to make matters worse, the Bar Convent's archives were closed for renovation while we were there.

We have been working feverishly on transcribing many of the letters we scanned during our time there, and are hoping to return to the UK again this April to wrap up some of the loose ends.

So much has been accomplished, but much still remains to do. We hope to be able to post a solid update with some photos and maybe even a video when we have more time. Until then, thanks for your support and patience! These things take time, but the end product will be worth waiting for!
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Exciting news! Just in the past week, we have been able to make contact with a few living relatives of Mother Loyola! We are hoping that our trip planning will be able to include a visit to these families.

Thanks so much for your support in this endeavor!
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Now that our research trip is actually looking possible, we have added incentives at each donation level! If you've already made a donation, have no fear, you will receive these thank-you gifts as well! Thanks for your generosity and God bless!
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$520 of $7,500 goal

Raised by 15 people in 53 months
Created October 14, 2014
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