Mother Frances Mary Teresa Ball
Foundress of the Irish Branch of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1794-1861)
Ball, MOTHER FRANCES MARY TERESA, b. in Dublin January 9, 1794; d. May 19, 1861; foundress of the Irish Branch of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (see Irish Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary). She was a daughter of John Ball and Mabel Clare Bennet. At the age of nine years, Frances was sent to the convent school at the Bar, York, England, conducted by the English Ladies of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She remained here until the death of her father, in 1808, and then spent some time with her mother at home. In 1814, under the direction of Dr. Daniel Murray, Archbishop of Dublin, Frances returned to York and entered the novitiate of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There she received her religious training, and made her profession in 1816, taking, in religion, the name of Mary Teresa. Recalled by Archbishop Murray, she returned to Dublin with two novices, in 1821, to establish the Irish Branch of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the instruction of children. In 1822 she opened the first institution of the order in Ireland, in Rathfarnam House, four miles from Dublin. Mother Frances was a woman of great piety and administrative ability. Her energies were devoted to the establishment of schools and to the development of the sisterhood which now has members in many countries.