The Houses with their Schools and Boarding Schools, which were part of the Italian Province, were founded on the idea of lay people sensitive to the educational needs of girls and were then entrusted to the Sisters of the B.V. Maria Institute (CJ) who, following in the footsteps of Mary Ward, carried out the educational work for the formation of girls with generosity, fidelity, competence and commitment.
In Rovereto, the Lady Agnese Wangher Fait founded the School and Boarding School, which were entrusted to the Sisters of the I.B.V.Maria in 1782; in Lodi, the Boarding School founded and directed by Baroness Maria Hadfield Cosway, was entrusted to the I.B.V.M. Sisters in 1812; in Vicenza in 1837 the School was opened and entrusted to the I.B.V.M. Sisters according to the wishes of Francis I, Emperor of Austria. In Merate in 1889 the Sisters opened the School and Boarding School at the invitation of Bishop Federico Colombo.
From 2000 Rovereto and Merate handed over their Schools to the Dioceses, while in 2018 the Vicenza School was handed over to the ” Mary Ward Foundation ” a non-profit parents’ foundation.
The current Communities of Merate, Vicenza and Rovereto, which have been joined by the Community of the Romanian CJ Sisters in Aosta, as of 1 January 2021 are part of the Latin European Province (LEP), which brings together the two former Romanian and Italian CJ Provinces.
Their Sisters currently work together with the three former schools: in spiritual formation and teaching religion; with the parishes: in catechesis, for communion to the sick; they are engaged in pastoral and spiritual accompaniment and in social voluntary work.