About us


Cecilia O'Dwyer IBVM, Present director of the IBVM NGO office

Cecilia O’Dwyer IBVM, Present director of the IBVM NGO office

The Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto Generalate) is an international congregation of Catholic Women Religious. It opened its NGO office in New York in September 2003, having received Associate Status with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations. In 2015 it was granted special consultative status with ECOSOC. The worldwide IBVM Network is present at the United Nations where the voice of civil society is of increasing importance in multilateral decisions on vision and goals aimed at encouraging the human community to peaceful and respectful collaboration in a way that benefits all people and our planet.                                                                                                                                            The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda provides a framework for our work with the United Nations. Transforming our World: The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda with its 17 goals mobilizes our energies in education, awareness raising and advocacy. Women and children are our specific areas of concern and act as a lens through which we address areas such as the Eradication of Poverty, Education for Global Citizenship,Trafficking in Persons, Gender Equality, Financing for Development.                               

Sr. Cynthia Mathew CJ

Sr. Cynthia Mathew CJ

  Sr. Cecilia O’Dwyer ibvm is the present director of the NGO Office in New York and main representative to the United Nations. In October 2017 she was joined by Sr. Cynthia Mathew CJ. Both communities and our world wide networks now work in collaboration at the NGO office.

Read more about the history of the IBVM, its representatives and the impact they have made 10 years being at the United Nations HERE

IBVM Corporate Stance on Human Trafficking

At the General Congregation held in September 2014 at Loyola, Spain, the following statement was adopted:

“As members of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, an international and multicultural congregation of women religious, we pledge to work for the eradication of all forms of human trafficking and its causes, particularly among women and children, wherever we live and minister”.

Justice Coalition of Religious (JCoR)Image for facebook etc

We are members of The Justice Coalition of Religious (JCoR), a new coalition of 18 UN-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) run by Catholic Religious. JCoR aims to strengthen the capacity of Religious working at the grassroots and those representing them at the United Nations to: advocate internationally, nationally and regionally for people living in poverty; address the root causes of unsustainable development; and promote equitable and rights based development via a just implementation of the SDGs.


The IBVM also has a great history of offering interning opportunities to those who are interested in working in the NGO sphere. If you want to apply for an internship at the IBVM at the United Nations in New York, send an email of interest to ibvmunngo@gmail.com. Watch HERE for an insight into the interning experience.