The establishment of convents was the first major step towards the wide-spread overhaul of Catholicity in Scotland. This chapter provides an introduction to the women religious who spearheaded the cultural change. It charts the recruitment of four teaching communities of women religious to Scotland's two cities: the Ursulines of Jesus and the Sisters of Mercy in Edinburgh and the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception and the Sisters of Mercy in Glasgow. According to Canon Law, there were three types of religious institutes: contemplative, active and mixed. The Ursulines of Jesus and the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception were mixed communities, whereas the Sisters of Mercy were active. The chapter investigates how gender and ethnicity influenced the development of these communities. Clerics regularly interfered with convent affairs, because they were uncomfortable with women who crossed traditional boundaries and 'modified' gender limitations to acquire moral authority.