Ursulines of North America
Ursulines of Chatham (Canada)
Ursuline Sisters of Chatham, Ontario (Canada)
20 Merici Way
Canada N7L 3L8
Tel : 519-352-5225
Fax : 519-352-3729
The pilgrim spirit that characterized Angela Merici, Mother Xavier Le Bihan, and so many other women of great heart still energizes the Ursulines of Chatham and those who have chosen to walk with them. They continue to be engaged, committed and passionate about justice for those who are marginalized, for women, for all who are oppressed, and for all of creation which suffers the assaults of exploitation and abuse.
Their beautiful home, Villa Angela, in Chatham is a visible testimony to their ongoing commitment to responsible use of creation's gifts. It was constructed to create the smallest possible ecological footprint, and the Sisters received a gold-status designation on their LEED certification, indicating that they had incorporated the best features of environmental design in the construction of their new home.
Ongoing education and spiritual renewal are significant elements of their lives, regardless of age or ministry. These aspects are also among the blessings they share with their neighbours, both formally, and informally.
They have found ways to support important ventures in justice and peace by joining forces with other religious communities, justice organizations, and concerned citizens. Wherever they live, they involve themselves in local, national and global concerns. Human trafficking, environmental justice and aboriginal rights are some of the issues they are addressing.
Weaving relationships wherever they are allows God's reign to flourish. They practice daily the ministry of "being with" others. This quality of presence is something often missing in our fast-paced world.
For over fifty years the Ursulines of Chatham have been involved with the people of Peru, particularly in Urrunaga, a barrio on the outskirts of Chiclayo. They are deeply enriched by their relationship with the Lay Community of St. Angela, a committed group of Peruvian women which has been in existence for over thirty years. The Seeds of Hope, which is made up of Canadian women including Ursulines, is a group which fosters the connections among Peruvian friends, Ursulines, and Canadian friends committed to justice in Canada and in Peru.
They have developed a flourishing network of Companions in Toronto, London, Chatham and Windsor. These women meet regularly in their own areas to pray, share and join their efforts in the works of justice and peace and gather occasionally as an entire group. The spirit of Angela Merici lives on in the Ursuline Sisters of Chatham and their friends.
On May 25, 1853, Yvonne Le Bihan, an Ursuline from LeFaouet in France, arrived in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, to fulfill her dream of becoming a missionary in North America. Mother Xavier, as she was known in religious life, began by assisting the Jesuit missionaries in their work among the early settlers and aboriginal people of the area. Eventually she responded to the invitation of Father Jaffre, S.J., and Mr. John Baptist Williams to go to Chatham, Ontario. She and Mother Angela Doyle arrived in Chatham on May 9, 1860, which is considered the foundation day. Two more sisters joined them in August. They were soon settled in a six-room cottage where they began the work of educating young girls.
The efforts of these first Ursulines expanded, and in September 1870 the new Ursuline Academy of Chatham opened with an enrolment of twenty-seven boarders and forty day students. Eventually this new venture grew into Ursuline College which still exists. The sisters were soon called to move beyond Chatham to the surrounding towns, where they established convents and schools.
In the early twentieth century, the Ursuline Sisters expanded throughout southwestern Ontario. Their ground-breaking work in education at various levels led to the establishment of Brescia University College in London, Ontario, and of Glengarda Child and Family Services in Windsor, Ontario. In time the original foundation spread beyond the Diocese of London across Canada from coast to coast as well as to Japan, Peru, and the Caribbean.
Countries where the congregation is present
Canada and Peru
1 dicembre 2011
Link: Ursulines of Chatham
Link: Brescia University College