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Ursulines of North America
Ursulines of the Canadian Union




Ursulines of the Canadian Union
Maison générale des Ursulines
1358 rue Barrin
Québec QC GIS 2G8
Tel: 418-683-0671 – Fax: 418-681-4740
The Ursulines of the Canadian Union are the heirs of a centuries-old educational tradition. They bear the spiritual genes of Angela Merici and of Marie of the Incarnation, who were animated by an astonishing apostolic zeal. For many years, even in the cloister, they received pupils within their walls – just as in Quebec, so also in Japan and Peru – for primary and secondary education and also for the formation of teachers. In Quebec the religious are no long responsible for private schools, but they continue to support an educational project inspired by Angela Merici in the spirit of Gospel values. There the accent is placed on attention to the person, the strength of unity in living together, and the power of love as a gift of God. Ursulines and lay persons are fully engaged, through their presence, in keeping alive in the schools and colleges that which takes us most to the heart in our long tradition.
The religious are also engaged in different areas of pastoral ministry in parish and hospital settings and in diocesan services. Some of them lead retreats and general chapters for diverse communities, offer quite varied spiritual programs nearly everywhere and for different groups: laity, religious, and diocesan priests. Centers for spirituality and retreats conducted by Ursulines in Quebec and in the Philippines provide different services in the area of spirituality.
Sisters collaborate in multiple social services on behalf of poor wandering persons, handicapped people with problems adapting or learning. Others are involved in the promotion of women, in welcoming mothers and infants, in helping with school homework, and in ecological and environmental struggles.
Community services call for several forms of help in general, provincial, and local administration, in coordinating the works, and in services such as reception, kitchen, sewing, laundry, building maintenance, accounting, secretarial, archives and library, liturgy, and caring for the sick.
Let us point out that sisters are also present in the domain of the arts, music, and painting, in handicrafts, and in literature through book publication.
Three Ursulines arrived in Quebec from Tours, France, on August 1, 1639: Marie of the Incarnation and two companions, Sister Saint Joseph and Sister Cecilia of the Holy Cross. One lay foundress, Madame de la Peltrie, financed this project and accompanied them.
Three Ursulines arrived in Quebec from Tours, France, on August 1, 1639: Marie of the Incarnation and two companions, Sister Saint Joseph and Sister Cecilia of the Holy Cross. One lay foundress, Madame de la Peltrie, financed this project and accompanied them.
Marie of the Incarnation (legal name Marie Guyart), had first been the wife of Claude Martin; the mother of a son, also named Claude; and then had been widowed when she was nineteen years old. A woman of prayer, of action, and of apostolic zeal, she responded to the Lord’s call, entrusted her son to responsible people and to Providence, and entered the Ursulines of Tours at the age of thirty-one.
Angela Merici had recommended to her daughters that they be inspired by “love of God and zeal for the salvation of souls.” They did this in France by devoting themselves to the education of girls. Marie of the Incarnation, having seen Canada in a dream and having heard the Lord say to her, “You must go to build a house for Jesus and Mary,” obtained her superiors’ permission to embark for Canada. The Ursulines planted themselves in Quebec and there too devoted themselves to the education of girls, consecrating themselves to this mission by a fourth vow until 1928. Until her death on April 30, 1672, Marie Guyart of the Incarnation spent herself with great generosity among the American Indian girls and young Frenchwomen. Her abundant correspondence would reveal to France and to Canada this woman of faith and of action, an educator and a mystic.
The monastery of Quebec founded the monastery of Trois-Rivières in 1697 and one in Rimouski in 1906. Each of the three monasteries gave birth to other monasteries that can be found on the website These monasteries formed the Canadian Union in Quebec in 1953. Its three provinces – Quebec, Trois-Rivières, and Rimouski – regrouped in 2008 into a single province called the Province of Quebec.
In Japan, the first Canadian Ursulines arrived at Sendai in 1936, sent by the community of the monastery of Quebec. Then, in 1949, the Ursulines of the monastery in Rimouski founded a mission at Hakodate, which moved to Hachinohe in 1950. In 1953, at the time of the foundation of the Canadian Union, the communities in Japan formed a single community under the name of the region, becoming a vice-province and then a province in 1975. The Province of Japan opened missions in Tokyo in 1972, in Yagi in 1974 (closed in 2004), and in Shimoda in 1985. In 1989 it extended itself to the Philippines, specifically to Mati. A retreat house was also opened in Mati in 1998. A community lived in Manay from 1998 to 2004, and another opened in Davao in 2010.
In Peru, the Ursulines of Trois-Rivières settled in Aucayo, along the Amazon, in 1961; they founded a mission in Yanashi in 1964, then one in Lima in 1967. The Ursulines of Peru, in turn, settled in 1968 on the outskirts of Quito in 1968. They took charge of the College of our Lady of Fatima, a pre-school, primary, and secondary educational institution belonging to the State but directed by the Ursulines. Peru was recognized as a province in 1975.
In Haiti, one sister has been serving since 2002, especially in the medical sector.
Countries where the Canadian Union is present
Canada, Japan, Peru, Philippines

1 dicembre 2011