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Ursuline of North America
Ursulines of Tildonk, United States Province

History of the Ursulines of Tildonk. United States Province



Ursuline Provincialate
81-15 Utopia Parkway
Jamaica, NY 11432
Tel: 718-591-0681 - Fax: 718-969-4275

The Ursulines of Tildonk, United States Province, seek to live by their vision: “We the Ursuline Sisters and Associates of Tildonk are dedicated to radical Gospel living. Energized by the spirit and example of St. Angela, we dare to effect change in ourselves, our Church, and our society by standing with the oppressed economically poor, especially women and children.”
The sisters have broadened their ministries to meet the needs of today’s world. Currently, they minister in Catholic education, parish and pastoral programs, retreat centers, hospital and hospice chaplaincy and social-justice advocacy. They also serve in non-profit, government, and social-service providers and in healthcare and childcare sites. They are also involved in spiritual direction, development, and holistic therapies.
At their 2010 chapter, the sisters affirmed that their charism calls them to a life profoundly rooted in God, a life of simplicity and faith, a life lived in harmony united in heart and mind, a life which makes a difference in society.
Ursulines of Tildonk live and minister in the states of New York and Connecticut. Their provincial offices are in Jamaica, New York. St. Ursula Center is in Blue Point, New York.
In 1818 Reverend John Lambertz, the parish priest in Tildonk, Belgium, founded a new branch of the Ursuline spiritual family – the Ursulines of Tildonk. From Belgium the Ursulines of Tildonk expanded into other parts of Europe and to Indonesia and Canada.
In 1924 the pastor of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Ozone Park, New York, visited the tomb of Saint Angela Merici in Brescia, Italy, and prayed for sisters to staff his parish school. Shortly afterward his prayers were answered when Mother Stanislaus and her sisters from Manitoba, Canada, accepted the challenge of a new mission in New York. Four Ursuline sisters of Tildonk and two lay women traveled from Canada to the United States, arriving in Ozone Park for the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, September 8, 1924. (Nativity BVM School and St. Stanislaus School combined as Divine Mercy Catholic Academy in 2007.)
Over time, other convents in New York and Connecticut were opened. The sisters first taught in elementary schools, then in high schools, providing quality education, often to a largely immigrant population. With the changes in the Church and the challenges of Vatican II, the ministries of the sisters expanded beyond education to social justice, spirituality, social work and pastoral ministries.
The Ursulines purchased the Joseph Senger estate in Blue Point, Long Island, New York, in 1935 and relocated the novitiate from Ozone Park to this new site. When the original building was destroyed by fire in 1980, the Province erected a new convent. On January 3, 1982, Saint Ursula Center was dedicated as a retirement home for the sisters and a retreat center for spiritual development. Today St. Ursula Center is primarily a place of retirement and care of the older sisters.
After governance by a vicar of the Belgian superior general, the United States Province achieved its own provincial authority in 1969. Members of the Province have served in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in India, and in Central America.
Mutually life-giving relationships were formalized as a group of Associates in 1981. Sisters and lay friends share in spiritually, ministry, and friendship on many levels.
Countries where members of the United States Province are present
USA, Belgium

1 dicembre 2011