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Ursulines of the Sacred Heart of Mary - Vicenza
Ursulines of the Sacred Heart of Mary - Vicenza

Histoty, today


The foundress and her religious family: The Congregation of the Ursuline nuns SCM was born in 1907 in Breganze (province of Vicenza), on the initiative of Giovanna Meneghini, a lay woman who had been consecrated in the Company of Saint Ursula for twenty years. After the foundress’s death (in Breganze in 1918), the community of the Ursulines underwent a long period of trials; it first received diocesan approval in 1941 and pontifical approval in 1950.
Even though she lived her secular consecration according to the Merician Rule, Giovanna Meneghini had felt strongly attracted to communal religious life: that attraction led her to form a nucleus of community life. For this institute she chose the Rule of Angela Merici as its inspiring principle.
Charism and mission: The fundamental elements are outlined by the foundress herself: «The aim of the Institute is one’s own salvation and perfection in the practice of the evangelical counsels just as much as the salvation and sanctification of women of the lower classes» (Memories I, 24). «The spirit of the Lord’s new servants should be absolute self-denial and untiring zeal for the salvation of souls» (Memories II, 2).
Today the congregation identifies the grace of its origin in the gift of union with Christ as Spouse, who came to the world in order to fulfill the Father’s design, thanks to the unreserved consent of a woman, the Virgin Mary, servant and mother of God. The mission of the congregation is to contribute to women’s human and Christian promotion, in a spirit of service.
Activities and life style: Following the foundress’s choice and the Ursuline tradition, the Ursuline sisters SCM share the evangelical work of the Church, promoting Christian culture in the educational, pastoral and social services which enable them to reach young and adult women, most of all belonging to the lower classes, for the purpose of formation and human and Christian promotion. The congregation’s study center “Presenza Donna” works with the same intent. Called to carry out a mission of salvation for women, they are especially sensitive to the conditions of poverty and isolation caused by injustice, human weakness, personal and social sin. For this aim they provide socio-educational communities for adolescent and young women in difficulty and encourage voluntary parish and social organizations. The congregation is involved, according to its nature and specific charism, in the missionary activities of the Church. In parish work the Ursuline sisters SCM take on, with a special commitment, the promotion of lay women and their training for different services within the Church, for evangelization and charitable works.
The Congregation of the Ursulines of the Sacred Heart of Mary, which has about 130 members, is present:
• In Italy: in Veneto, in the dioceses of Vicenza and Padua, in Lombardy, in Tuscany, Latium, Campania and Calabria;
• In Brazil: in the states of Rio de Janeiro, Espirito Santo, Minas Gerais and Roraima;
• In Mozambique: in the diocese of Beira.