Questions you may have about who we are
1) What is the Company of St. Ursula?
We are a group of single lay women, consecrated to Christ in life-long celibacy, who seek to follow the Gospel along the spiritual path of Angela Merici.
2) What is your mission?
To live so deeply our relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, as to be able to find God everywhere…. Experiencing God’s love from within, we are called to bring this love to others, to be a Gospel presence and to radiate God’s love in our jobs, homes, families, neighbourhoods, parishes and civic communities.
3) What is a “Company”?
The word “company” comes from two Latin words and means “sharing bread,” that is, life. It has a long history of referring to spiritual groups. The Company of St. Ursula follows certain spiritual practices.
4) Why St. Ursula?
Saint Ursula was a leader of women in the early Church. She and her companions were martyred at Cologne, Germany, in about the fourth century. She represents commitment to Christ, courage and women’s leadership.
5) Is this a religious community?
6) What is the difference between this way of life and religious life?
Our life is completely in the world. Each member is financially responsible for herself. There are no established group works or living arrangements. A member lives wherever is suitable for her. Our companionship is based on living the same vocation, following the same Rule (spiritual practices) and gathering regularly in a sisterhood of shared values and spirit.
7) How do you experience community?
In a spiritual family bound by a common Ursuline vocation and spirit. We gather regularly for prayer and sisterly support.
8) Is the Company like an association?
No. We are not connected with a religious order. We are not a third order nor a lay association. This is a permanent lay vocation in the Catholic Church.
9) How are members supported financially?
Each member is responsible for her own financial support.
10) What is new or innovative about this life?
The Company of St. Ursula was revolutionary in its beginning (1535). It offered an alternative future to women. It was founded by Angela Merici, a lay woman, who composed its Rule of life. The Church approved this Rule in 1546. A lay institution since its foundation, the Company now exists around the world.
11) Who is Angela Merici?
Saint Angela Merici (ca. 1474-1540) created a way of consecrated life for single lay women. She founded the Company of St. Ursula in 1535 in Brescia, Italy. She composed a Rule, which is a guidebook to this way of life.
12) Did you say “celibacy”?
Consecrated celibacy. Yes.
Consecrated celibacy is a WAY OF LIFE. It is understood as the loving gift of one’s whole self in response to Jesus Christ, who has first loved us. This way of life is supported by deep prayer and by the companionship of other women on the same journey. This celibate love flows outward in service to the world.
13) What do you DO?
We offer loving service to our world, in the spirit of the Gospel, through occupations and ministries as varied as the women forming the Company.
Our times call for special attention to peace and justice.
14) Must I leave my job to join the Company?
No. Each member works in her own chosen occupation.
(Permission for use given by Mary Cabrini, Co-founder of US Company of St Ursula on 25 November 2000 with the late Kathleen Hallinan)
How would I explore becoming a member of the Company?
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