Happy Foundation Day and FIrst Sunday of Advent

Happy Feast Day! Today, November 28th, is the day the Roman Union of Ursuline Sisters was founded.

The Ursuline Sisters of the Eastern Province, who administer and sponsor the Academy of Mount St. Ursula, Bronx, NY, The Ursuline School, New Rochelle, NY and Ursuline Academy, Wilmington, DE all belong to the Roman Union of Ursuline Sisters. This is an international group of Ursuline sisters that joined together in 1900 at the invitation of Pope Leo XIII, because he envisioned a united institute created from smaller, independent Ursuline communities. The purpose was for the Ursuline communities to collaborate and work together. 

The international group which took the name of the Roman Union of the Order of St. Ursula has its headquarters in Rome and all follow a common Constitution. The Roman Union Order of St. Ursula has found strength in unity, living out Angela’s vision that crosses nationalities, cultures, and ethnicity.

Today, the Roman Union of the Order of St. Ursula can be found in these different countries.

Africa: Botswana, Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa

The Americas: Barbados, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Guyana, Mexico, Peru, United States, Venezuela 

Asia/Pacifica: Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor Leste, Vietnam

Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Croatia, Czech-Moravia, England, France, Greece, ngary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine, and Wales

All our schools follow the SERVIAM motto. In the picture below, you see the Soli Deo Gloria-Ursuline shield standing for Glory to God along and the Ursuline crucifix. 

There are other independent groups of Ursuline sisters in the United States and Canada, such as those in Kentucky, Ohio, New York, and the Canadian provinces. All the North American Ursuline Sisters and groups are in communication through meetings and shared initiatives. 

All connected to the Ursuline family work to bring Angela’s vision and the Ursuline charism of service, care for all creation, strengthening of family unity, and the importance of women leadership to all parts of our world.

Today we also celebrate the First Sunday of Advent. The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming.” The Advent season is an invitation to set your mind off the stresses of the year. We can take our focus off the crazy hustle that can be associated with the Christmas season that often threatens to produce more hassle than delight. Advent is a chance to focus our thoughts on the gift God has given us in his son Jesus who stepped down from Heaven and took the form of a man so that we might believe.

The tradition for the first Sunday of Advent includes lighting the candle of hope. This candle of hope symbolizes promises delivered through the prophets from God as well as the hope we have in Christ. A good friend of mine use Hang On Peace Emerges as an anacronym for hope.  I often find myself using this when life gets too stressful.

This first Sunday of Advent we read, pray, and reflect on the hope God’s plan gives us (foretold by the prophets and fulfilled by the life and death of Christ), and we meditate on the promise of Christ’s coming glory-filled return.  Let us always trust that if we hang on peace will emerge.