These are some of the questions Ursuline Sisters often are asked. You may be wondering about some of these things, too.
Isn’t it hard to not be married and not have your own children?
I believe that I have grown and continue to grow in my understanding of my vow of consecrated chastity. My vow is one to love non-possessively, deeply and freely. There are times when I am more emotionally aware of the choice that I have made. This awareness is not one of regret but simply an awareness that I continue to grow into the vow I made.
Why do some sisters wear habits and others don’t?
It is very important to be able to be recognized as a sister. Some sisters prefer to wear the habit, which derived from peasant dress many centuries ago. Others prefer to be recognizable as a sister through simple dress and a crucifix or symbol of their religious community.
What are the ways in which the Ursulines minister?
We are impelled by the mission of Jesus and the spirit of St. Angela to respond to the most urgent needs of our times in a variety of ministries. We often can be found in educational and pastoral ministry, as well as in other works that allow us to be in solidarity with the poor in the United States and internationally.
Can you choose your own job?
We believe in a very active type of obedience that allows us to match the needs of those we serve with a sister’s gifts and talents. Sometimes a sister initiates a ministry change. At other times, we respond to requests from our leadership team. We are sent to our ministry by our province leadership in the name of the community.
How often can you visit your family and friends?
It is always a challenge to balance our responsibilities to our prayer, ministry, community and vow of poverty with our desire to spend time with family and friends. Visits typically are shorter and more frequent when we live close to our family. When we live at a distance, our visits are less frequent but longer.
What type of educational expections do you have of members?
Because God’s people deserve the best service that we can offer, we need to be fully prepared for our chosen ministry. We expect at least a high school education with the willingness and capacity to engage in further education.
Do you have to be a virgin to consider becoming a sister?
No, a woman is not required to be a virgin before becoming a sister. She does, however, need to demonstrate that she is able to live healthily and happily as a celibate woman for two years before serious consideration of entrance.
What are the characteristics of women who are thinking about becoming an Ursuline Sister?
Women who are drawn to us typically:
- participate in parish or campus ministry and have an active prayer life
- have a good sense of humor, relate well with peers and communicate effectively
- demonstrate a healthy self-concept, relate well to both men and women and are inclusive
in their relationships
- have the desire and ability to live simply
- relate well with authority, can make decisions and are open to the Holy Spirit working
in their lives
- are actively involved in some type of ministry to others
- enjoy the multi-cultural reality of our world.
How will you help me as I am discerning?
Sister Elisa Ryan, vocation director, is ready to help you in any way she can. Typically this could be through:
- phone calls, email or personal visits
- discernment retreat weekends
- visits to some of our communities
- conversations with other women who are considering the choice of Ursuline life
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