This Friday, 27th January, is the (optional) Memorial of St. Angela Merici (1474 – 1540). Born at Desenzano near Lake Garda, she was orphaned in early life, but became a Franciscan tertiary and devoted herself with several companions to the education of poor girls. In 1535, they dedicated themselves to this work under the patronage of St. Ursula, although they took no vows and wore lay clothes. The formal organisation of this sisterhood into a Congregation came in 1565, when the Church authorities became willing to approve what until then was a novel concept, an unenclosed and pastorally active female order. The congregation flourishes to this day and has been described as the oldest and most extensive teaching order of sisters in the Church. St. Angela was canonised in 1807.
The Ursulines come in many different communities. Please pray for the community of Ursuline sisters who were with us until recently at Bishop’s House, as they look to a new mission in our land.