What Makes an Ursuline Sister Different From Other Sisters?

Welcome to our “Ask a Nun” series. Today, Sister Norma discusses what makes an Ursuline Sister different from other sisters.

All Catholic Orders of Nuns are structured in the same way according to the requirements of the Catholic Church. Each group however is unique because of the time and place and reason for why the community was founded.

Ursuline Sisters have St. Angela Merici as our founder. She gathered a group of women in 1535 in Brescia, Italy and formed a group of women under the name of St. Ursula. St. Angela believed that women could live holy lives expressed in service to those in need without living in convents. Although the women did not live together they gathered regularly as a community. This model of community still prospers today as the Company of St. Ursula, a Secular Institute in the Church.

A parallel model soon emerged in Italy when St. Charles Borromeo, was bishop in Milan. The Ursulines, known as the Order of St. Ursula, became an official religious order in the Church, similar to all other orders. Although the Youngstown Ursulines serve mainly in Northeast Ohio there are women who have their origins in St. Angela all over the world today.