Welcome to Vocations

On behalf of the Ursuline Sisters of the U.S. provinces—Central, East and West—we welcome you. Founded by St. Angela Merici in Brescia, Italy in 1535, the Ursulines were the first women religious to serve in North America, arriving in Canada in 1639 and in New Orleans in 1727.

We are members of a worldwide community whose lives and mission are rooted in the Gospel of Jesus and the spirit of our foundress. We are grounded and empowered by our relationships with God and one another, in prayer and community, seeking always to be a compassionate, reconciling presence of God in our world.

We would love to share something with you about Ursuline life today. Please let us know how we can help you as you discern God’s call in your life.

I’m Thinking about Ursuline Life

The Ursuline Sisters’ incorporation process offers women an opportunity to experience Ursuline life and to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ. A woman who is considering religious life as an Ursuline journeys through four distinct steps as she grows in her understanding of God’s call for her. These steps are Affiliacy, Candidacy, Novitiate and Temporary Profession.

Who Is a Candidate?

A candidate must be a woman who is:

  • Between the ages of 21 and 45

  • A baptized and practicing Catholic for at least two years before affilicacy

  • In good canonical standing in the Roman Catholic Church (if previously married, must have an annulment)

  • Single, with no dependents, and willing to live a celibate lifestyle

  • Capable of and willing to make a lifetime commitment

  • Generally in good physical and psychological health

  • A high school graduate with the willingness and capacity to engage in further education

  • Free of serious financial debts and obligations. Negotiation regarding educational debts is possible

  • A U.S. citizen or eligible for permanent resident status before final vows

We look for those who are able to…

We look for signs of:
A relationship with God
Some involvement in the sacramental life of the Church
Readiness to grow spiritually

We look for signs of:
Healthy relationships with peers and others
A sense of humor
Effective communication skills
An ability to live with conflict and ambiguity

We look for signs of:
Healthy relationships with peers and others
A sense of humor
Effective communication skills
An ability to live with conflict and ambiguity

We look for signs of:
An ability to share material goods
An awareness of and empathy with those who have less
The desire to be free from consumerism

We look for signs of:
A healthy attitude toward authority
An ability to make decisions and to accept responsibility for them
Openness to the role of the Holy Spirit in decision making

We look for signs of:
A desire to serve
Active involvement in parish or campus ministry or other community service
Generosity and a “can do” approach to helping others

Girl on Mountain

Guidance for Hearing God’s Call

Discernment is a model of Christian decision making discovered by St. Ignatius of Loyola through his own human experience and desire to do God’s will. This process invites us to use our ability to think, imagine and feel. This is how God speaks to us. The goal of any discernment is to pay attention to our thoughts, feelings and imagination and to notice what they seem to be saying to us.

Decision—Act of weighing the facts to see which choice is most reasonable, practical and convenient; it is a rational exercise.
Discernment—Act of listening to your deepest self, to others, and to God to see where you are.

Decision—Something you go for.
Discernment—Something God moves you to go for.

Decision—You choose now and go ahead.
Discernment—You listen carefully and are moved forward.

Decision—A choice about what you’ll DO.
Discernment—A process about who you choose to BE.

As we begin any discernment process, it is crucial that we come before God as people of prayer.

We know that God’s desire for us is that we be healthy, happy, holy people. The deepest desires of our hearts let us know what is most meaningful for us in life.

You may be wondering what personal qualities you need to bring to such discernment. The most important qualities are the ability to be honest with yourself, openness, and a lot of inner freedom.

It is important to realize that we need others to help us in this process because they may hear what we can’t and see what we have missed.

The steps in your discernment process can be simply described as follows:
Discover yourself—your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, gifts and talents.
Know your image of God and pray often during the process.
Consider the pros and cons of the choice.
Discuss the choice with others whom you respect and trust.
Imagine yourself in the choice now…five years from now…10 years from now.
Pay attention to your feelings throughout the process.
Make the choice and know it is YOUR choice.
Experience peace in your choice.

Answering God’s Call

God’s desire for each of us is that we be holy, healthy, happy people who are in relationship with Him and of service to those around us. There are many ways to become this kind of person, one of which is to answer God’s call to religious life. These things can help you answer God’s call for you:

Honesty with Yourself
You need to know yourself and be able to share yourself with someone. This should be someone whom you trust and respect and who has your best interest at heart.

The Help of Trusted Others
These people can be wonderful sounding boards. And often they hear and see things that you may have missed.

Regular, Consistent Prayer
It is important that this be REAL prayer: the real you before the real God.

Watch Our Video

We offer “In Solitude with Angela” to acquaint you with the peace that is our Ursuline foundress, St. Angela Merici.