Welcome to our “Ask The Nun” series of informal videos. Today’s question focuses on what motivates a woman to become a nun. Sister Norma Raupple shares her answer.

In a call from God to become a nun there are found two desires: The first desire is to give oneself totally to God.  To respond to God’s love  by centering one’s life on this personal relationship with God.  The second desire is to dedicate oneself to help others know and love God Through loving  service  one works with God in spreading the kingdom The purpose of becoming a nun is to find in your heart these two desires. We have the example and vision of our Founder, St. Angela Merici.  She lived out these two desires in her life in northern Italy in the 16th century.

Please submit your questions to vocations@theursulines.org


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  1. Dear Teresa,
    St. Angela did not actually become a nun. She had opportunities to become a nun but she chose to remain single and consecrate her life to God in a different way. She began a new model for women to center their lives on their relationship with God and pour out their lives in loving service of others. Women who wanted this way of life gathered together on a regular basis to support each other. Angela named this group of women “The Company of St. Ursula”.

  2. Saint Angela was not a nun per se..She was a lay woman who consecrated her life to God and service of the people of her day. She took a vow not to marry; she was a third order Franciscan [so she could receive communion more frequently]. The company of St Ursula was her original foundation. Saint Angela invoited young women to vow not to marry. They lived in their homes, came together monthly for prayer and to discern the needs of the area. Today that company still exists in Italy and now here in the United States. However, as history would have it, when her Company was established in other parts of Italy, St Charles Borromeo had them live in a monastery, thus it was then that that group became nuns. Today in our Ursuline family we have both expressions of Ursuline life – nuns and the women who are part of the Company of St Ursula who vow virginity but live at home.

  3. Did St. Angela Merici actually become a nun?If so,please state the reference(s) so that I may use them-I am having a difficult time finding the answer to this question.
    Thank you!

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