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Our Foundation

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1802 : Chavagnes !
Louis-Marie BAUDOUIN, dazzled by the Mystery of Love who came to

Arrival of the first Ursuline sisters to whom their founder gave the name Adorers of the
Incarnate Word.

dwell among us:
Mystery of the Incarnation!

In Sables d’Olonne where he lived in hiding after five years of exile in Spain during the French Revolution, he shared his insights with a former Hospitalier sister, Charlotte-Gabrielle RANFRAY.

2 July 1802 :
Six companions arrived in a cart in response to the invitation of Louis-Marie Baudouin, who had been parish priest of Chavagnes-en-Paillers for a year. Charlotte-Gabrielle RANFRAY who became Mother St. Benoit, the founder of the Congregation, with Mother St. Arsene were to take charge of the new venture; a school and a small boarding school.
In the following year they made their religious profession received at the hands of Louis-Marie Baudouin.
The Congregation was born.

1812 : 15 small communities had already been sent out into the countryside.
Mother St. Madeleine was almost always the leader of these groups. Like Teresa of Avila she founded
"in poverty, fervour and joy"….
These small communities attracted both young girls and
older women..It was truly a missionary life…..
"My aim in founding you, was first of all to instruct the
poor in the countryside, and then in the towns; the care of the sick poor in their homes;
and thirdly to educate girls who are better off."

It was a community life, lived in unity with one another…
"Three times each day, together, you will adore Jesus"

In the evening the Sisters, conscious of sin in the world, will give themselves up to the mercy of the Father and offer up their day.
1834 : Scotland

Margaret celebrates our
Bi-centenary in
Chavagnes
2 July 2002

Louis-Marie Baudouin could not resist an appeal from the Church in Scotland. He sent Sisters to found a community in Edinburgh; the first foundation outside of
France.
On 26 December the sisters opened a boarding school and a free school, then a dispensary where they distributed provisions and medicines to the poor.

1860 : Wales
On 12 September 1860, the Sisters arrived in Swansea. On 17 September they began their apotolate by preparing 50 children for their First Communion. Then they opened a school for children aged 3 to 8 years old.

1882 : Spain
On 5 October 1882,

Our Spanish
sisters "step it out" !!!

some Sisters arrived at the station in Vitoria. They did not know one word of Spanish! This little group of intrepid sisters realised a wish of Fr.Baudouin’s: to found in Spain.

1894 : England
In July 1894, at the request of Mgr. Martin Houwlette,
some Sisters set out for London to teach in Kingsland
One of them wrote" Our journey seemed like a journey
to the ends of the earth" No more to be said!

Our daily rhythm of prayer

1903 : Italy
In France the law of Combe forbade religious to teach. The schools had to be closed. The fourteen Ursulines who were in St Tropez, with sadness of heart but with great faith, decided to cross the border and establish themselves in Italy. They arrived at San Fedele, close to Albenga. After a warm welcome, accompanied by the ringing of bells, and after singing the Te Deum, the Sisters lived in great poverty.

1906 :Ireland
An request came from Coleraine. After discussion with the parish priest the superiors decided to send four Sisters to form a community.They opened a boarding school for young girls, visited the poor and the sick, trained a musician for the church, and took over the running of the school.

1911 : Canada
On 5 September 1911, four Ursulines left Chavagnes to open new foundations in North America. On the afternoon of 28 September the Sisters arrived in Edmonton to meet Fr. Boutin, a Father of Chavagnes, and the Bishop who gave them their new place of mission, Elm Park.

1952 : Cameroon
A request came from the Church through Mgr. Bonneau, the Bihop of DOUALA, and the brother of two of the Ursulines. Correspondence with the sisters tells us of their arrival on 18 May, the events, the fears,the joy that was theirs. "Great is your joy, O land of Bikok….rejoice!" To relieve suffering, to educate, to listen: these were their first tasks as missionaries.

Gathered from all countries
To celebrate200 years

1953 : Chile
After having heard an appeal from Pope Pius XII, and after a very moving farewell celebration, five Spanish Sisters left for this distant country. Santander, Valparaiso; 39 days on a boat, then 26 hours on the train, and finally arrival at Ancud on the island of Chiloe on 30 November, with nothing…. the luggage did not arrive until 2 February. They got to know the life of the church and indeed, all aspects of life there. They began their mission: care of the sick and education.
1977 : Bolivia
After an epic journey the Sisters arrived at Trinidad. They wished to live in a poor house just like the people, but this house was not ready for them, so they stayed in the presbytery. The parish priest was away elsewhere. They were given a warm welcome.
The Bishop gave them this advice: "Do not be in a hurry to accomplish many things. Keep your eyes and your ears open in order to contemplate the reality here, open wide your hearts and love the people very much"

1994 : Ecuador
This was a foundation with four Sisters of different nationalities.

They did not know one another and were in a strange country: a daring spiritual venture! They had to take time to listen and observe before drawing up a pastoral plan. The task was enormous. The missionary team comprised eight people altogether. The first steps they took were to go out and get to know the people.