Today I’m en route to New Orleans. On Saturday I’ll be joining 40 students and their chaperones from 8 Ursuline schools around the country, our on-site coordinator Sr. Regina Marie Fronmuller, OSU, and Judy Wimberg, the Director of Ursuline Educational Services (UES) for the first-ever UES Student Service Trip. Over the years many Ursuline schools have taken students to New Orleans to help rebuild homes destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. What makes this time unique is that students from different Ursuline schools will be there at the same time. We will work, eat, pray, and socialize together for a week, with some time for sight-seeing and experiencing first-hand a bit of Ursuline history. It’s a special opportunity for “Ursuline girls” to be together and live the motto of Ursuline education: Serviam, Latin for I will serve. In addition to being Ursuline Sisters, Sr. Regina Marie is an alum of Ursuline Academy in Springfield, IL and I from St. John Ursuline high school in San Francisco. It’s a privilege for us to be with these young women and share together our Ursuline bonds.
Besides the friendships forged and the gift of serving people in need, one of the highlights of the week is the evening reflection time. After a day that begins at 6:45 a.m. and involves physical labor, plenty of flexibility, teamwork, and learning new skills, we come together each evening for a meal followed by time to look back on the day. Through discussion, silent reflection, journaling, and faith-sharing, we all learn more about ourselves, how God speaks to us individually and communally through the events of each day, and how God uses us to speak to others.
This is part of the rich heritage of Ursuline education. For any of our readers who have experienced Ursuline education as a student, educator, staff or parent what would you highlight from your experience?