In less than a week, young women from New York and New Orleans will join me in San Antonio, Texas, for a week of service at Haven for Hope, a center of care for persons experiencing homelessness. San Antonio is well known for its River Walk, Tex-Mex food, beautiful Missions, the Alamo, hot weather and friendly people. There are other, more ominous, things happening now to immigrants along the border in Texas. We, Ursuline Volunteers, are deeply aware that it will be our privilege to bring compassion and friendship to other “home-less” people. What a gift it is–to be present to brothers and sisters in need–as we bring them Serviam hearts, open and ready to serve.
What we will do is fully in line with centuries of Ursuline spirit. Seven Ursuline Sisters came to San Antonio in 1851 at the invitation of the local Bishop. Upon their arrival, they found a building with nothing more than walls and a leaky roof. However, within 2 months, they opened their school. By 1887, Ursuline Academy there drew students from all parts of western Texas and Mexico. During the Mexican Revolution, the convent was a refuge for bishops, priests and nuns fleeing persecution. The Ursuline community fed dozens of people daily during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. And during World War II, the sisters provided day care for preschool age children whose mothers were obliged to work. Please join us in prayer as we, 21st century women, continue the long legacy of Serviam in this beautiful city by the river!