Recent Posts

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Notes from an Ursuline Document on Education.

St. Angela Merici foundress of the Ursulines
From the Ursuline vision of education:

I like the way in which the author, listed at bottom, uses the words formation and formative in her presentation.

She gets to the meat of the Ursuline vision quickly and succinctly. This vision is for the education of girls.

Here is a snippet:

Education is a formative process in which both the educator and the pupil

The work to be accomplished is nothing less than cooperation with
Almighty God in the unfolding of His creative and sanctifying action.

God is the principal educator and it takes deep faith and maturity in the educator to accept it:
Although an apostolate must be the gift of one’s self, it is primarily the gift of God.
Education....consists in forming them to an integral Catholic life, that is, to the
knowledge, love, and service of God, through the harmonious development of the
natural and supernatural faculties.”

First, the educator must sanctify herself, to improve and be a good example to educate

The purpose of education is to produce women of faith and of reason, to prepare for the
Church and for society complete Catholic women

1. Personal formation:
− intellectual formation: wise human beings, educated and who think independently,
− the formation of the will: an improvement of self, of one’s character, the choice of values
and an upright life,
− the formation of the heart: that is, formation for love - a shaping for generosity, for a spirit
of sacrifice, sensitivity, self-giving,
− religious education: personal prayer, participation in the sacraments, religious knowledge.

2. Family formation:
The family atmosphere in Ursuline schools was a typical feature of Ursuline education.
− on one hand, it showed itself in personal and friendly contacts with students, their guidance,
participation in their daily lives and in contacts kept with former students.
− on the other hand, the model of family education took the form of collective education:
children were educated in groups and educators collaborated closely with parents.

3. Social and apostolic formation:
respect for others, honesty, commitment to life in society, apostolic activity at different levels
- acts of charity, parish life, prayer groups etc.

Such was the vision of Ursuline education presented by Mother Marie de Saint-Jean Martin.