- A Woman for Kenya
shall always be in your midst, helping your
prayers. For in times of great need true
friendship is recognized. And believe firmly
that then especially you will know me to
be yours faithful friend.
We see in Angela a well focused intention
to identify with her daughters. This is
what in African language is often implied
by the invocation of motherhood sentiments.
In the words of evangelists – shepherds
and for many of us the understanding of
friendship companionship. It is a wonderful
gift to receive and also to give.
who are inspired by Angela’s vision accept
to be broken and shared for our people;
to offer quality presence to our people
in the villages and towns; the tillers of
the soil and herdsmen; patriots and nomads;
heroes and heroines; fishermen and artists;
the weak and the strong; children, men and
women. For certain, mama Angela shares our
hopes, our dreams and our labours.
Ursulines, are the progeny of a great heritage.
We are fertile soil for the WORD.
praise and thank you Angela, Woman for Kenya.
- Woman of the Land
Angela, a farmer’s daughter
was conversant with the workings of the
land. She would have experienced the preparations,
sowing and reaping the fruits of the earth.
In effect, she was ‘rooted’ conscious of
of Kenya have a long tradition identifying
with the soil of their ancestral lands.
By cultivating and caring for the earth,
they were linked with the goodness, generosity
of those who had died and the blessings
of the Creator.
often indicates home, belonging. As our
traditions and practices evolve, can we
as Kenyan Ursulines rise to the invitation
of Jesus to enrich, broaden and deepen our
perception of belonging.
anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and
my Father and I will love him and we shall
come to him and make our home with him”.
new home which surpasses human understanding,
liberating us for mission. We learn to pitch
our tent among those to whom we are sent,
to live in the present, meaningfully, while
growing wings for the journey back home.
Angela, foster in us a spirit like your
- Woman of Pilgrimage
made us for yourself O Lord, and our hearts
are restless until they rest in you.” (St.
spiritual journeys to Varallo, Mantua, the
Holy Land, Rome cause one to ask – what
was Angela, such a holy woman looking for?
Maybe there was a deep seated yearning for
fulfillment and intimacy with God. Notable
also is the fact that Angela became blind
on one of these safaris, an invitation to
look inward, to find God in herself. No
doubt Angela undertook this inner journey
for we read that on her deathbed, she surrendered
so gracefully to God. Her pilgrim soul had
found ‘the way’.
scared places, Retreat centers are not uncommon
in Kenya. Here we are drawn to quench our
thirst, to call ourselves home, to find
our true selves.
the ocean, there lived a small fish and
a big fish. One day, the small one got agitated
and restless. She felt she needed to swim
and enjoy the sheer joy of being surrounded
by water. She said to the big fish, “please
tell me, where I can find the ocean?” The
big fish smiled and said to her “Darling,
you are in the ocean.”
know that my span of life is lived on Holy
Give me, O Lord, I pray, the grace to tread
tenderly and with gratitude. [Top]
their eyes were opened, and they recognised
Him in the breaking of bread”.
- Woman called by name
and her first group of followers signed
their names in the book of the company of
her writings, Angela recommended that the
leaders know the names of the sisters. Names
carry a substantial part of a person’s identity.
Almost all names in Kenya, whether of people
or places, have meaning. They carry a story.
Nanjala is a name we will not forget soon,
not ever in the history of the Ursuline
Sisters in Kenya. She was whisked away from
our sight by the thunder of a bullet. We
feel her departure was cruel, painful and
untimely. But in the eternal timelessness
of God, who knows? We are left to gaze and
wonder why the winds blow!
In a serious conversation, Anna had said
– “I am called to be an Ursuline Sister,
I am an Ursuline and I will die an Ursuline”.
She was aware of her calling and identity.
She has responded to this mysterious calling.
who are left will live to tell of her commitment
to God and courageous faith to subsequent
generations. And many others will be willing
to add a piece of wood to the fire of the
mission of Christ in Turkana, Kenya and
other lands. Through our tears and fears,
we will allow the blossoming of integrity
and celebrate echoes of glory.
may your NAME be held holy.
- Woman for family Life
the saying goes – the family is the basic
unit of society. In the Christian family
is the Church. Angela’s commitment to Christian
instruction in the family context indicates
her understanding and appreciation of the
family set up. The fruitfulness of human
love is at its best in the family. When
family life is threatened, we see all sorts
of vice, suffering, woundedness, and entire
African concept of family shows a chain
of interconnectedness. Family bonds are
created not only through blood relations
but also through meaningful institutions
like initiation, covenants, pacts. It is
an intricate task to fathom ‘relations’
Ursulines, are related to each other. We
are forming and nurturing ties as adult
women who are fired with the dream of Angela
and the courage of Ursula. In our ministries
of education and health care and social
ministry we are committed to nurture attitudes
and values which enhance family and social
praise and thank you Mama Angela, woman
for family life. [Top]
- A Woman for Women
the years of Angela’s life, women were among
the most disadvantaged. Societal and religious
norms shaped their lives. The civil wars
in Italy exposed women to abuse, disease,
ignorance, Angela’s heart was touched. She
says – do something……………..to alleviate their
suffering, offer them ways of freeing themselves,
dare to dream with them. Angela and her
companions were in solidarity with these
people, the lowly of Yahweh.
in Kenya have come on in leaps bounds. In
1998 we were surprised by a group of women
‘mothers’ who went out of their way to liberate
their country folk. They sought to be heard
by the powers that be and when that came
to nothing, they camped in Uhuru Park fasting
and praying. Today, on that same spot Prof.Wangari
Maathai, of the greenbelt movement, has
signed – LEST WE FORGET……….the mistakes
of history and repeat them. Other women
in Kangemi combed their village for liquor
and liquor brewers. They wanted to save
their sons and husbands who were at risk.
Angela would be with such valiant and far
sighted women. We her daughters in Kenya
are on that track. With a light foot and
steady heart let us joyfully carry the vision
and split of our foundress Angela Merici.
women of Kenya, it is for you we drum.
of faith create tomorrow
Women of faith proclaim the Word
Women of faith can share the wisdom
Bringing forth the dawning world
of faith can bear the burden
of the suffering of the world
Tell the story, see the vision
Living on behalf of all
of freedom live responsibly
Women of freedom can decide
Women of freedom dare obedience
Give our life with single mind
into the future run
Run into the rising sun
Those who run create the world.
- A Woman of Peace and Reconciliation
story of Madre Angela reveals her special
ability as a peacemaker. In order for the
Gospel of Salvation to become a reality,
people’s hearts have to bend towards each
other. Angela promoted right relations,
life giving relations.
African culture, cosmic balance and harmony
are essential elements of spirituality.
When human beings, environment, animals,
deities lived in mutual relatedness, it
translated into good health, wealth, prosperity,
blessings. Many ethnic groups use greetings
that literally mean ‘peace to you’.
reconciliation rituals, the Maasai used
a tuft of grass as a symbol of peace. Our
first president Mzee Kenyatta, encouraged
the spirit of ‘Harambee’. Let us all work
together. Thus those who hold a common vision
will also encourage among themselves seeds
Women, followers of St Angela and Ursula,
have inherited words written in blood –
to live in harmony, be bound by bonds of
love, be of one mind and heart.
A challenge to keep us stirring! “Pula”.
praise and thank you Angela, Woman of Peace
and Reconciliation. [Top]
- Woman of Prayer and Contemplation
Lord, light up the darkness of my heart
Lead me to live for you and do what is pleasing
Strength my affections and my senses
Show me yours dazzling face
I soul search myself
I dare not raise my eyes to heaven
for what I deserve overwhelms me
I call out and cry to heaven for mercy.
Deign O most loving Lord to forgive me
and cleanse me of all my inequalities
I implore this of you
and by your holy Name
be it blessed above the sands of the seas
above the drops of the waters
above the multitudes of the stars…………………….Amen
Prayer Rule 5
Angela invites us to take refuge at the
feet of Jesus, she herself had known it
in effect. She was immersed in profound
awareness of creature – creator union; disciple
– leader relationship; bride-spouse faithful
daughters of Angela in Kenya today affirm
the value of gathering around the Word,
‘chewing’ the Word and becoming the Word
which is proclaimed in every possible way.
For those in whom the Word finds a dwelling,
life will never be the same.
praise and thank you Angela, Woman of prayer
and contemplation. [Top]
Woman Who Came to Water
she said, give me some of that water so
that I may never get thirsty again and never
have to come here again to draw water. Jn
and ‘Kisima’ are Kiswahili words for wells,
fountains, springs. People go to water sources
to draw clean fresh water for use. The type
and size of vessel one brings determines
the quantity of water received. We followers,
admirers, heiresses of Angela’s spirit treasure
her wisdom and counsel as a never drying
well. Whoever we are, wherever we are, Angela’s
words speak to us. She, like the Samaritan
Woman of the Gospels, woos us to her/our
one and only Treasure – Jesus Christ, where
we shall never thirst again.
praise and thank you Angela, Woman of the
- Woman of Celebration and Joy
encouraged her daughters to meet regularly
and also recommended that leaders would
visit the group often without fail. We believe
that apart from dealing with spiritual necessities,
business matters and sensual issues, these
gatherings encompassed the yearning and
fostering of companionship. In the African
setting, work, leisure, prayer were integrated
– different expressions of life. Many people
were dancing, singing, enjoyment. When people
gather together, the question of when it
begins and ends is of little significance.
in Kenya can thus take pride in drawing
meaning from the local cultural appreciation
of celebrations. In joyful occasions, we
bless and perpetuate each other.
gather not for food, not because there is
nothing in our homes; we gather for the
sheer joy of being together.” Chinua Achebe
praise and thank you Angela, Woman of celebration
and joy. [Top]
- Woman of the Trinity
the name of the Blessed and Indivisible
Trinity. Angela’s Rule opens with a clear
statement of faith. The Father, Son, Holy
Spirit relatedness is the foundation stone
and source from which her message springs.
It is surely an intentional act of both
mind and heart that Angela presents to her
daughters the paradigm of the Triune God.
African writer, Professor S. Mbiti, holds
that for the Africans, no one exists in
isolation, no one ought to stand alone,
no one is self sufficient. Thus the values
of hospitality, sharing, solidarity are
a must. Ursulines make this understanding
a calling to bond among themselves, with
God, with one another and with the environment.
praise and thank you Angela, Woman of the
- Woman of her Time Yet Open to Change
know Angela as a liberated woman. Her life
is lit with spiritual riches and treasures
of wisdom. Her pregnant inner freedom led
her to dream beyond the obvious. Angela
saw two roads and walked a third.
Ursulines in Kenya are called to believe
in ourselves; called to rise to our God-given
freedom of mind, soul and body. Angela urges
us to raise our hearts on high – not to
rest in things of earth. We live the paradox
of being rooted in reality and yet not held
captive by the limitations of time, territory,
culture or school of thought. We witness
the I AM and prophesy the unfolding of an
of Angela, let us radiate Christ’s own enthusiasm
and urgency for the Kingdom of God.
“I come to cast fire on the earth and how
I wish it were kindled already.”