The key persons for the four committees leading the Ursulines of Bruno are, from left: Sisters Denise Hinz (sustainment), Alexis Taphorn (archives), Louise Hinz (enhancement of community life) and Marian Noll (business office and contact person). They are standing alongside the image of the founder. (Cheryl Schmidt photo)
SASKATOON — The Ursulines of Bruno are changing the way leadership in their congregation will be exercised, says retiring leader Sister Miriam Spenrath, OSU.
The community of 17 members discussed a more appropriate method of ministering to the needs and hopes of a group diminishing in numbers and increasing in age, she said. The decision was made unanimously as the sisters held their first Biennial Assembly at Trinity Manor in Saskatoon on Sept. 16.
For the next two years the community will be administered and served by four committees of volunteers, assisted by a key person in each group: enhancement of community life, sustainment, community archives and business affairs. One of the key persons will be the contact person for communication with church and civil authorities.
“Ursulines have been required many times to make changes throughout their history,” Spenrath noted. This is the legacy of their 16th-century founder, St. Angela Merici. She advised her community, “If, according to times and circumstances, the need arises to make new rules or do something differently, do it prudently and with good advice.”
When the first two Ursulines arrived in Muenster, Sask. from Germany on Sept. 2, 1913, one of them, upon examining her pioneer surroundings, suggested that an inscription from Dante’s Inferno might be appropriate: “Abandon all hope you who enter here.”
However, hope grew, as did the ministry and the number of members. Total members who joined the Ursulines of Bruno number 154. Of these, many moved on to other calls. As one enters the Ursuline cemetery in Bruno a large mosaic with the inscription “Alive in Christ” celebrates in gratitude the lives of the 73 members gone before the small group active today.
A closing Vesper service included the community renewal of vows and a recommitment to the Community Stance of Reverencing Creation; each sister chose a concrete action to pursue for the coming year.