St. Angela Merici: Introduction to Counsels
"How earnestly then, you must beg God to enlighten you and direct and teach you what you have to do for love of Him"


"Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that she or he has encountered the love of God in Jesus Christ."  Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel #120

We are women whose mission is expressed in a variety of ways, leading us to people, places and events which open us to new possibilities.

We are enlivened by our involvement with those who cross our paths each day as they challenge and encourage us.

We learn from them as they share faith, the joys and struggles of daily life, their injustices, anxieties and hopes.

Grounded in Gospel values and inspired by St. Angela, we are working with young families, with women, in health, in parishes, in schools, in Pastoral Ministries, in spiritual direction, in care for aged sisters in our community, in advocating for the poor and marginalised.

Please read about our involvement below.

 Sr Anne Surtees 

A Surtees webSince moving to Alice Springs to form a new community with Sr Mary Wicks, who is a Specialist Physician, I have been very involved in the life of a very multicultural parish.  I have been able to assist the life of the faith community by facilitating formation sessions, coordinating liturgy and working with other volunteers in a variety of roles.

As a trained Spiritual Director, I accompany several people in their faith journey and lead Retreats in the local community. I have had the opportunity to train with Mental Health Association of Central Australia (MHACA) to offer support to family and friends of people who have died as a result of suicide.  This is very confronting work, but the connection and support offered to those who are suffering this is unexpected and bewildering death is very important.

As we live in a stunningly beautiful environment in the centre of Australia, I sometimes double as the 'Central Australian Tour Guide'.  A role that gives me great pleasure.  When we welcome visiting Ursulines and friends to this magnificent country, it is wonderful to see again the beauty of this land through the eyes of those experiencing it for the first time.


Sr Patty Andrew

Patty webWhen I think about my present ministry, the scene of a beautiful river flowing into the ocean comes to mind. For 40 years of my Ursuline life I have worked in education. While the work of schools is vast, it is all carried out basically in one community with a well - defined focus. This time in my life was like a young river full of energy, vitality and daily challenges.

In the past ten years the horizon has broadened as new doors have opened for me. The river is widening and its flow less rapid. The pace of my life is changing.

Much of my current work is with Principals, teachers and parishioners in both formal and informal programs. The main aim of this work is to assist those who participate to be more reflective in their own life and ministry. I present a short course each year at the Parramatta Diocesan Institute for Mission on aspects of spirituality, beginning with the fact that spirituality is a natural human disposition and as such we are ‘wired for God.’ Furthermore from a faith perspective, I believe that grace is secretly at work in the heart of every person. I hope that through this ongoing formative work, I participate in some small measure in the awakening of the treasure deep within each person.

Patty mission

I am also involved with the work of Catalyst for Renew, by facilitating retreat days and reflection mornings as part of their annual programme. In September of this year I will also present a course at the Aquinas Academy on several of the Christian mystics. My experience has shown me that many people are seeking for a meaningful expression of their spirituality which begins with the heart. I know that the spirituality of Angela Merici which is embedded deeply in our Ursuline tradition, has a beauty to inspire and a capacity to speak to the heart.

Several years ago I was invited to be part of the prison ministry known as Kairos Outside for Women. This involves reaching out and engaging with women who have been affected by a spouse, a son or daughter, a relative or close friend receiving a prison sentence. As this is an ecumenical movement I am involved with women of faith from other Christian denominations. Through working with these committed women I have witnessed extraordinary selflessness and generosity embodied in compassion. I am grateful that through this work I am coming to touch and experience something of the nature of our loving God who is pure Agape—the bountiful Love-energy that is existence.

  kairos 2