Ursuline leader from Down Under

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Sr Susan Flood OSU greeting Pope Francis in Rome PHOTO: Catholic Religious Australia

The Ursulines of the Roman Union, on Saturday 28 September, elected their first Australian Prioress General, Sr Susan Flood OSU. The term of the office, based in Rome, will last for eight years and is to be shared by five other Ursuline sisters from Senegal, Poland, Indonesia, Brazil and England.  The Ursulines of the Roman Union champion the education of women as well as ministering care for the sick and needy.

The institute, under the patronage of St Ursula, can be traced back to 1535 in Brescia, Italy, where the founder St Angela Merici, religious educator and nun, began with the goal of educating girls in the faith.

At present the Ursulines are spread over 39 countries with more than 1,500 members working for women’s education worldwide- a significant portion of Catholic education.

Pope Francis received members of the chapter in Rome on 3 October. Sr Flood, greeted Pope Francis during the private audience:

“As Ursuline sisters, we deeply appreciate the leadership that you offer, and, hopefully, we can learn from you as we move into this new stage of our journey as daughters of Angela Merici. Like you, we also want to share the message of Jesus with clarity and conviction,” she said.

“We assure you that we support your efforts to build a more inclusive church, a church that is open and responsive, a church that is truly hopeful and joyful.”

Sr Susan Flood, who is a member of the Council of Catholic Religious Australia, was also congratulated on her new position by CRA President, Peter Carrol FMR,

“It is wonderful to see an Australian sister like Sue, who has a passion for proclaiming the Good News, take up this leadership role on a global level at a time of challenge and hope in our Church.”