An independent Catholic school for young women in grades 7-12

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Paige Doherty '23

Current Ursuline students might recall attending a school-wide mass in which the chorus sang a short but sweet song called Insieme in early 2020. Although it is rarely heard around Ursuline- Dedham, Insieme, which means “together,” is quite a common song in Ursuline schools around the world. Now, almost two years after hearing Insieme for the first time, students from Ursuline-Dedham are joining together with Ursuline schools throughout the world to truly define the meaning of it. Today, there are over 105 Ursuline schools scattered throughout the globe in places such as Indonesia, Poland, France, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and dozens of other countries. In an effort to honor Pope Francis’ call for a more united and connected world community in his encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, many of these schools are now uniting in what is known as the Ursuline Global Education Community. The goal of the UGEC is to promote change in the world by informing their communities or creating a service project around one of the main themes of the encyclical. Although participants are from all over the world, the UGEC was created by a nun from Indonesia. Joining the UGEC are 50 Ursuline schools, each with two student ambassadors and one faculty member. The various schools are from 38 different countries spread across the globe, and almost all of the United States Ursuline schools are participating. By uniting together, the participants are hoping to inspire change throughout the world, and improve the lives of others in their own communities.

 Representatives from Ursuline-Dedham include Morgan Bullen ‘23, Paige Doherty ‘23, and Campus Minister Mrs. Jessica Morrison. When the group first met in September, members were given the task of choosing its main focus. The main themes from the encyclical selected by the UGEC were solidarity, racism, immigrants and refugees, LGBTQ+ rights, environment, how politics serve the people, lifestyle of encounter, and inter-religious dialogue and peace. After much deliberation, the group ultimately decided to focus on immigrants and refugees. A few weeks later, on October 15th, the group zoomed with the other 49 other schools located throughout the world. They began as one large group, and were welcomed by Sr. Sue Flood, the Mother General of the Ursulines. Each school was placed into a smaller group with three to four other schools, but before heading off into breakout rooms, all the participants joined together to sing Insieme in order to truly embrace the theme of togetherness. 

Making up the cohort with Ursuline Dedham is the Colégio Santa Ùrsula in Ribeirão, Brazil, the Ursuline School Complex in Rybnik, Poland, and another Ursuline school from Warsaw. The smaller cohorts will continue meeting once a month, while the larger group will not meet again until April.  Referring to joining the initiative, Bullen explained that “this project will help bring change to the world through the work of the Ursuline sisters. The inspiring work of these Ursuline schools will lead us to want to be better caregivers of our world and society.” Our representatives are hoping to begin spreading information about immigrants and refugees living in Boston throughout our community for the remainder of the school year before launching into a service project next fall. Although the Global Community initiative will officially end in October of 2022, Ursuline- Dedham’s project will continue beyond that in the hopes of truly creating a lasting impact and improvement in the lives of others in and around our community.