Neighbor children of the Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk congregation in Likasi, Democratic Republic of Congo (Jane Quinlan)

Jane Quinlan is a member of the Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk, U.S. Province. A teacher, missionary to the  Democratic Republic of Congo, and vocation minister, she later represented her order at the United Nations. She now serves in Brussels as assistant general superior of her congregation.

"Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings" (Psalms 61).

Women on a mission fascinate me. Two head the list of great Ursuline sisters and saints. Each heard an inner voice saying, "Go for it! You can do it! Give it your all!"

Angela Merici in Brescia, Italy, in the 1500s and Marie of the Incarnation in Quebec in the 1600s decided to tackle issues of their times, particularly the support, care and education for girls and women.

Twenty-first century Ursulines still respond to this voice by providing services for victims of contemporary problems: human trafficking, domestic slavery and other forms of violence.

For example: Vast, beautiful India holds promise for the few who complete studies and find jobs. Too many never achieve this dream, but appealing promises of salaried domestic work suffice to lure many young women from village to city, where they may be vulnerable to trafficking or other violations of their human rights. 

One Ursuline who heard the voice saying "Go for it!" now makes a difference in the lives of these young women working in housekeeping, child care and elder care. This sister leads domestic workers in discussions of working conditions and related issues.

She works on a team of social workers in Seva Kendra in the Kolkata Archdiocese, bringing hope and healing to the disadvantaged. The outreach programs combat child labor, early marriage and human trafficking while promoting skill development, safe migration and peace-building.

Such faith and boundless love may escape the spotlight, but these sisters are living Jesus' words, "The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve" (Matthew 20:28).

We're delighted to bring you this excerpt from the monthly feature "The Life", courtesy of our friends at Global Sisters Report. This month, "The Life" asked the panelists to reflect on how their congregations help women deal with the effects of poverty, war, terrorism, or violence. Read the full article here