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Featuring the Holy Union Sisters

La Sainte Union Sisters / Holy Union Sisters

At the heart of who we are is our name, Holy Union. We express this union first of all by being one with ourselves. We strive to bring this union to our world by working among different cultures, ethnic groups, the deprived and marginalized. We strive to respect and care for the earth.

Our desire for union impels us to collaborate with others. As members of the Non-Governmental Organization, UNANIMA International, we work with others to bring about systemic change. We welcome women and men to share our life as Associates.

Our story began in northern France in the turbulent years after the French Revolution. Four skilled needle workers came together in their desire to deepen their spiritual life. They lived together in a small house where they assisted other young women in needlework and provided religious instruction to the children of the parish.

When the newly ordained Abbe John Baptist Debrabant arrived at St. Jacques Parish in Douai, he became the spiritual guide for these devout women. He supported them and also asked them to assist him in educating the ruffians of the parish.

As the numbers grew schools were founded in Belgium, and UK (1858), Ireland (1864), United States (1886).   Missions were also founded in the southern hemisphere- Argentina, West Indies (now closed), Cameroon, Tanzania, Benin, and Haiti.

We, Holy Union Sisters, minister today on four continents. We wear a cross with the Latin words, Sancta Unio inscribed on the front. It reminds us of the special significance of our name:

“You have received that name only that you may form all together a union of heart, mind and affection in Jesus and Mary.”

As women of the church and members of an international congregation we are called to ‘be at the heart of the world, revealing God’s love.’ (Constitutions Article 1)

We are enriched by our cultural diversity. We are strengthened by our charism of union. We are challenged in our lives to promote justice based on Gospel values.

Our characteristic virtues inspire us to respond wholeheartedly to the needs of our times:

•           Simplicity ~ we choose to live simple, uncluttered lives.

•           Solitude ~ we nurture a contemplative attitude.

•           Obedience ~ we foster personal and communal discernment for mission.

•           Charity ~ we embrace all with compassion and reverence, especially the poor.

We seek throughout our lives to deepen our understanding of the mystery of the Incarnation, which impels us to reconcile all in Christ, ‘That all may be One.’ (Jn 17:21)