The Ursoline Sisters of Malta aggregated to the Augustinian Order

On December 22nd, in the Church of the Holy Family located in Tas-Sliema, a simple but significant ceremony took place in which the Decree of Aggregation was delivered to the Congregation of the Ursuline Sisters of Saint Angela Merici, which bears the signature of the Augustinian Order. This decree, which bears the date of August 28, 2023, was delivered after a mass of thanksgiving to the Superior General Mother Magdalene Cauchi USAM by Fr. Javier Perez Barba OSA, Assistant General, on behalf of the Prior General of the Order, Fr. Alejandro Morál Antón OSA. Many nuns from the congregation were present and also the Prior Provincial of the Augustinians in Malta, Fr. Leslie Gatt OSA, the provincial treasurer, Fr. Pierre Desira OSA and the postulator general of the Order, Fr. Josef Sciberras OSA.

The Ursuline nuns in Malta were founded by the Servant of God Isidoro dei Conti Formosa Montalto (Valletta, 1851- Valletta, 1931) in 1887.

During his life, the founder had close knowledge of the Augustinian religious of the convent of Saint Augustine in Valletta, having been born and lived for many years not far from the mentioned convent. Furthermore, at the beginning of his priestly ministry, he was appointed chaplain and confessor of the Augustinian nuns of contemplative life of the monastery of Saint Catherine of Alexandria in the same hometown. These were elements which, among other things, familiarized him both with the Augustinian Rule and with the lifestyle of the Order based on the search for God in common life and in the service to the Church. He wanted these elements included in his religious foundation, wanting the nuns to profess the Rule of St Augustine.

A few months after the foundation, Msgr. Formosa asked the prior general of the Order, Fr. Sebastiano Martinelli OSA, to grant the grace of affiliation to him personally and to the first nucleus of nuns, who had already professed the Rule of the Holy Father Augustine. Martinelli granted this grace in December 1889, extending the privileges and graces to future generations of sisters. In 1935 this affiliation was renewed by Prior General Eustasio Esteban OSA.

Considering the post-conciliar reform of the Constitutions of the Order, in which the distinction was made between the affiliation of individual people and the aggregation of religious congregations that want to spiritually unite with the Order, the superior general of the Ursulines of Saint Angela Merici, with the consent of his council, he asked the prior general of the Order for the decree of aggregation, thus renewing the spiritual bond that was born with the founder of the congregation himself way back in 1889. This bond, over the decades, has expressed itself in various ways and forms of collaboration with the Augustinian friars in Malta.

The cause of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God Isidoro dei Conti Formosa Montalto, diocesan priest and son of the Order, also falls under the responsibility of the general postulation of the Order.

Currently the Congregation is of diocesan right, has more than 60 nuns and is present in 8 communities on the island of Malta. Previously they had presences in Italy and England. The foundational charism of the institute - based on the principles of the Augustinian Rule, on the example of Saint Angela Merici and on the guidelines given by the founder, a great apostle of charity towards the most needy - is to spread and implant charity among children and adolescents who cannot live in their natural families for various reasons, and to support families who have difficulties in supporting and educating their children.

Fr Josef Sciberras osa

Postulator General of the Augustinian Order

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