AMOR & Convocation: The Voice of this Calling and the Drawing of this Love

Soyez les Bienvenus! Bienvenidos a todos! Welcome, virtual Pilgrims, to the refugio of AMOR!

Convocation is as much journey as gathering, and for Angela both are sacramental. The 2019 North American Ursuline Convocation was seminal for the Angela Merici Online Resources [AMOR] Project and mericistudies.org website.  As we shared our visions in table discussions and coffee conversations there in St. Louis, we began to look forward to the next convocation. At its close, beneath that buzz of last lobby exchanges, this new Ursuline Collaborative was nascent in the silent digital data download of pictures from the 2017 Angela Pilgrimage co-led by Sister Lisa Marie Belz, now featured in Gallo Tours!

Angela’s homeland was Ground-Zero for Covid-19 in Europe.  Yet, just as the chaos of Angela’s day gave creative rise to the Company, the pandemic has given impetus to the convergence of several virtual and online Ursuline initiatives.  The past three years have witnessed the development of virtual retreats, a virtual oratory, the AMOR online resource library and, now, our first virtual Convocation. Upon its conclusion, in conjunction with the Ursuline Education Network [UEN], videos from the Stations will be developed into a curriculum.  Beyond our time of virtual Pilgrimage, the Convocation website will house the 2022 Station recordings [and could even serve as an archival repository for those past convocation materials presently housed in a box of binders!].  This moment offers us an opportunity to expand our collaboration and to explore the resources we share.

This website of Angela Merici Online Resources [AMOR] is primarily intended to facilitate research and access (especially through links) to media addressing Merician spirituality and the Ursuline charism. Bibliographic entries help identify resources and also indicate where access is available online. Although the primary focus is on English language materials, the collection continues to expand through translation. As a North American initiative, we anticipate that parallel collections will be developed in French and Spanish. Already we have had the joy of discovering troves of resources archived on the websites of the Centro Mericiano and of the Roman Union French Province and Generalate.

The AMOR Project, which sustains the mericistudies.org website, has the urgent purpose of identifying, curating and digitizing those past papers, conferences, musical compositions and artwork often not currently known or available beyond Ursuline congregations.  AMOR continues to seek out new and old resources, identify sources and solicit permissions, and digitize or link to existing online materials. Beginning in 2023, the website content will be expanded and the format further developed. It is a work which invites collaboration and contribution on many fronts.  To help us collect unpublished materials, we hope to identify contacts within each Ursuline congregation and province.

Collaborative from our inception, we are open to those interested in participating in the expanding vision of AMOR, for as Angela reminds us, that is the way love acts and works…

Buen Camino! Bon Chemin! Happy Trails!