Habitat For Humanity® Winnipeg - The Future Builders
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Habitat For Humanity® Winnipeg - The Future Builders
The e-Builder: Issue 36, 2013

Building on Faith - A Brief History of the Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk

Building on Faith - A Brief History of the Ursuline Sisters of TildonkIn 1818, the parish priest of Tildonk, Belgium encouraged a small group of pious women to work together to improve family life and spread the importance of the need for education. Inspired by the life work of a woman named Saint Angela Merici, these women became known as the Ursuline Sisters, named after Saint Ursula who was the patron saint of educators.

The Ursuline Sisters became well known throughout Europe for the quality of education they provided. Following the immigration of Belgian settlers to Canada, four Sisters from the Tildonk Foundation responded to an invitation from a parish priest in Bruxelles, Manitoba. Together, the Sisters decided to undertake the education of the children of the Belgian settlers in and around the area.

The importance of the family unit in society is the core value of what the Ursuline Sisters stand for. Based on this value, Habitat for Humanity was the perfect outlet to enable the Ursuline Sisters to help provide one of the basic needs of a family to grow and develop - the home.

Building on Faith - A Brief History of the Ursuline Sisters of TildonkThe Ursuline Sisters' involvement with Habitat for Humanity can be traced all the way back to the Jimmy Carter era. In 2010, they contacted Habitat again to see what kind of impact they could make. After learning about the Metis build and how their contribution could be matched at the time by an anonymous donor, they contributed $25,000 towards funding a home for Janna and her children Isaiah and Immanuel.

In 2011 they increased their support to $100,000 and put it towards the Faith Build home for Aken, Mercy and their children Joshua and Abuk. In 2012, their support continued and they helped fund the building of a home for Hung, Dao, and their children Phillip and Sophia.

To date, the Ursuline Sisters have supported the building of 5 houses through Habitat for Humanity and have touched the lives of many. In fact, during the home dedication for Hung and Dao, Habitat Manitoba's Board Chair John Ruban realized he was one of the Sisters' former students! Small world!
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