Almost 30 years of service in Poland for the Ursuline Sisters of the Immaculate Virgin Mary of Gandino

Committed to life

 Committed to life  ING-016
19 April 2024

Next February will mark 30 years since the Institute of the Ursuline Sisters of the Immaculate Virgin Mary of Gandino first arrived in Poland. Founded by the Servant of God, Father Francesco della Madonna, the community began its ministry in the Diocese of Drohiczyn in 1995, later expanding to Legionowo. Sister Laura Boschi, plenipotentiary of the Institute of the Ursuline Sisters of the Immaculate Virgin Mary of Gandino in Poland, told Vatican News about the Institute’s history and activity on Polish territory.

As Sister Laura noted, the most important project is the John Paul ii Centre for the promotion of life in Legionowo, which opened in 2006. A home for young mothers and their children operates within this centre. “We welcome all women who are struggling into the home, even those who are still pregnant, because a child is a child from conception. We also welcome young girls who have lived in orphanages or with foster families but want to become independent”, Sister Laura highlighted. There are rules in the home, but the most important thing is the family environment that comes from the Ursulines’ charism. “We focus above all on the person”, affirmed Sister Boschi.

The sisters, with the help of lay staff, organize a series of art, music, sewing and decoupage workshops three times a year. They offer women the opportunity to learn and broaden their skill-set. “The participants were very happy. They want to take part in these activities”, added the sister. In the interview with Vatican News, the sister highlighted the significance of outside help. “The hearts of the Polish people are very open. The women of the home for young mothers receive many donations from foundations and private benefactors, and donations are also made to women who have already left the home. We have many friends in Poland and Italy who help us help”, explained the sister. A baby box, blessed by Archbishop Henryk Hoser, has been functional in Legionowo for 11 years. The baby box once made it possible to save a little girl who had been left there. She was given the name Marysia.

The sisters of Legionowo also run a Catholic nursery and a psychology clinic. In addition, they organize Lectio Divina prayer meetings. “I thank God that I am in Poland. I have learned a lot from the people. When one gives much, one receives much. Divine Providence watches over us; I am sure that God wanted me to be here”, Sister Laura stressed.

The primary purpose of the Institute of the Ursuline Sisters of the Immaculate Virgin Mary of Gandino is to serve people through pedagogy and love. In particular, it is about educating children, young people and women in the light of the Marian spirituality of Sister Angela Merici.

Sisters Maria and Katarzyna carry out their service in Nurek-Stacia. In Legionowo, there are four sisters: Sister Dominika, Sister Edyta, Sister Marzena and Sister Laura. The Ursuline Sisters of the Immaculate Virgin Mary of Gandino are not only active in Poland and Italy. They are also present in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Brazil, Argentina and Kenya. In 2018 they celebrated the 200th anniversary of their Institute’s founding.


Father Paweł Rytel-Andrianik and Tomasz Zielenkiewicz