To live according to a specific “spirituality” is to belong to one of the great spiritual families which are part of the richness and diversity of the Church. St. Francis, St. Dominic, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Teresa of Avila… not only founded or reformed their Orders, but also by their writings transmitted an experience of God, a way of living the Gospel, that eventually became a way of life for many others.
Ignatius of Loyola founded the Society of Jesus in the 16th century. Today, many religious communities of men and women, as well as an increasing number of groups of laypeople, live according to the spiritual tradition attributed to St. Ignatius.
As Sisters of St Andrew we feel fully and spiritually at home in the Ignatian tradition while retaining at the same time our own specific identity.
From the 13th to the 17th centuries, like most religious communities of the period, our sisters lived according to the Rule of St. Augustine. This life consisted of living together as a community where sisterly love, the service of God and of the poor was of primary importance.
From the 17th century onwards through the revision of our rules by a Jesuit and through the experience of making the Spiritual Exercises, we found ourselves more in tune with the spirituality of St. Ignatius.
When the French Revolution resulted in our expulsion, dispersion, and the loss of all we possessed, the determination of a few sisters, together with the support of some prominent church leaders, led to a rebirth of our Congregation which was to have a clearly Ignatian orientation.
The Constitutions which we had received in 1857, completely revised at the time of a requested up-dating from Rome in order to bring them closer to those of Ignatius, were officially approved in 1987.
The Ignatian "graft"
has taken well
The Spiritual Exercises shape our way of praying and progressing “in an intimate knowledge of the Lord” (Spiritual Exercises 104). They inspire our relationships with others and to all things, the way we face events, and provide us with a sense of direction amid the complexities of everyday life.
The human, theological and spiritual formation which we receive at Saint Andrew helps us to find a place of inner freedom and openness when faced with such a vast and diverse range of missions.
The Constitutions provide the framework of our life together: the sisters, being of one “body”, are brought together into unity by the bond of obedience and are free to be sent anywhere, for “the greater good.”
Today we are fully immersed in contemporary Ignatian spirituality, small in number but diverse in age, nationality and ecclesial experience. We live in communities marked by their internationality, open to the ecumenical journey, passionately inspired by the Gospel at the heart of a world and in a Church that is continually changing.