With the encouragement of St Charles Borromeo, Ursuline groups expanded rapidly and independently throughout Italy and France. From there, other foundations were made throughout the world. While religious Ursulines became more well known through their work of education, both secular and religious Ursulines have always co-existed.
Characteristic of all Ursulines is a dynamic towards unity. So over time, the various autonomous and independent groups have formed unions and federations, and even merged unions with change of circumstances. All Ursulines, be they religious or secular, know they are part of one Ursuline family sprung from the original foundation of St Angela Merici. They all share in Angela's unique charism of being both contemplative and active in their living.
"And if, according to times and circumstances, the need arises to make new rules or do something differently, do it prudently and with good advice. And always let your principal recourse be to gather at the feet of Jesus Christ...He will enlighten you and teach you what you have to do." (St Angela, Last Legacy)
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you." (Jn.14:20)