A place to find rest, solace, a friend.
Angela's Piazza is a welcoming, accepting place where women come to learn safer, better lives free from addictions and violence. They do so by discovering self-confidence, courage, and hope through domestic violence programs and programs that encourage spiritual and emotional healing. We are named for St. Angela Merici (1474-1540), founder of the Ursuline Sisters.
Angela Merici was a peaceful, non-violent leader in her time, a dreamer living in an era where women had two choices: Marry, or enter a cloistered convent. Angela was blessed with a vision at an early age, indicating to her that her future mission would be to found a very new kind of religious company for consecrated women, so she sought a third option: She would devote her life to God and to service in God’s name, but live her life in the world as a single laywoman who chose to work alongside other similarly committed women. Her dreams led to extensive travels; this broadened her view of the world such that she could see that a life- long consecrated relationship with Christ ought to be lived out not in convents or monasteries, but wherever one dwells. As Angela saw it, that was the need of the Renaissance era - finding a way of supporting those who wished to live a life of complete dedication outside the traditional structures.
Throughout her travels, Angela attracted many people who came to visit her for prayer, advice, counsel and comfort. At the same time, Angela reached out to them in a mutual exchange of support, helping them to help each other - the poor and the wealthy, the young and the old. She recognized that they all were hungry for
something more: For meaning and truth, integrity and wholeness of life, for God. Her work enabled her to break through prejudice and barriers and come into a harmony and concord. She spoke boldly to her people in order to meet the issues of injustices: human rights violations, poverty in the face of excessive wealth, unjust distributions of earthly resources, disunity within the church, and the deprivation of education - especially for women.
Angela’s miraculous vision would bear fruit 40 years later, in the form of her Company of St. Ursula, now known to many as the Ursuline Sisters. Her spiritual and worldly journeys led her from vision to inspiration, idea, and intuition, and moved into action in fulfillment of the dream. Angela held in her heart the revelation of God in her vision, and moved steadily and progressively over the years into ministry, responding actively to each new call of grace along the way. Angela was a non-violent, peaceful woman in Gospel ministry effecting change in the hearts of others.
St. Angela’s teachings held that we should all make our hearts and homes like a piazza. A piazza is a place to go to find rest, solace, a friend. In Italy you can easily find a piazza where the streets from the north, south, east and west meet at a central crossing place. A place to gather where everyone is accepted and you can stay as long as you need. It is here that you can rest, listen or be listened to, you can serve or be served, you can seek peace and find harmony.