USM Leads Local Commemoration of 35th World AIDS Day

Contact: Laura McCulty Stepp
Director, Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry

USM Leads Local Commemoration of 35th World AIDS Day
This year’s theme -- Remember and Commit

CANFIELD – Ursuline Sisters Mission, which operates the Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry, is leading the local commemoration of World AIDS Day. Begun 35 years ago, the annual event strives to increase awareness, combat stigma and myths, and support people affected by HIV/AIDS.

The public is invited to join area political and health officials, business leaders, and staff and supporters of the Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry Nov. 30, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the Ursuline Center, 4280 Shields Road, Canfield. World AIDS Day is Dec. 1.

3:30 p.m.: Prayer, candlelight vigil in the Ursuline Center Auditorium

We will open the event with prayer. Speakers will help us remember the unique lives of local residents lost to AIDS. On display will be portions of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which was originally displayed in Washington, D.C., and quilts created to memorialize local residents. Flameless candles will be provided.

4 p.m.: Call to action in the Ursuline Center Atrium

Speakers will discuss the stigma and myths complicating the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS, their families, friends and caregivers. The Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry will issue a compelling call to action, urging everyone to be active in HIV/AIDS awareness, education, and prevention. The audience will be provided with credible information to help all stand in solidarity through compassion and understanding.

4:30 p.m. Remembrance & Reflection Guided Labyrinth Walk

Participants can carry their flameless candles to the Ursuline Center labyrinth, just across the parking lot from the Center Atrium, where Vicki Vicars, Mission, Equity & Resilience director for USM, will lead a labyrinth walk to pay tribute to people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.

Light refreshments will be provided in the Ursuline Center Atrium.

Also, beginning Nov. 27, USM will place displays of red ribbons at locations around Youngstown and USM in Canfield. Each ribbon symbolizes 50 people living with HIV in the Mahoning Valley.

Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry director Laura McCulty Stepp is available for live interview on local stations the week of Nov. 27.

Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry

Help Us Celebrate Our 150th Anniversary!

Join us in celebrating 150 years of gospel ministry in the Mahoning Valley and beyond! We’ll add to this list as more events are planned, so check back often.

1953: Enjoying ice cream at our Logan Ave. convent.

Everyone loves a good story! That’s what you’ll find in The Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown: Serving the Mahoning Valley since 1874.

It’s authored by Thomas Welsh with a foreword by actor Ed O’Neill. Published by History Press and out March 11, you can preorder the book from Amazon now.

The Sisters got a preview at the Tyler. Walk through time with us at the Tyler History Center, 325 W. Federal St., Youngstown. An exhibit explores our 150 years of ministry through April 21, 2024. Info on how to visit here.

See artifacts from the 19th and 20th centuries, such as a large gold chalice with rubies gifted to our first elected Mother Superior, hear a 1963 Christmas recording of Sister Cecilia Morano, view a host of photos and much more!

Experience our past, present and future in our new video! It’s just under 8 minutes of touching stories from Sisters and friends. Watch the video on our YouTube channel.

Sister Mary McCormick, our General Superior, gave a wonderful talk for the Mahoning Valley Historical Society Oct. 19. Click here to watch/listen to the video!

We’re once again part of Mill Creek Metroparks’ Christmas celebrations! Visit the Davis Center during December to see two trees we’re decorating for each the Ursuline Sisters and Ursuline Sisters Mission. Details here.

A Visit to Dorothy Day House

When the Dorothy Day House of Hospitality opened on Belmont Avenue in 2009, it was thought a small amount of folks may need its service.

That hasn’t been the case. With meals Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and lunch for those receiving showers Wednesday afternoons, dozens of guests visit the Dorothy Day house each week. Pre-COVID, there were sometimes more than 100 guests each dinner.

We and our Associates, along with the Sisters of the Humility of Mary and local lay persons, continue to collaborate at the house. Sister Ann McManamon, HM, who served as director from early on until spring of this year, did a wonderful job of organizing meals from her community’s Associates, ours, and local groups, restaurants and individuals.

A recent Wednesday preparing dinner at the Dorothy Day House. From left are Ursuline Associates Barb, Aimee, Cindy, Jim, Larry, Linda, Dan and Sister Kathleen McCarragher. Sister Kathleen calls bingo on Wednesday afternoons.

The house is now led by a two-member team, comprising Ursuline Associate Dan Wakefield and Valeria Gonvalves.

It offers not only meals, showers, and monthly roundtable discussions on social concerns, but also the opportunity for guests to relax, feel safe, and as one man recently told Ursuline Associate Ruthanne, “Be treated like a human.”

Our founder, St. Angela Merici, taught us to care for the poor of pocket and spirit. As Christ himself stated, “Whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers, you do unto me.”

Dorothy Day was an American who founded the Catholic Worker movement. At a young age, after her family suffered tragedy and became poor, she learned first-hand how hard life can be for those in need – not just from the lack of necessities or frills, but from the humiliation the poor can endure.

Immediate Job Openings

Ursuline Sisters Mission has immediate openings for a full-time housekeeper and part-time cook for the Motherhouse and a part-time swim instructor for the Ursuline Education & Wellness Center.

Motherhouse Housekeeper: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. $14.50 per hour.

Motherhouse Cook: Institutional cook position. Will work a flex schedule preparing lunch, dinner and dessert items for approximately 20 people. Will be required to prepare one meal on occasional holidays. One week the cook works Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The next week the days and hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. $14.75 per hour.

Motherhouse Maintenance person: Will work full time, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Opportunity for advancement.

Water Aerobics Instructor: Will teach 55-minute classes Thursdays at 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Will have the option to teach two additional classes Must be certified to teach water aerobics or certified to teach SilverSneakers water aerobics classes. Compensation is based on level of certification.

To apply, call Linda at 330-792-7636.

Job opening

IMMEDIATE OPENING: Motherhouse Cook, 3-4 days a week, working every other weekend. 10am-6:30pm Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday; Sunday 9am-5:30pm. Please call Linda at 330-792-7636.

2023 Guided labyrinth walks

The Ursuline Education & Wellness Center, 4280 Shields Rd., soon begins its 13th year of guided labyrinth walks. While the labyrinth is open year-round, themed and guided labyrinth walks are offered by trained facilitators during the warm-weather season.

Each walk is led by a different facilitator, either an Ursuline Sister or Associate, with the meditation centering on a related theme.

This year’s overarching theme is compassion, a virtue central to the programs of Ursuline Sisters Mission.

All persons of faith are invited to participate in these free, weather-permitting events. Walks generally take 20 minutes to ½ hour.

This year’s schedule is:
Sun., May 21, 2 p.m. : Compassion as a Way of Life
Thurs., June 15, 6:30 p.m.: Compassion for One's Self
Thurs., July 20, 6:30 p.m.: Compassion for God's Creation
Thurs., Aug. 17, 6:30 p.m.: Compassion for Family
Thurs., Sept. 21, 6:30 p.m.: Compassion for the Marginalized
Sun., Oct. 15, 2 p.m.: Compassion for the Journey

The labyrinth is open dawn to dusk for all persons of faith. There’s no cost to use the labyrinth, which is accessible for different physical abilities and offers ample parking.

Printed guides are provided at the Labyrinth’s entrance giving suggestions for following the path, but there is no right or wrong way to experience the sacred walk.

For more information on our labyrinth, visit our YouTube Channel (includes a virtual walk) or visit

Here's a paper labyrinth you can print and follow with your finger. Our labyrinth is modeled after this famous one.

HIV Misinformation Feeds Fear, Discrimination

By Laura Stepp, HIV/AIDS Director

Because of incredible advances in medicine, people who are living with HIV can lead long, happy and productive lives. Our medical clinic treats about 500 patients, and the vast majority of those patients are virally suppressed!

It is a fact that HIV cannot be transmitted through saliva or sweat or tears. HIV is not spread through hugging, holding hands, coughing or sneezing. And you cannot get HIV from a toilet seat.

And yet, according to national scientific surveys, only 43% of us are comfortable interacting with people living with HIV. Fifty-three percent of non-LGBTQ people surveyed noted they would be uncomfortable interacting with a medical professional who has HIV. Forty-four percent are uncomfortable around a hair stylist or barber living with HIV.  And 35% are uncomfortable with a teacher living with HIV. 

Misinformation feeds stigma, which leads to fear, prejudice and discrimination. 

We can empower the entire community to play a role in reducing the prejudice, stigma, and fear associated with HIV/AIDS.  But only about half of us feel knowledgeable about HIV, so we should educate ourselves and people we know.

Here are some myths and facts about HIV/AIDS.


HIV and AIDS are the same.


HIV and AIDS are not the same.  Most people who have HIV will never develop AIDS.  HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It’s a virus that can only infect humans and leads to the weakening of the immune system.

When HIV is left untreated, it can wreak havoc on a person’s immune system. As this happens, the body is less able to fight off infections. AIDS stands for “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome,” which means the immune system has been made less effective by HIV. 

Myth: You can get HIV from sharing cups and utensils with someone who is living with the virus.

Fact: HIV is not transmitted through saliva, tears or sweat. HIV is also not spread through hugging, holding hands, coughing or sneezing. And you can’t get HIV from a toilet seat.

Myth: You can tell that someone is living with HIV by looking at them.      

Fact: No, you cannot identify people who are living with HIV by mere physical appearance. You cannot identify HIV-positive people by the symptoms they have.

Myth: A diagnosis of HIV is a death sentence.

Fact: Although HIV is serious and there is no cure, people with HIV can now live longer, healthier lives thanks to early detection, and new and more effective treatments.

Myth: HIV affects childbirth and fertility.

Fact: HIV does not affect fertility and childbirth, especially for women who are receiving appropriate and adequate treatment.  However, not taking medications while pregnant can lead to mother-to-child transmission. 

Myth: Only gay men can get HIV.

Fact: Although the infection rates are more prominent in gay and bisexual men, anyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation can become infected with HIV.

You and I likely know someone who is living with HIV.  They are our colleagues, neighbors, friends, family and others who we love.  They have careers and children.  They volunteer in the community.  They care for parents and siblings. 

They are some of the kindest, smartest and creative people I know and they demonstrate great strength, faith and bravery.  I am honored, grateful and humbled to know them and serve them.

Medicine keeps people living with HIV healthy, but a great threat to their lives continues to be stigma and the fear that comes with it -- fear of the disease, fear of what people will think of them, fear of how they will be treated by others, and fear of being rejected by those who they love. 

That fear is a great barrier to diagnosis, care and prevention.  All of us have a role in reducing stigma, and taking away that fear by educating ourselves and examining our own attitudes.  

If you or someone you know would like to have a speaker come to your organization, or would like a free confidential HIV test, please call 330-743-7853.

"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22

For 30 years, the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown have provided programs to benefit those among us who are living with HIV.

Our right, our duty

Jesus changed the way the world thinks with His unexpected actions.

He defended a sinner (the woman being stoned), talked with a woman from a taboo group (Samaritin at the well), healed an aggressive captor (the ear of the Roman soldier), just to name a few.

Jesus' message was clear -- all people have a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and all people have a duty to treat everyone, regardless of whether they're like us or not, with dignity and respect.

Respect and compassion are two cornerstones of Ursuline Sisters Mission and all we do.

Not only do we promote this Gospel message in our own programs, we also engage with community partners to further these ideals.

From left: Sarah, Karrington Griffin of the Youngstown Business Incubator, Derrick McDowell of the Youngstown Flea, and Elyse Gessler, YSU professor who was the host.

Sarah Chill, Education Programs director, participated in an April 11 panel gathered by Youngstown State University's Williamson College of Business Administration to discuss the importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the workplace. Vicki Vicars, our Mission, Equity and Inclusion director, facilitated our involvement.

We've been a community partner of YSU for many years, offering service learning and other volunteer opportunities to students.

St. Angela Merici founded the Ursulines in 1535. Her 7th counsel reminds us why the lessons reminding us of our rights and our duties regarding dignity and respect are important: "For if it is Jesus who directs and teaches you, you will be well taught."

Christ is risen – Alleluia!

Photo by Ian Beckley

Easter morning is full of images -- the empty tomb, the voice of angels, Mary's encounter with Jesus -- so rich, so full, and so basic to who we are as Christians.

Jesus is risen. Death could not hold him. And if it couldn't hold him, it can't hold us.

All that Jesus said about life and death wasn't really understood by his disciples, until it was made real in that empty tomb and encounter in the garden.

And every Easter, we get to share in it.

We share in the promises made to the Children of Israel and to the entire world through the Prophets. We share in the promises made to the disciples and to all who listened to Jesus as he walked towards his death upon a cross.

What is this Easter? It's God's promise of a new day. It's God's promise of a new life. It's God's promise of a new world coming to pass in our midst.

Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

This is an excerpt of a reflection written by Sister Therese Ann Rich in 2011.

What's your choice?

Written by Sister Therese Ann Rich in 2014

Photo by Irene Lasus

Get a powerful person angry and you often pay a penalty.

Martin I became the last pope-martyr for accepting his election without waiting for the emperor’s approval. That “mistake” was followed quickly by another: Martin condemned a notion the emperor favored.

Folks like the emperor preferred to think of Christ’s humanity as dissolving “like a drop of honey in the sea” of his divinity — rendering Christ’s free choice to save us as no choice at all.

This Easter Monday, remember that goodness must always be chosen, which makes us truly human and not puppets — as emperors then and now would like us to be.

All Are Welcome!

Written by Sister Therese Ann Rich in 2014

Our Chapel

The church is built on community.

Together, the People of God welcome new members in Baptism, come together to be fed in the Eucharist, and witness faith proclaimed at Confirmation.

Such community nurtures, supports, and affirms the universality and unity of church. When gathering around the table to celebrate, give thanks and worship, it’s helpful to look and see those around us.

Who isn’t present? Who isn’t being served at the table? Who have I shut out? Our call, especially this Holy Saturday, is to spread the Good News . . . and sometimes the greatest news is that all are welcome!


Written by Sister Therese Ann Rich in 2014

Photo by Amy Pointer

Why is a story of betrayal central to our Holy Week experience?

Was it really necessary? Is Judas the villain of the story, or perhaps simply a convenient scapegoat?

Truth be told, we’re all “the betrayer” in one way or another, in that even having heard the Good News, we forget it, neglect it, ignore it, overlook it… more often that we care to admit.

Oh well. That’s why we indeed need a savior. And though it may seem our betrayals kill him, the story of salvation has a different ending.

Stay tuned this week.

The Triduum Begins

Written by Sister Therese Ann Rich in 2014

Our Chapel, ready for Holy Thursday Mass

The Triduum, beginning with the liturgy on the evening of Holy Thursday and ending with evening prayer on Easter Sunday, is the church’s most sacred trifecta — after the Trinity, of course!

These moments are part of the one paschal celebration in which we, along with all of creation, journey with Christ through passion, death, burial and resurrection.

As you move from the joyous beginning of Holy Thursday into the quiet stillness of evening, take time to gather your own joys and struggles — and those of the rest of the world — and walk closely with Christ.

Mysticism and Mission

We may be nuns, but we’re always learning more about the faith.

Sat., April 1 we invited our friends, the nearby Sisters of the Humility of Mary from Villa Maria, Pa., to join us for a retreat led by Cleveland Auxiliary Bishop Michael Woost — Mysticism and Mission: Eucharistic Day of Prayer.

We enjoyed fascinating and thought-provoking lectures by Bishop Woost, small-group discussions and personal prayer.

Afterwards, Bishop Woost celebrated Palm Sunday vigil Mass.

To view more photos of the day (see if you recognize Sisters you know!), visit our Facebook page.

The Mission of Christ

By Sister Norma Raupple

Christians recall Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, which is also the beginning of Holy Week.

In the words to a song by Rory Cooney, “Jerusalem My Destiny,” Jesus says, “…though I cannot see the end for me, I cannot turn away.”

As people of faith, we too “… have set our hearts for the way: this journey is our destiny. Let no one walk alone – the journey makes us one”.

Jesus was faithful to his mission and God was faithful to Him.

God is faithful to us. Through our ups and downs, our dyings and risings, and has called us to walk with others, especially those most in need.

We have been sent to the people of our time and place through our faith-based, not-for-profit corporation. We have been sent to walk with them on the journey.

As we move forward together, our compassionate presence will make us one.

Ursuline Sisters Mission is gospel service poured out into the world by the Ursuline Sisters and their ministries.

In God’s Hands

Written by Sister Therese Ann Rich in 2014

For most of us,  Holy Week unfolds like many others: work, school, preparing meals, doing laundry.

But Palm Sunday begins an unusual week – one that concentrates on the ultimate meaning of our lives.

We’re invited to reflect on these questions: Why are we here? What have we been called to do? What are we willing to die for?

We have journeyed from Ash Wednesday to this day. This week, we will experience the last hours of the life of Jesus. We must slow down and make choices so that this week does not go by without our taking time to enter into its meaning.
In our Gospel today, even in the midst of great suffering, Jesus extends his compassion to others, so total, that he willingly empties himself to the point of death. As we enter this week, let us pray that our self-emptying for the good of others will be so total.
We celebrate in the liturgies of this week what we live every day – all the dying to self that characterizes our faithful discipleship. The triumph of this week is in doing our tasks with joy, being kind to those around us [even those cranky folks], meeting setbacks as paths to learning.

Then, with Jesus, we can commend ourselves into God’s hands.

Jesus sets us free

Image by Amy Chung

By Vicki Vicars, Mission, Equity & Resilience Dir.

The Gospel reading for this Sunday, the raising of Lazarus, is bursting with imagery and meaning.  We could spend hours unpacking these passages considering so many themes, death, and of course, new life. 

But it is in this passage we hear that Jesus wept; we also hear that he was perturbed. We are not accustomed to hearing that about Jesus. What caught my attention this time was Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” 

Not only was this probably not an easy task, but Martha immediately feared what they will find, the stench of a dead man. One can only imagine her anxiety mixed with the hope that Jesus might yet be able to restore Lazarus. 

By ordering the mourners to remove the stone, Jesus invites them into this act. He certainly and he alone has the power to restore this life, to redeem Lazarus, but the mourners are not simply casual on-lookers. That stone was a barrier to Lazarus’ new life and Jesus invites others to help remove it. 

How often does this happen in our work with one another? And for us here at Ursuline Sisters Mission with the people we serve? Perhaps the barrier is lack of transportation, access to food and housing, low self-esteem, not knowing the English language, undeveloped study skills. Maybe the barrier is even just having a bad day and feeling unproductive.   

How often does it happen even in our own life? How often do we have to face our own barriers and remove them to thrive, to seek wholeness? Do we have the courage to ask someone to assist us  “take away the stone’ that is preventing us from being who we were created to be? What is in our way as we seek fullness of life for one another and for ourselves?

And like Martha, there is often fear. Do we have the resources to assist someone else, what if they refuse or don’t follow through? What if there is another, bigger stone? What will we find if we remove that barrier? Are we even ready for what fullness of life means for us? For others? 

Aside from Martha’s concern, the mourners did what they were asked to do. Lazarus was set free from death, given new life. Our work with Ursuline Sisters Mission so often calls us to set others free from what binds them, to offer them a new way of living and being in the world. 

In this work, we are invited to guide one another from hold us back, to what frees us and brings us joy. 

Faith must be lived!

“Each one of you has to be God’s microphone. Each one of you has to be a messenger, a prophet.”

From The Catholic Sun: Archbishop Romero in 1979.

These fateful words of Archbishop Oscar Romero, martyred this day in 1980, speak of what it means to be a person of faith.

Faith must be lived.

Romero advocated for the rights and dignity of those who were materially poor. He preached the gospel by how he lived. His life broadcast the Good News, calling others to lives of holiness and humility.

Your life can speak volumes, too — it’s simply a matter of letting God make of you a microphone.

From the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown Archives, Sister Therese Ann Rich, Author

Happy people, happy place

Some of our residents at a backyard barbecue last fall

For 10 years, Ursuline Sisters Senior Living has been filled with happy people, making for a very happy place!

Our residents have formed their own smaller community within the greater Ursuline Community.

The group is very active, with events including weekly card games in the social room and weekly dinners out together.

Despite all of our residents living independently, the sense of community among them is the highest we’ve seen it.

In addition to the hospitality we strive to foster for our residents, their health and safety is also a top priority for our team.

Since 2013, our Senior Living program has offered 1 and 2 bedroom apartments on our Canfield campus to people ages 55 and older of moderate income.

All of our apartments are rented, and we receive weekly calls requesting tours.

The Blessing of Beatitude House

A Beatitude House family

At Beatitude House, we’ve witnessed the work we done since 1991 strengthen family bonds and empower our clients to reach goals that support their families’ needs.

Our client testimonials showed that our program continually creates a sense of hope and security. This allows the clients to focus on the steps needed to establish a stable environment for them and their families.

In the last year, we’ve seen tremendous growth not only in our food pantry, which serves an average of 95 families each week, but also in our Permanent Supportive Housing Program in Youngstown.

This program has expanded its reach to simultaneously serve up to 50 families, and not only provides housing but also connects them to resources in the community.

Long-term success is the ultimate goal when a new family enters one of our homes. Some 80% have transitioned into permanent housing. Such success opened the door for us to welcome 11 new families in 2022, serving a total of 90 people, with 51 adults and 39 children.

Our transitional housing program in Ashtabula, “A House of Blessing,” has served 138 families, which included 178 children, in its 10 years.

Our clients come to realize no obstacle is too great when you have love and encouragement to support you along the way.

Donors, such as the Moran Family of Window World and everyone who participated in the 26th Annual Window World & Beatitude House Golf Outing at The Lake Club of Ohio in July 22, help make this all possible.

Dare to be like Jesus

By Sister Darla Jean Voglesang
The reading for the Fourth Sunday of Lent is John 9:1-41, the Gospel of the man born blind.

In this reading, Jesus encounters a man who had been blind from birth, and gives him the gift of sight.

The narrow-minded and unloving challenge Jesus’ compassion and gift of healing one thought to be born blind because of sin. The man is a predefined a “sinner.”

But Jesus assures them all that blindness is not caused by sin — but the sin of judgment and condemnation can cause blindness.

The man who is now able to see is able to believe in Jesus, and see the beauty and goodness that is around him, because of the mercy and compassion he has experienced.

Blindness can be a refusal to see, and sin the refusal to grow in knowledge and understanding of a person or their situation. The Ursuline Mission responds to the needs of the times and can be judged and condemned in our service to the marginalized, the blind, the lost.

But we are called to the Mission of Jesus, to reveal the works of mercy that give sight to the blind and new life to those who are lost. So we dare to do what Jesus did and follow Him.

St. Patrick Day Prayer

The very mention of St. Patrick stirs enthusiasm — and probably more celebration than the good saint himself would endorse.


Beyond parades and green beer is a prayer attributed to him. It has many versions, but all focus upon the love and protection of the Trinity.

Here are a few lines to pray today:
I arise today through God’s strength to pilot me
God’s might to uphold me
God’s wisdom to guide me . . .
Christ with me, Christ before me
Christ behind me, Christ within me
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me
Christ in every eye that sees me
Christ in every ear that hears me.

From the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown Archives, Sister Therese Ann Rich, Author

Remembering Sister Mary Ann Coz

Sister Mary Ann Coz, OSU, 102, died Friday, March 10, 2023, at the Ursuline Motherhouse.

Mary Ann was born Sept. 12, 1920, in Herminie, Pa., a daughter of Frank and Frances O’Korn Coz, and moved to northeast Ohio as a child.

Mary Ann was a 1938 graduate of Paris Township High School and continued her education at Warren Business School and St. John College in Cleveland.

She entered the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown on Feb. 1, 1949, and was received into the novitiate on Aug. 11, 1949. She made her perpetual profession of vows on Aug. 30, 1954.

Sister Mary Ann earned a B.S. in education at Youngstown State University in 1956 and an M.A. in education at the University of Notre Dame in 1961. In addition, she did post-graduate work in religious education at Assumption College in Worcester Mass., St. John College in Cleveland, Ursuline College in Cleveland, St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., and Fordham University in The Bronx.

In 42 years of public ministry, Sister Mary Ann held numerous positions. She taught elementary school at St. Columba, St. Patrick and Immaculate Conception in Youngstown, St. Rose in Girard, and St. Luke and St. Charles in Boardman.

Beginning in 1966, Sister Mary Ann began working for the Diocese of Youngstown. Her first ministry there was as supervisor for parish religious education teachers. In 1977, she became the director of the Diocesan Media Library, a position she held until her retirement in 1993. During the years as director of the Media Library, she helped thousands of teachers in Catholic schools and parish religious education programs enhance their teaching through the use of media, and greatly expanded the holdings of the library. She also served a term on the Diocesan Pastoral Council from 1966 to 1970.

In 1980, she received an Award of Commendation from the Navy and was made an honorary Naval chaplain.

When she retired in 1993, Sister Mary Ann began tending to the gardens and landscaping at the Ursuline Motherhouse, a position she continued until well into her 90s.

Sister Mary Ann leaves her Sisters in the Ursuline Community; a sister, Helen Luppino of Medina; a brother, Frank Coz of Peabody Mass.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Frances Buchmann, Antoinette Evers and Agnes Brookover; and brothers, Larry and John Coz.

Friends may call at the Ursuline Motherhouse, 4250 Shields Road, Canfield, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 18, 2023. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow immediately at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in the Motherhouse Chapel.

The Sisters of the Ursuline Motherhouse kindly request those in attendance wear a mask or face covering.

The services for Sister Mary Ann will be livestreamed for those unable to attend. The link for this livestream will be provided closer to the time of the service. Refer to for the updated link.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown.

Experience our Ed & Wellness Center

We treasure the talents of our Prayer Shawl Ministry members.

Hundreds of people visit our Ursuline Education & Wellness Center for a host of education and wellness programs.

The land classes offer low-impact exercise classes at a moderate pace, including our Yoga stretch classes.

Our pool facility, which is nearly finished with major renovations and repairs, offers water aerobics.

The 2023 guided walk season for Ursuline Center Labyrinth is being planned and will begin in May. People of all denominations come on their own to the labyrinth for prayer and meditation every day of the year.

Our monthly Prayer Shawl Ministry, with an average of 20 crafters ages 55 to 94, knit and crochet shawls that are donated to The Hope Care Center, Southern Care Hospice, Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry, breast cancer survivors, and any individuals in need of prayer and healing.

Before a shawl is donated, ministry members pray over it, attaching a crucifix and a written prayer. In the last 10 years, members of this ministry have knitted over 3,600 shawls! Some are sent all over the world, including once to Lima, Peru!

Our Prison Ministry, led by Sister Nancy Dawson, continues to educate inmates at the Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) about the Catholic faith. Sister Nancy ministers on-site at OSP with a team of nine vowed religious women and clergymen.

In 2022, 13 inmates were initiated into the Catholic Faith after their time with our ministry, which included supplying reading materials and teaching them how to pray the rosary. Members of our Community Outreach Ministry support the men through letter-writing.

Since 2010, the Ursuline Center Book Club has gathered and discussed books every six weeks, while the Spiritual Book Club gathers one afternoon each month. Members are united in faith and choose books that are spiritual in nature. During their monthly gatherings, they discuss the meaning of the book with regard to their own lives.

Learning=fun? You bet!

One of the enrichment activities we’ve offered was a trip to Camp Fitch!

The Ursuline Sisters Mission Children’s Program provides support to and empowers children and families across all of our ministries at two locations in Youngstown.

Nearly 200 children are served by our various Education Outreach ministries at any given time.

Our Children’s Program Coordinator provides direct support to identify needs, help overcome barriers, and promote overall wellness. Referrals connect families to community-based resources that enhance support.

We provide weekly education services, such as academic advocacy and tutoring during the school year and special programming in the summer. Enrichment activities promote educational opportunities, explore through play and exercise, and enhance life skills.