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 foreward 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.