2024 Guided Labyrinth Walk Schedule

We begin our 14th year of guided labyrinth walks with a new feature!

In addition to early afternoon and evening walks, 6:30 a.m. walks on corresponding days will be offered for those who like to start the day early.

Afternoon and evening walks will each be led by a different facilitator, either an Ursuline Sister or Associate. The morning walks will be led by Sister Kathleen McCarragher.

Each meditation will center on the theme of hope, a virtue central to the programs of Ursuline Sisters Mission.

This year’s schedule is:
Sun., May 19, 6:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.: Hope in an imperfect world
Thurs., June 20, 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.: In whom do we hope?
Thurs., July 18, 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.: Hope and prayer
Thurs., Aug. 15, 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.: Respecting the tradition of honoring Mary, Jesus’ Mother, Woman of hope
Thurs., Sept. 19, 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.: Images of hope
Sun., Oct. 20, 6:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.: Ways to nourish hope

All people of faith are invited to these free, weather-permitting events at 4280 Shields Road, Canfield. Walks take 20-30 minutes.

While the labyrinth is open year-round, dawn to dusk, themed and guided labyrinth walks are offered by trained facilitators during the warm-weather season.

There’s no cost to use the labyrinth, which is handicapped- accessible with ample parking.

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

For more information, call Sister Nancy Pawlen at 330-793-0434 x.351 or visit the Ursuline Sisters’ YouTube channel for our labyrinth playlist.

Autograph Event for Ursuline Sisters’ New Book

The Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown invite the public to a book signing event for their new memoir The Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown: Serving the Mahoning Valley since 1874.

It will be held from 5-6 p.m. Mon., April 15 at the Ursuline Center auditorium, 4280 Shields Road.

Author Thomas G. Welsh will present on the 221-page narrative, which features dozens of images. The Ursuline Sisters commissioned Welsh, a well-regarded author of local historical books and an adjunct journalism professor at Youngstown State University, to write the book.

The project took a year and drew upon archival data and numerous interviews with people across the Mahoning Valley connected to the Ursuline Sisters. Hollywood actor and Youngstown-native Ed O’Neill, an author in his own right, penned the book’s foreword.

Books will be available at the event for purchase for $24.99 each. Welsh will autograph them after his presentation. Copies also are available through online sellers, at the Tyler and Arms museums and Mill Creek MetroParks’ Davis Center.

More about the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown and their 150th anniversary celebrations here.

28th Annual Window World Golf Outing

Don’t miss our 28th Annual Golf Tournament, benefiting Ursuline Sisters Mission and Beatitude House!

It will be held on Mon., July 15 at the beautiful Lake Club in Poland.

The event features an 18-hole course, lunch, buffet dinner, and exciting prizes. Registration starts at 9 a.m., with the shotgun start at 10 a.m.

To register and for sponsorship opportunities, contact USM Development Director Sheila Donnadio at 330-793-0434 ext. 358 or [email protected].

Beards and Bowling Event Benefits Beatitude House, A House of Blessing Ashtabula

The Beards of the Old Northwest - Rock Creek Chapter, offered a bowling event March 23 at Jefferson Lanes to benefit Beatitude House, A House of Blessing Ashtabula.

More than 50 community members not only enjoyed a great day of bowling and fellowship, but they also helped support Beatitude House. The Ursuline Sisters Mission program provides supportive housing opportunities to individuals experiencing homelessness.

Donated funds will directly support the transitional housing program in Ashtabula County, which offers fully furnished apartments and a supportive team to help women and children overcome barriers to housing while fostering hope for their future.

Contributions included such items as gift cards to area grocers, personal care items, cleaning or paper products, household and school supplies.

For more than a decade, Beatitude House has served over 330 individuals in Ashtabula County experiencing homelessness. Each household receives a fully furnished apartment and supportive services onsite at the former, renovated St. Joseph School on Lake Avenue.

Residents typically stay in the program for six months to a year, benefiting from comprehensive support as they work towards stable housing and a brighter future.

If your group would like to sponsor an event to benefit Beatitude House, contact us at [email protected].

Embracing Resurrection: Building New Lives and Restoring Hope

As Christians prepare to celebrate the Easter Mysteries, we at Ursuline Sisters Mission are guided by our belief in the Resurrection, in New Life, as we work toward seeking “Fullness of Life” for all.

As we observe the death of Jesus on Good Friday, we know that is not the end. There are far too many individuals and families in our community who are burdened by hopelessness and what may seem like no way out of poverty. This does not have to be the end of their story.

Our work is more than just providing basic needs such as housing and food. Through our family programs, tutoring, mentoring, and simply being a compassionate presence, we work in partnership to build new lives, to restore hope. This is equity in action. This is the work that seeks what is right and just, allowing all people to become who God created them to be. It is with your prayers and support that we can continue this ministry.

Together we tell the story of Resurrection, of New Life, over and over again through the lives of our neighbors and friends. For that, and so much more, we are eternally grateful.

A New Journey Begins

From our archives, by Sister Therese Ann Rich

Blessings as we begin the great season of Lent!

Ash Wednesday starts preparations to celebrate the high point of our faith — The Paschal Mystery, the suffering, death and resurrection of the Incarnate God.

Formerly it was a time of severe penance. We purified ourselves from sinful habits before celebrating the Paschal Mystery and renewing our commitment to following Jesus.

But our reflections shouldn’t only focus on the negative. Over the next six weeks, we should ask:

  • What positive things should be part of my daily life?
  • How do I behave toward family, friends, colleagues and others I meet?
  • How active am I as a member of the Christian community, my parish?
  • What difference do I make in the world, within my limitations?

Remember that real penance is to live life well. Be the mercy and peace of God toward others.

A Lenten Call to Equity

Just over a year ago, Ursuline Sisters Mission formed an Equity Team. Our primary goal was developing an understanding of equity that supports USM mission, vision, and values.

One of our key principles is that equity ensures every person has what they need to be successful. Sometimes it looks like providing someone with the resources they both need and have a right to. Sometimes it looks like removing barriers so that they can better use their own resources to enjoy Fullness of Life.

Our team created a training session so that every staff member had the opportunity to be part of this conversation, to ground their work in our collective understanding of equity.

Now, as Lent begins, we can use this season as an opportunity to reflect even deeper on our work to build equitable communities where individuals and families thrive.

During this season of conversion, we’re called to examine our attitudes and practices. How does what we say and do build up the Kingdom of God, how does what we say and do build up God’s people? How does our work reflect Gospel service in a world longing for justice, hope and peace?

For the entire USM family, may this Lent be a time of transformation so that we can all be what God created us to be.


Honoring the Contributions of Catholic Sisters

"Wherever good things are happening, there are likely to be Sisters involved.”

That apt observation comes from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, which in 2013, began a campaign to honor Catholic Sisters across the United States.

Now known as Catholic Sisters Week, annually March 8-14, it honors the women who give their lives in service to others. March is also Women’s History Month.

The event not only celebrates the invaluable contributions of women religious to society now and in the past, but seeks to inspire young women to embrace vowed life in the future.

The Ursuline Sisters have joined thousands of nuns around the country each year, celebrating the week in some special way.

This year, we’re featuring stories and photos of our Sisters, our Associates and our ministries online.

“We want to show we’re vibrant, happy people, living the Gospel,” says Sister Norma Raupple. “Through our ministries, we show love to the entire human family, as Jesus did.”

Want to get involved and honor sisters during the week?

You can:
• Follow our posts on Facebook and Instagram.
• Comment to let our Sisters know what they’ve meant to you.
• Share the posts and let others know what our Sisters are doing to improve lives.
• Choose a Sister to pray for during the week, or pray for our entire community.
• Know a Sister? Ask her to share her story with you.


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.