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.

Ursuline Preschool & Kindergarten to Close

After 60 years of quality education, I am sorry to announce that Ursuline Preschool & Kindergarten will close at the end of the 2022-2023 school year. The Ursuline Sisters Mission Board and the Leadership Team of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown made this decision after considering all available options.

When Ursuline Preschool & Kindergarten opened in the fall of 1963, it was staffed by Ursuline Sisters to make a Catholic program available when there was no comparable preschool program in the area. For 60 years, thousands of children and generations of families have had the experience of attending UPSK. The Sisters and lay teachers who have staffed and directed the program have served the school with distinction. We are incredibly proud of the work and commitment of the current administration and staff.

But in 2023, there is a different reality. Income received through tuition does not cover the educational expenses of the school. The Ursuline Sisters have long underwritten the cost of UPSK. This subsidy has been provided in a variety of ways: through a very modest stipend paid to Sisters, little rent payment for the use of the facility which the Ursuline Sisters built, and, in recent years, improving wages and benefits for teachers and assistants.

The Ursuline Sisters are no longer able to shoulder this expense. Moreover, parents today have numerous options for preschool and kindergarten education, including the Early Childhood Learning Centers at several Catholic parishes in the area (St. Christine, St. Joseph, St. Charles, St. Luke, and Holy Family).

The administration and staff of Ursuline Preschool & Kindergarten will continue to provide a quality education through the end of this school year. We are grateful to the UPSK families for their support of our administration and staff, and to each other during this difficult time. We will also provide information and referrals for other Catholic schools.

Further, we thank parents for entrusting their children to the care of Ursuline Preschool & Kindergarten. While we are saddened at the closing of the school, we are consoled by the good that has been the heritage of UPSK since 1963.

Sister Mary McCormick
General Superior, Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown
Chair, Ursuline Sisters Mission Board

Grant Helps Ursuline Sisters Mission

Ursuline Sisters Mission has received a $25,000 grant from the estate of Timothy M. Yovich of Youngstown, who died in May.

Rick Cross with USM Rep. Donna Bellino
Rick Cross with USM Rep. Donna Bellino

The donation was presented by Rick Cross, the executor of Yovich’s estate and his friend since childhood.

“I am very proud to honor Tim’s legacy by ensuring that his final wishes are being carried out,” Cross said.  “The work of the Ursuline Sisters Mission was important to Tim, and that is why he remembered them in his will.  His legacy continues through his philanthropy.”

Additionally, Yovich requested that memorial tributes in his honor be made to the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of all of our donors, and a bequest like Mr. Yovich’s allows us to continue the important work he valued in his lifetime,” said Brigid Kennedy, president and CEO of Ursuline Sisters Mission. “What a legacy he has left Ursuline Sisters Mission and our community!”

Ursuline Sisters Mission enhances and develops support for the ministries sponsored by and reflecting the charism of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown to provide long-term sustainability and gospel service to the community. Ursuline Sisters Mission is gospel service poured out into the world by the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown and their ministries.

O, Christmas Trees!

The Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown tree
The Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown tree

We’re again honored to participate in Mill Creek Metroparks’ annual festival of Christmas trees at the Davis Center.

From Dec. 1-31, 50 trees decorated by area nonprofits and not-for-profits, are on display.

The park also hosts Winter Nights at Fellows Riverside Gardens the Saturdays of Dec. 3, 10, 17 and 31 from 5 – 7 p.m.

The grounds are decorated with dazzling lights, and the Davis Center will be open to view the trees and enjoy other offerings.

The Ursuline Sisters Mission tree
The Ursuline Sisters Mission tree

Take a selfie with the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown Tree, located in the rotunda, and/or the Ursuline Sisters Mission tree in the Melnick Museum, and DM us on Instagram. We’ll share it on our story!

Many thanks to our volunteers India and Sabrina, who’ve helped us decorate the trees the last few years!

World AIDS Day 2022

AIDS ribbons in downtown Youngstown, OhioUrsuline Sisters Mission is sponsoring a Red Ribbon Display in downtown Youngstown, Ohio to honor the roughly 800 people in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties living with HIV as part of local commemorations for World AIDS Day.

Each of the 80 ribbons on Federal Square represents 10 people.

Thurs., Dec. 1, 2022, World AIDS Day, the public is invited to an event at that location beginning at 4:15 p.m. Rev. Joseph Boyd of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown will lead the group in prayer, followed by remarks from Mayor Jamael Tito Brown on the work to end HIV and overcome the stigma experienced by those touched by the epidemic.

Also speaking will be Laura McCulty Stepp, Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry director, Erin Bishop, Youngstown Health commissioner, and Tim Bortner, founder and president of Full Spectrum Community Outreach.

Shelley Turner of Equitas Health and Bortner will lead “A Walk of Remembrance” to Wean Park, where Full Spectrum Community Outreach will host a candlelight vigil to remember those who we have lost to the disease. Equitas Health also will provide warm drinks and snacks from Mocha House.

The Premier Bank Tower Clock, Market Street Bridge and the walkway from Wean Park to the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater will be lit in red that day in support of World AIDS Day.

World AIDS Day was established in 1988 to reflect on the lives lost to HIV/AIDS, and to honor the more than 38 million people worldwide living with HIV.