Nine New Ursuline Associates Join Us in Ministry


We’re welcoming nine new Ursuline Associates this year.

These Catholic adults are committed to our mission and ministry, and the charism of St. Angela Merici, who founded the Ursulines in 1535.

While the last year has been one of big change for everyone in the world, these new Associates realize the continued value in the wisdom of a woman who lived in 16th century Italy and prioritized faith, education and hospitality and embraced such virtues as compassion, respect and hope.

Joining the Ursulines as Associates this year are:

Don Clyde

Don Clyde is a member of Christ Our Savior Parish in Struthers. An audio and video creator and delivery driver, Don and his wife, Mary, who also is an Associate, have been married 29 years and have two children.

St. Angela, he says, inspires him “to be honest and a leader in my community regardless of the odds.”

Barbie DeLucia of Youngstown belongs to two Youngstown Diocese parishes – St. Columba and St. Angela Merici. While Barbie lost her job of two decades due to COVID-19, she says she still has much to be grateful for.

Barbie DeLucia

“I was honored when Sister Norma asked me to become an Associate! [I want] to learn more about providing ministry to others so I can hopefully share my gifts with them,” Barbie states.I am inspired by Angela’s closeness to her family. Also, she was very accepting of all and appreciated a simple lifestyle.”

Barbie is engaged to fellow new Associate Tom Welsh.

Antonia Ross Douglass, a member of St. Charles Parish, Boardman, is a retired teacher who began developing her love of the Ursuline Sisters and their ministries as a student at Youngstown’s Ursuline High School, founded by the Sisters in 1905.

“They directed me to the profession I absolutely loved,” Antonia comments. “St. Angela Merici — I love her independence, openness and knowing that God is the One who loves her as we, too, are loved.”

Antonia and her husband, James, have two sons, Jed and Ross, two daughters-in-law, Angela and Denise, and three grandchildren, Julianna, Giovani, and Amelia, who she calls “the joys of our lives.”

Anne Kravitz

Like Antonia, Anne Schirck Kravitz is a member of St. Charles and a retired teacher. The Hubbard native also attended Ursuline High School and says she was first inspired by the Sisters there.

Anne is active in her parish’s ministries and appreciates the Sisters’ ministries and St. Angela’s example.

“She was truly a woman way ahead of her time and continues to set the example for us today,” she observes.

Anne and her husband, Irv, and I have four children and five grandchildren.

Cindy Lacko

Cindy Lacko and her husband, James G. Lacko, are making the journey as Associates together. They’re members of St. Patrick Parish in Hubbard.

Cindy is a theology teacher at Ursuline High School, and Jim is the Asset Reliability Manager with Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.

On becoming an Associate, Cindy says, “I have always been impressed with the many ministries that the Ursulines facilitate and succeed in and am proud to inform my students of them and their founding of Ursuline High School.”

Jim Lacko

Jim says St. Angela is inspiring because of “her outreach and non-judgmental way that she proceeded through life.”

Both agree they’re glad to add their talents to our ministries. They have two sons, Jimmy and Matthew, and a grandson, Jameson. 

Larry Lutz

Lawrence “Larry” Lutz lives in Boardman and attends St. Michael Parish, Canfield. The mental health clinician volunteers with our Ursuline Sisters Prison Ministry as a chaplain.

Of St. Angela, Larry says, “I am most inspired by her openness to the directions of the Holy Spirit.”

Mary C. Moon of Youngstown is a member of St. Brendan Parish. The retired teacher and retail associate enjoyed taking water aerobics classes at our Motherhouse pool in pre-COVID days.

Mary Moon

“The most inspiring quality of Angela, to me, is her capacity to be open to all people,” she states. “She embraced young and old, men and women, and worked with each one on the level they were on to bring her compassion and spirituality to each one of them.”

Mary has a son, a daughter and three granddaughters. 

Tom Welsh

Thomas G. Welsh, Jr., lives in Youngstown and attends the city’s St. Patrick Parish. Tom has lifelong ties to the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown.

“At one time, three relatives were active members of the community, including my aunt, Sister Marcia Welsh [deceased] and two cousins, Sister Martina Casey [deceased] and Sister Norma Raupple,” he says. “My mother, Elaine Welsh, has been an enthusiastic supporter of the community and is currently a member of the Century Club II.”

Tom says he’s inspired by St. Angela’s work with people from all walks of life.

“Her relationships were invariably free of judgment, and she approached each individual on his/her own terms,” he posits. “Angela’s spirituality was informed by a practicality and flexibility that reflected her sympathetic understanding of human nature.”

A professional writer and editor, Tom has penned many books on local history. He’s engaged to new Associate Barbie DeLucia.

Sister Norma

Sister Norma Raupple is director of the Associate program and says the entire Ursuline Sisters community welcomes these new members.

“Ursuline Associates are faith-filled, service-oriented men and women who journey with Ursuline Sisters,” she states. “Our mutual, reciprocal relationships enable all of us to live the Gospel more fully in the Spirit of St. Angela.”

The Ursulines now have more than 90 Ursuline Associates. Although most live in the Mahoning Valley, some live in other locations across the United States.