Life’s Little Adventures

As we continue to mark our 140th year in the greater Youngstown area, we thought it would be interesting to include some historical information, not only of our Ursuline community but other Ursulines as well. This selection is taken from a volume edited by Rosemary Radford Ruether and Rosemary Keller titled Four Centuries of American Women’s Religious Writing.

rpcq_bien_172245_136059The Ursuline Sisters from Rouen France were the first order of religious women to arrive in territory that would become the United States. Twelve nuns left France on February 22, 1727. After a harrowing voyage of five and a half months, in which they encountered several pirate ships and ran aground off the American coast and had to dump much of the cargo, they finally arrived in New Orleans on August 6, 1727. Marie Madeleine Hachard wrote five letters to her father in Rouen describing their voyage. The following excerpt recounts the last stage of the journey:


We had left Balize on the feast day of St. Ignatius and the launch did not arrive here in New Orleans until the day of the Octave. . . . There are no lands cultivated the whole length of the river, only great wild forests inhabited solely by beasts of all colors. . . . We slept twice in the midst of mud and water which fell from the sky in great abundance and penetrated both us and our mattresses which almost swam in the water when a rainstorm with thunder and lightning broke in the middle of the night. . . .


On this occasion several of our Mothers were greatly inconvenienced, getting colds and inflammations, some with faces and legs swelling and one of them even contracted a more severe malady. All these little annoyances began to bother us with time, but we were well rewarded afterwards with the pleasure that one gets from telling of life’s little adventures. It is true that the ardent desire we had to see this promised land made us endure everything with joy.


The telling of “life’s little adventures” certainly seems to be part of human nature!

Free Lecture on History of Ursuline Sisters

McCormickJoin Sister Mary McCormick, General Superior of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown and Professor and Academic Dean with St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Cleveland, as she offers the free lecture Sisters Faith: 140 Years of Ursuline Sisters in Youngstown Thurs., Nov. 20 from noon-1 p.m. at the Tyler Mahoning Valley History Center in downtown Youngstown. It’s part of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society’s highly popular Bites & Bits luncheon series.
You can brown-bag your own lunch or order one for $6 from the Overture restaurant at the DeYor Performing Arts Center across the street from the Tyler building.
On Sept. 18, we marked the 140th anniversary of the Ursuline Sisters in Youngstown. The Ursulines began by teaching at St. Columba School and then had a long history of teaching at the elementary and high school levels.
Sister Mary’s talk will reflect on this history with stories and photos, and tell how 140 years later, Ursuline Sisters continue to minister to the people of the greater Youngstown area, participating in Christian formation at all stages of life and meeting the needs of God’s people in collaboration with others.
For information on parking and more, visit the MVHS website. We hope you can join us!

Congressman, Mayor Honor Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown with Proclamations

ldrshpU.S. Rep. Tim Ryan and Youngstown Mayor John A. McNally have issued proclamations honoring the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown as we begin celebrating 140 years of ministry in the Mahoning Valley.
We are grateful to the congressman and mayor for issuing these recognitions. Reading the mayor’s recognition is our Leadership Team: seated are Sisters Mary McCormick, General Superior, and Sister Regina Rogers. Standing are Sisters Patricia McNicholas and Norma Raupple.
On Sept. 18, our official anniversary, the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown were recognized by WYTV when Stan Boney interviewed Sister Mary McCormick.
WYSU’s program Doing Good, hosted by Gina Marinelli, also recently featured Sister Mary and recognized our anniversary.
Sister Mary will speak about the Ursuline Sisters’ long history in the greater Youngstown area at the Mahoning Valley Historical Society’s Bites and Bits luncheon lecture series Nov. 20 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Tyler Mahoning Valley History Center on Federal Street in downtown Youngstown.
Click here to learn more about our milestone and history.


Celebrating 140 Years of Ministry in Mahoning Valley

In 1874, European immigrants of the Catholic faith were moving their families to a place full of promise for better jobs and better education – Youngstown, Ohio. But educators for those children were few. That’s why a priest at St. Columba Cathedral asked his sister, an Ursuline nun in Cleveland, and some of her Sisters to relocate here to teach. They arrived Sept. 18.
shwcross1In the 140 years since then, we have served tirelessly, adapting our ministries to meet the needs of God’s people in the Mahoning Valley. Many companies, organizations and families have come and gone in that time, but the we have remained constant in our commitment to offer our spirit, vision and presence to the greater Youngstown area.
We minister in education, health care, social service, parish work. Thousands of people are helped through our current ministries.
“The monuments to the work of the Sisters in imitation of Jesus are not found in buildings or plaques,” observes Sister Mary McCormick, our General Superior. “They are found in the lives of people who have been taught by an Ursuline, who have been touched with a healing word or gesture, who have been comforted by prayer or silent presence, who have been strengthened by these determined women standing with them, advocating for their needs.”
A few highlights of our ministries include:
1874: Established ministry in Youngstown
1905: Established Ursuline High School
1963: Established Ursuline Preschool and Kindergarten
1991: Began Beatitude House Ministry
1993: Began HIV/AIDS Ministry
1997: Established The Ursuline Center educational ministry
1998: Established Youngstown Community School
2013: Established Ursuline Sisters Senior Living
“While we remember our heritage with pride and sometimes a little nostalgia, we look to the future,” Sister Mary states.