In Memory: Sister Marcia Welsh

The following reflection was written by Sister Nancy Dawson, OSU, General Superior
“Those who instruct others unto justice shall shine as stars for all eternity”-Daniel 12:3
Sister Marcia WelshWhat a beautiful summary of Sister Marcia Welsh’s life: Instruction/Justice. And she continued those values until the day she died on 9 October 2013 at her Motherhouse home. Throughout her stay in Intensive Care at the hospital, Marcia taught “math” day and night. On an earlier occasion, she was teaching sisters in formation or those in prison or maybe all of us. She repeated, “Read the Life of Christ so you can know Jesus”. But she kept saying, “a page is missing.” Perhaps she was teaching all of us who love her that we need to fill in the “missing pages” with our own lives of Gospel service.
No doubt, Sister Marcia [demanding and persistent at times] in her classroom teaching at Ursuline for 20 years, leaves a legacy of excellent performance to all her Ursuline math students as well as those at YSU in the 40s and 50s.
Sr. Marcia WelshMarcia’s years at S.O.M.E. [So Others Might Eat] in Washington, D.C., impacted not only the poor whom she served but added to the awareness of the entire Ursuline Community. And she did love discussing politics. Many mealtime conversations in family and community challenged each of us to action on social issues. As walking became more difficult, the sisters have a photograph of Marcia walking the “extra mile” to those in prison as they explored the Catholic faith.
Like St Angela, our Ursuline founder, Marcia modeled a love of family in her early years at Ursuline High School after teaching all day, Marcia walked to Windsor Nursing facility at the dinner hour to care for her mom and dad.
What we will miss are Marcia’s educational skills, her love of politics and encouragement to respond to injustices, her advocacy for those in prison and the poor. I am sure there were never enough mailboxes in Congress to accommodate her letters on behalf of the poor.
Indeed, as an Ursuline Sister of Youngstown, Marcia has lived Daniel 12:3 and Matthew 25:31-40. We are confident that she is “one of the stars” that “will shine” for us now and for all eternity. May we, family, community and friends continue her legacy.
At the heavenly banquet, there will be no “missing pages” as Sister Marcia dines with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and all her family members and Ursuline Sisters.

Doing Justice With A Compassionate Heart

Love never failsThe Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown commissioned six new Associates for the feast of St. Angela Merici in 2013. General superior Sister Nancy Dawson offered this reflection:

“I am positive that the words St. Angela has for us this night are these: “I am always in your midst.”

This is a night that all of our Ursuline Sisters and all of our men and women Associates really treasure – not only because it fulfills her promise, “I will always be in your midst,” but because on this night we are assured that the charism of Saint Angela Merici and her gifts will continue through each of these Associates – these six new Associates who are formally commissioned tonight. What a promise.

If we do justice, we are promised – and this is a famous saying in scripture that the Ursulines really like – if we engage in justice we are promised in scripture that all of us who instruct and do justice will shine as stars for all eternity. Let we Ursuline Sisters and Associates light up the skies, not in eternity but in the present, as we brilliantly shine with other stars of the past illuminating compassionate hearts and a spirited justice and action for the common good. Let that be our prayer at Mass tonight.

God bless you on this wonderful occasion, wonderful night, wonderful continuation of Angela’s charism.”