Ministry in Action

Brigid Kennedy, president of our Ursuline Ministries, is the 2019 recipient of the Nonprofit Leader of the Year award bestowed by the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber.

Brigid, who has long been involved with the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, received the award at the Chamber’s annual Salute to Business Breakfast Aug. 29. Many in the crowd were so touched by her remarks that we’ve received numerous requests to share them.

Thanks to our friends at Armstrong, you can view Brigid’s acceptance speech or the entire video of the event.

Below are her comments, for those who prefer to read them.

“I want to thank the Chamber for this award and all of you for coming out so bright and early to celebrate the honorees and our Valley. I accept this award, gratefully, on behalf of Ursuline Ministries…on behalf of our board members and management team members, some of whom are with me today…and on behalf of the Ursuline Sisters and our lay Associates, employees, and volunteers. Thank you.

I want to applaud the Chamber for including a Nonprofit award among your annual honors. Nonprofits must meet many of the same expectations that any business does—hire, train, and keep quality staff; manage investments and balance the budget; market ourselves to the community; and of course, provide services. And as a nonprofit, we have an added responsibility, to mission…to the mission for which we were created, and to the vision and values that guide us in that mission.

A moment ago, I said that I accept this award on behalf of those who make up Ursuline Ministries. We are social workers, counselors, nurses, bookkeepers and grant writers…we are teachers from preschool to grad school…we are the living Ursuline Sisters and all those who’ve gone before us…we serve in prisons, hospitals, parishes, at a labyrinth, a homeless shelter, and a swimming pool…we provide for hungry kids, scared immigrants, lonely seniors, and 1st generation college students…we care for children and adults living with HIV, families torn apart by divorce, and clients struggling with addiction…we minister where poverty, mental illness, trauma, grief, violence, and every kind of disadvantage or even outright brokenness would otherwise prevail…we answer phones and drive vans and cook meals and sweep floors…and we pray. We are Ursuline Ministries. On our best days—and there are so many of those—we provide real hospitality and inclusion, we serve with radical compassion, we respect and honor and see the face of God in the person in front of us, and we give hope. And we can’t do any of that without you…without the support we receive from the business community and from our nonprofit partners, without the little old ladies who faithfully send $2 each month and without the large foundation and government grants. You all join us in mission, and we are lifted up a little higher by this affirmation of the value of our work. Again, on behalf of Ursuline Ministries, thank you for that support.”