Teaching Students to Live for the ‘Glory of God Alone

Walk into Ursuline High School and within minutes you’ll be greeted with smiles, offered coffee (likely more than once), and notice there’s something very different about this work and learning environment.

Sr. Regina & Students“The faculty and students do a great job of embodying St. Angela to all we meet,” says Sister Regina Rogers, an Ursuline Sister of Youngstown and assistant principal at the school. “We talk about the charisms of St. Angela. The first is hospitality – being hospitable to anyone who walks in this building, being hospitable to each other.”

While it’s nearly 500 years (Nov. 25, 1535) since St. Angela Merici, a diminutive Italian woman with grand faith, started her company of Ursulines, and nearly 110 years since the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown founded Ursuline High, the spirit of St Angela and her Ursulines are as much a part of the school as its bricks and mortar.

“We are so blessed here at Ursuline High School because we bear the name Ursuline and because we were founded by the Ursuline Sisters; our students know the history of the Ursuline Sisters, and we are able to help them get the best michigan state scholarships” Sister Regina continues. “You know you’re Ursuline when you’re here.”

What does being Ursuline mean? Living “Soli Deo Gloria,” or “For the glory of God alone.” How Sister Regina and other spiritual leaders at the school encourage the faculty, staff and students to manifest that witness is by embracing St. Angela’s charisms of hospitality and resilience.

“Resilience came from Angela’s ability to always find a third way of doing something,” Sister Regina explains. “We stress to the kids, ‘If things don’t work out this way, we need to look for something else, for another way.’”

These lessons are especially valuable for students in the service program, initiated in 1975 by Father Daniel Venglarik. “His philosophy was that our students here in a Catholic high school have to learn the importance of service throughout their lives,” Sister Regina states.

The students serve one hour, Monday through Thursday, in various locations, such as nursing homes, preschools and elementary schools, the St. Vincent DePaul dining hall, Rich Center for Autism, and the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown ministry The Potter’s Wheel.

“It gives them lots of life skills, but it also says, ‘This is what our religion expects of you’,” she observes. “It’s one of the programs the alumni talk about most.”

Sister Regina has ministered as an educator and/or administrator at Ursuline High School over 30 years. She counts herself blessed to be an Ursuline Sister and to minister with the young people at UHS.

“Especially as a religion teacher, I’m in awe of their own prayerfulness, their own closeness to God, their own joy in living,” Sister Regina says.

As St. Angela said, “You will witness wonderful things if you direct all to the praise and glory of God.”

The Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown have further presence at the school through two associates, instructors Dr. Linda Miller, whose doctoral work was on St. Angela’s charisms, and Aimee Morrison.