Ursulines & the USA

Nearly 300 years ago, a group of Ursuline Sisters, two priests, and one religious brother boarded the ship the Gironde in France for a five month voyage across the Atlantic to begin a new mission in New Orleans.

Their arrival Aug. 7, 1727 is recognized by Catholic human service and health providers as the first organized effort by the Catholic Church to establish human and health services in the present day United States of America.

Their efforts include the oldest continuously operating school for women and the oldest Catholic school in the United States (independent of the students’ race, religion, ethnicity, or economic status) and the first children’s orphanage and refuge for battered women.

We give thanks for their example of service and fortitude as we celebrate this anniversary!