Louisville Ursulines Celebrate Community Days

The Ursuline Sisters of Louisville celebrated Community Days the week of July 24–28.  We gathered every day for prayer, reflection, business, and friendship, and on Friday, July 28, had a Mass to celebrate our Jubilarians: Sister Lee Kirchner, 75 years; Sister Helen O’Brien, 70 years; Sister Rita Joseph Jarrell, 60 years; and Sister Martha Jacob, 60 years. We also held a missioning ceremony for Sisters, coworkers and Associates. The theme for Community Days this year was “Clothed in Grace,” taken from Proverbs 31:25-26, 29-31: “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs at the days to come.”

Gathering for faith and fellowship.

L to R: Sisters Helen O’Brien, Lee Kirchner, Martha Jacob and Rita Joseph Jarrell

Leadership team with Sisters who live at Nazareth Home-Clifton
Standing: Sisters Jean Anne Zappa, president, Anne Mary Lochner, vice president (deceased),
Agnes Coveney, councilor, Rita Ann Wigginton, councilor and Yuli Oncihuay, councilor.
Seated: Sisters Mary Denis West, Loretta Guenther and Shirley Ann Simmons

St. Joseph Children’s Home Honors the Ursulines of Louisville and Sister Loretta Guenther

Sister Loretta Guenther received not one, but two surprises, on Friday, June 2, 2023, when she toured the newly renovated west wing of the Landmark Building of St. Joseph Children’s Home, where she ministered for 36 years as a live-in house parent and was the last Ursuline Sister of Louisville to serve there. The first surprise was seeing a plaque in a hallway off the reception area dedicated to the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville with a quote by Sister Loretta on it. Surprise two came when she visited the chapel—it has been named in honor of Sister Loretta for her years of service at St. Joe’s!

Sisters Barbara Bir and Rita Dressman also were on the tour, along with Barbara Mercer and Kathy Williams, USAE employees and Associates. Grace Akers, Suzy Hillebrand and Caitlyn Green of St. Joseph’s gave a tour of the renovated building which included classrooms, the large quilt-making room and daycare facilities. We thank St. Joseph Children’s Home for honoring the Ursuline Sisters and Sister Loretta in such a beautiful way.

From left, Sisters Barbara Bir, Loretta Guenther and Rita Dressman look at a hallway plaque honoring the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville at St. Joseph Children’s Home. The Ursuline Sisters served children at the home from 1897 to 2010. 

The St. Joseph Children’s Home Chapel is named in honor of Sister Loretta Guenther.

Environmental Justice Outing

On Saturday, June 17, several Ursuline Sisters of Louisville and Associates of Ursuline Sisters of Louisville took part in an environmental Justice bus tour with Tim Darst of the Passionist Earth and Spirit Center. It featured an interactive drive through the West End of Louisville, which is—not coincidentally—home to both Louisville’s largest pollution challenges and its poorest and most marginalized citizens. After going past the green spaces of Chickasaw Park and Shawnee Park, the group saw Rubbertown, a large industrial area and the major cause of toxic pollutants in the West End; a superfund waste site; Lake Dreamland along Campground Road; and parts of the southwest area of Louisville.

Guided by veteran conservationist Tim Darst, the tour was an eye-opening look at environmental justice issues right here in Louisville.

June 13 Visit From WRAC

Women Religious Archives Collaborative (WRAC) Executive Director Sister Susan Durkin, OSU, and Lead Archivist Ellen Pierce visited the Motherhouse on June 13. They are traveling to each of the 14 WRAC member congregations to see each archival collection’s size and needs. The Ursuline Sisters of Louisville are participating members in WRAC. They also met with the Leadership Team to discuss the project’s site location, design progress, and strategy for fundraising.

Ellen Pierce and Sister Susan Durkin make WRAC presentation to Louisville leadership.

Archivist Laurel Wilson shows the Heritage Room timeline to Ellen Pierce and Sister Susan Durkin.

Prayer in the spirit of Taizé

We offer in-person prayer in the spirit of Taizé on the second Monday of each month, at 7 pm in our Motherhouse. Our attendance continues to grow, and liturgist Lisa Feldkamp creates beautifully themed services every month. We gather to sing simple songs that ground us in the presence of our loving God and experience times of silence that enable us to hear the voice of God. We listen to sacred scripture that nurtures us and offer prayers honoring God’s creation. Communications Assistant Bernie Mudd White produces creative videos of the service every month, which you can view on our Facebook page and website.

Taizé Videos

Sister Janet M. Peterworth Receives Optimal Aging Award

Ursuline Sister of Louisville Janet M. Peterworth received a Gold Standard of Optimal Aging Award from the University of Louisville Trager Institute at a luncheon on Sept. 22 at the Olmstead, along with 32 other honorees. The Gold Standard of Optimal Aging Award Ceremony celebrates older adults, aged 85 years and over, who lead engaged and flourishing lives and inspire those around them with their zest for life. And those of you who know her, know Sr. Janet certainly has a zest for life!

Sr. Janet Peterworth receives Optimal Aging award from the University of Louisville Trager Institute

Ursuline Sisters of Louisville and Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph co-signed a social media post for June 2, Gun Violence Awareness Day

The Ursuline Sisters of Louisville and the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph, along with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, the Dominica Sisters of Peace, the Loretto Community, and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas in Kentucky and numerous other congregations of women religious invited others to pray a novena for nine days, starting on June 2, in solidarity with those around the country praying for peace and an end to gun violence.