Louisville Ursulines Support the New Office of Catholic Identity and Ursuline Charism for Sacred Heart Schools

During Catholic Schools Week, Sacred Heart Schools, which the Louisville Ursulines sponsor, shared this statement:

We have financial commitments for the Office of Catholic Identity and Ursuline Charism, totaling $1 million. As a community of Catholic schools rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Ursuline charism, we are called to educate our students, faculty, and staff through the work of this Office.

President Dr. Karen McNay and the SHS Advancement Office, with the support of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville, worked to secure these gifts to endow the Office of Catholic Identity and Ursuline Charism in perpetuity.

Created in July 2022, the Office is staffed and operating, working through formation with the faculty and staff and serving the 1,850+ Sacred Heart Schools students.

The Office currently consists of three staff: Vice President of Mission and Community Mia Cooper, Director of Mission Formation Jane Cruthirds, and Campus Minister and Catechetical Program Manager Andrea Hoback. These highly qualified and mission-centric Catholic leaders share a great affection for the Ursuline Charism and a deep devotion to their Catholic faith.

Sister Jean Anne Zappa, OSU, President of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville, added, “Since 1858, the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville have supported the mission of Catholic education. As the founders of Sacred Heart Academy in 1877 and the sponsors of Sacred Heart Schools since 1990, the Ursulines have been active in many ways in these schools—by our presence in the classroom, serving on committees, the board of trustees, and gifts of support.

SHS staff - Andrea Hoback, Mia Cooper and Jane Cruthirds

Sister Carol Curtis Embarks on Roses in December 2022 Pilgrimage

Ursuline Sisters of Louisville Carol Curtis, OSU, went to El Salvador in early December, 2022, participating with “The Roses in December” delegation of SHARE with Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) to mark the 42nd anniversary of the martyrdom of the four U.S. churchwomen in El Salvador, including Cleveland Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel. The delegation visited women religious and the communities they accompany in El Salvador and Honduras to support and give witness to the social, economic and ecological injustices the indigenous peoples suffer at the hands of multi-national corporations, drug cartels and their own governments.

Sister Carol wrote: “Blessed are you when you are persecuted for the sake of justice…

When I first arrived in San Salvador, as we drove from the airport, Mary Ann quietly reminded me that we were taking the same road the four churchwomen took the night of their murder. Images from Roses in December came to mind, solemn and sobering.

When our bus arrived in Chalatenango, we were surprised by the festive welcome by the community there. From the bishop’s blessing at the place Sister Karla drowned to the cemetery where all three Maryknoll sisters are buried, the people of Chalatenango led the celebration of the living memory of Karla, Maura, Ita, Jean and Dorothy. I did not expect so strong a sense of communion with the people there, united in the memory of our sisters and our faith in the God of Life. I experienced with SHARE a community that crosses the boundaries of time and place.”

Group photo of participants holding photos of slain sisters.

Sister Carol, front row, kneeling with the SHARE/Roses in December Delegation.

Joy Green and Carmen de la Cuba Laurel, both Ursuline Associates, receive the 2022 Angeline Award

Every two years, the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville honor a woman whose life reflects the Ursuline charism that is inspired by Saint Angela Merici, the foundress of the Ursulines: “A contemplative love of God resulting in an openness and eagerness to serve the needs of others.” On Sunday, October 23, the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville honored Joy Green and Carmen de la Cuba Laurel, both Ursuline Associates, with the Angeline Award at a Mass in the Motherhouse Chapel, celebrating the feast day of Saint Ursula. Two honorees were chosen due to the hiatus in 2020 from Covid-19 concerns.

Ursuline President Sister Jean Anne Zappa, OSU, presented the award to Carmen and said, “Carmen de la Cuba Laurel has been involved in the teaching mission of Jesus since 1966 with our Santa Angela Merici School in Peru as teacher, principal, mentor and now volunteer and witness of the teaching mission of Jesus. She is a true disciple and active leader with the Ursuline Associates in Carmen de la Legua.”

Of Joy, Sister Jean Anne stated, “Joy Green, an Associate from Cumberland, Maryland, truly lives the healing ministry of Jesus, serving in the Alleghany Health and Nursing Rehabilitation Center. It seems like whatever, whoever and wherever the need is, so is Joy, be at the rehab center, the vet on the street, in the parish, or with the Associates.”

Angeline Award recipients holding awards

L to R: Joy Green and Carmen de la Cuba Laurel,

2022 Angeline Award recipients

Angela Merici Center Closes

Effective December 31, 2022, the Angela Merici Center for Spirituality, a ministry of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville, started by Sister Martha Buser in 1997, closed. Ginny Schaeffer, who has served as director for 21 years, is retiring, and with her retirement, the Ursuline Sisters have made the decision to close the center.

The Ursuline leadership team and Ginny have been in conversation with Bellarmine University to determine how the spirit of St. Angela Merici could be further advanced on the campus, as Bellarmine University has Ursuline roots. Bellarmine College and Ursuline College merged in 1968 to form what is now Bellarmine University. As a result of those discussions, Bellarmine has engaged Ginny to bring the Angeline spirit to their campus by way of leading retreats and other ministry experiences beginning July 1, 2023.

Monthly, in-person Taizé Prayer services at the Ursuline Motherhouse will continue under the leadership of Lisa Feldkamp, liturgist for the Ursuline Sisters, and will be available each month in video format on the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville website and Facebook page.

Ginny Schaeffer AMC director

Ginny Schaeffer, director of the Angela Merici Center at her retirement party