The Ursuline Sisters of Louisville announced “A Gift of the Heart to The Heart” with their lease transfer of all buildings and land on the 48-acre Ursuline Campus on Lexington Road in Louisville, Kentucky to Sacred Heart Schools (SHS).
The Sisters will remain the sponsors of SHS, which are Catholic schools founded by the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville, beginning in 1877 with the establishment of Sacred Heart Academy. Ursuline Sisters continue to be engaged with SHS through class visits, school Masses and special events, as well as serving on the SHS Board of Trustees.
The Ursuline Motherhouse is currently undergoing renovation to add a new front entrance that will be handicapped accessible. The Motherhouse will become the administrative center of the campus with all SHS administrative staff and Ursuline Sisters’ administrative staff headquartered in the building by June, 2020. There are future plans for a Heritage room that will include historical photos and objects.
Shared space in the Motherhouse includes the chapel, library and several other rooms. The Ursuline Sisters will continue to hold Masses and funerals in the chapel, and the Sisters’ ministries such as the Ursuline Associates and the Angela Merici Center for Spirituality will continue to hold retreats, workshops and gatherings in the Motherhouse. The schools will hold Masses in the chapel, as well as concerts and other events.
Ursuline President Sister Janet Marie Peterworth stated, “This has been a long-term, thoughtful dialogue within our community, and we believe this is a perfect situation. This allows us to continue our ministry of influence and still be very engaged with the schools that we founded. We have made this decision, in order to better serve the needs of others, living out Saint Angela Merici’s advice: “If, according to times and circumstances, the need arises to make new rules or do something differently, do it prudently and with good advice.”
On Tuesday, June 25, 2019, Ursuline President Sister Janet Marie Peterworth and Dr. Cindy Crabtree, president of Sacred Heart Schools, met in the Ursuline Chapel to sign documents transferring ownership of the Ursuline Campus from the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville to Sacred Heart Schools. Leadership councilors Sisters Agnes Coveney, JoAnn Jansing and Paula Kleine-Kracht, several school board members and Mission Effectiveness Director Amy Olson were present.
Dr. Crabtree said, “We are ever committed to remaining a thoughtful and responsible steward of the campus, what Sister Janet referred to as an ‘urban jewel,’ and the legacy it represents.” The chapel bells rang during the signing, which fell serendipitously on the anniversary of Mother Salesia Reitmeier’s death in 1868. Mother Salesia was the first Mother Superior of the Louisville Ursulines. We are certain she would approve of this “gift from the heart to the heart.”