Each year on Aug. 5 – the Feast of Our Lady of the Snows – the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph process to the cemetery in Maple Mount to remember and give thanks to the Sisters who helped them form an independent community.
It was on that date in 1911 that Mother Agnes O’Flynn and Sister Ursula Jenkins left Owensboro, Ky., for Washington, D.C., to meet with the Apostolic Delegate to the United States, Diomede Falconio. They wanted to make their case to become a community independent of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville.
Father Edward Fitzgerald, the pastor of St. Paul Church and the ecclesiastical superior for their Ursuline community, spent the previous evening writing the history of the community for the Sisters to present. He met them at the train station to bless their journey. This is what Mother Agnes wrote about that moment.
“Father met us at the station in Owensboro and gave us the document with the words, ‘This is the Feast of Our Lady of the Snows; I have promised our Blessed Mother that if the journey is successful, this feast will be annually observed in the Community as a day of thanksgiving and a procession to the cemetery will take place in commemoration of the departed Sisters of the Community.’ We knelt in the twilight in the rear of the station for the blessing of our saintly Father, and we felt that our Heavenly Mother added her blessing to his.
“‘Wire me after your visit to Falconio’ were Father Fitzgerald’s parting words as we boarded the train for Washington, via Louisville. ‘How shall we word the message?’ we asked. ‘YES or NO’ was his reply.”
The answer was “yes,” that there was hope for their request. The following year, the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph became an independent community.
These are photos from the procession to the cemetery on Aug. 5, 2020.