Precious Blood Parish honors Sister Rosanne Spalding for 60 years of serving the Church

In September 1960, Precious Blood Parish in Owensboro was blessed as the newest church in the Diocese of Owensboro. The next day, the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph opened the school there.

That same week, a young woman named Elizabeth Rose Spalding departed her home in Springfield, Ky., for the three-hour drive to Maple Mount, where she planned to become an Ursuline Sister like the teachers she had in high school.

On Aug. 14, 2021 – almost 61 years later – the Precious Blood community gathered for Mass to celebrate both their church home and the woman known as Sister Rosanne Spalding, who is celebrating her 60th jubilee of becoming an Ursuline novice in 1961. Nearly half of her 60 years have been spent at Precious Blood, first with five years as a teacher or principal, and the past 23 years as pastoral associate and director of religious education.

During Mass, she renewed her vows as an Ursuline in front of the congregation, which included members of her family, 13 Ursuline Sisters and her nephew Mark Spalding – better known as the Most Rev. J. Mark Spalding, bishop of Nashville since 2018.

Afterward, she recalled her father asking her on that September 1960 journey why she was joining a community so far away, when there were three religious communities in central Kentucky within 15 minutes of her home.

“I guess this is where the Lord wants me,” she replied.

On this evening celebrating the feast of the Assumption, Sister Rosanne found some more words of her father’s that were prophetic. He had told her on a visit that the door was always open if she wanted to come back home.

“I think that God the father says that to us,” Sister Rosanne told the congregation. “The door is always open.”

Bishop Spalding – whose appearance to concelebrate Mass was a surprise to Sister Rosanne – said his aunt gave her life to the Church, and specifically to Precious Blood Church.

“When we celebrate anniversaries, it’s a way to remember promises made and promises kept,” Bishop Spalding said. “When we make certain promises in life, it makes God’s dreams come true.”

Bishop Spalding said the Ursuline Sisters have been Christ to so many people.

“When we point to Christ, we bring others along,” he said. “That’s our job.”

The pastor of Precious Blood, Father Suneesh Mathew, and Bishop Spalding presented Sister Rosanne with a plaque honoring her 60 years of service. Near the end of Mass, Ray Jones, the music minister at Precious Blood, led the choir in a special song for Sister Rosanne, “O God, You Search Me.” Afterward, all those present were invited to dinner in the parish hall.


  1. WaNell Lanham

    Beautiful Mass Saturday evening celebrating Precious Blood and Sister Rosanne. So thankful for all she does for our parish family!

  2. Tom Clinton

    During her time at Christ The King in Madisonville. Sister had a profound impact on our family, bringing us closer to Christ through her example. God bless you Sister. With much love and prayers,
    The Clinton family

  3. April & Shane Dickens

    We are thankful for all
    Sr Rosanne has done for our parish. So happy to be able to call her our friend! Glad we could celebrate with her!
    The Dickens Family

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