Sister Mary Matthias Ward celebrates 70 years as an Ursuline

We continue to honor our Sisters who are celebrating jubilees of religious profession in 2024. Today, we salute Sister Mary Matthias Ward, who is celebrating 70 years of religious life!

A native of Clementsville, Ky., Sister Mary Matthias’ leadership and deep spirituality have been utilized as a teacher, principal and campus minister in Kentucky, as major superior of her community, and as director of two retreat centers. She earned a bachelor’s degree in American history from Brescia College, Owensboro, in 1966 and a master’s degree in American history from The Catholic University of America in 1972.

She served in Kentucky as a teacher at St. Peter of Alcantara School, Stanley (1956-58) and was teacher and principal of St. Romuald School, Hardinsburg (1958-63) and St. Paul School, Leitchfield (1963-71). She was principal of St. Denis School, Louisville (1971-78). Sister Mary Matthias was associate director of the Saint Thomas Center, Louisville (1978-83). She served as the first director of the Mount Saint Joseph Retreat Center (1983-88), then returned to that role from 2016-19. She served two terms as the major superior for her Ursuline community (1988-96). In Murray, Ky., she was the campus minister of the Murray State University Newman Center and parish administrator of St. Leo Parish (1996-2003).

She then moved to New Mexico to become director of the Sacred Heart Retreat Center, Gallup (2003-2009). While there, she was the diocesan facilitator for adult formation and the bishop’s delegate for women religious. From 2009-16, she served as the director of Local Community Life at the Motherhouse. She was coordinator of transportation at the Motherhouse (2020-21), and since 2022 she has assisted Ursuline Partnerships with formation and prayer.

Congratulations Sister Mary Matthias!


  1. Joni Marie Dugan

    M&M, Congrats on 70 years. This whole biography of what you have done makes me dizzy just thinking about it.

    And it goes without saying, but I will say it anyway: the number of people you have touched along the way is astronomical.

    Thanks loads

  2. Elizabeth (Skaggs) Clemons

    Sr Mary Matthias has been a wonderful teacher and principal. She was principal at St Denis where my children attended. She has worked very hard. Congratulations
    Sister Mary Matthias!

  3. Karen Kampschaefer

    Sr. Mary Mathias was principal when I attended St. Denis, 1972-76. I know she remembers me, and remembers my parents, Pat Kampschaefer, and Deacon Bob Kampschaefer. I wanted her to know that my mom passed away in June of 2018, and my father passed not long after, in May of 2020.

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