The Month of the Holy Souls

The month of November is dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. The church commemorates all the faithful who have departed from this life, but have not yet attained the joys of heaven. In honor of our deceased, below is biographical information about Sister Rosina Sedelmeier, the first Ursuline Sister to die here at Maple Mount.

Born in Oberhinting, Germany, on March 15, 1838, Catherine Sedelmeier spent her early years in her home country. Responding to the cries for missionaries to the United States, she came to Louisville, Kentucky, and entered the novitiate of the Ursuline Convent of the Immaculate Conception. On September 21, 1872, Catherine received the Ursuline habit and was given the name Sister Rosina, the nineteenth young lady to be invested in the habit of this fairly new American community, having been established only fourteen years prior from its Straubing roots.

An early picture of Mount Saint Joseph, sometime after 1882.

Sister Rosina remained at the motherhouse in Louisville during the two years before her profession of vows on November 11, 1874, and continued serving the sisters there for three more years. She was missioned to Mount St. Joseph Academy in 1877, three years after the first Ursuline Sisters opened the school there. Sister Rosina spoke no English but through her hard work, kindness, and cheerfulness, she was able to communicate with those around her. By scythe, she cut and gathered the grass for the cows. As she worked in the forests and fields, she often placed a crucifix or holy picture on the trees. These were found years after her death under the bark of huge trees: souvenirs of Sister Rosina.

Death came to Sister Rosina on September 24, 1879, and following the Requiem Mass her body was laid to rest in St. Alphonsus Cemetery. Hers was the first sister death at Mount Saint Joseph. Attending her funeral and burial was little Gertrude Rodman who was almost three years old and who was destined to become Sister Margaret Mary, whose own early death twenty-two years later would be the second death among the Sisters at Mount Saint Joseph. In 1902 Sister Rosina’s remains were brought to the new cemetery on the knoll where the Sacred Heart Shrine is located. In 1910 her remains were again moved to “God’s Acre” on the hill east of the Mount Saint Joseph buildings. Sister Rosina and Sister Margaret Mary are buried side by side in the cemetery.



  1. Rachel Frazier

    What a beautiful story, and a great reminder that you don’t always need words to communicate kindness and grace.

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