Whatever majesty they have lost, those trees symbolize a beginning. Shortly after receiving permission from Rome on Oct. 12, 1912 to become the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph, the first mother superior, Mother Aloysius Willett, ordered 100 maple trees to be planted between the Guest House and the cemetery, creating All Saints Avenue.
This year, the Ursuline Sisters will celebrate their 100th anniversary as a community, one still based on new beginnings. It will be a yearlong celebration, highlighted by the values that embody the Ursuline Sisters – prayer, service, empowerment, justice and contemplative presence, all in the spirit of their founder, Saint Angela Merici.
The theme for the year is “Woven with Threads of Courage and High Hope: 1912-2012.” It borrows from Saint Angela Merici’s encouraging words to her sisters to “have courage and high hope.”
Events in 2012:
The year of celebration begins on Jan. 28th, the Saturday following the feast of Saint Angela Merici, who founded the Ursuline Sisters in Brescia, Italy, in 1535. Significant events throughout the year – Alumnae Weekend on May 19-20, Associates and Sisters Day on June 9, Community Days for the sisters on July 11-13, the Mount Saint Joseph Picnic on Sept. 9 – will all incorporate aspects of the Centennial celebration.
The weekend of Oct. 12-14 will be the culmination of the celebrations. On Oct. 13, the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph and the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville will be invited to a Mass at the Motherhouse celebrated by the Most Rev. William Medley, bishop of the Diocese of Owensboro. Activities will fill the rest of the afternoon following the 11 a.m. Mass. On Oct. 14, a reception for the Ursulines of Mount Saint Joseph will occur following Sunday Mass.
Fasting in 2012:
The 12th of every month in 2012 will feature a fasting day along with a prayer service. Wherever the sisters are serving, they will fast and pray in their own way. The themes of these days follow the late theologian Maria Harris’ themes of biblical jubilees: fasting, fallowness and forgiveness.
The Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph have always stood for service to others, so the main way they want to celebrate this anniversary year is with “Centennial Service.” Sisters, associates and other supporters of the sisters will be asked to identify a need in their communities and build a service project around the number 100. Perhaps it is gathering 100 items to help the disadvantaged, or providing 100 hours of service. Perhaps it is collecting 100 items of clothing for a shelter, or helping prepare 100 meals at a soup kitchen. It may be offering 100 prayers for someone who is disheartened. All these efforts will be chronicled and celebrated at year’s end for service to God’s people.
Friends of the Ursuline Sisters who want to honor their service are encouraged to be of service to someone or some group in their community. Anyone who undertakes such a service project is encouraged to contact Dan Heckel at [email protected], or (270) 229-2007 so prayers can be offered for those efforts.
Commemorative prayer cards with a special prayer for the year are available. “Prayer to Saint Angela,” a song written by Father Jim Marchionda, OP, will be the official song of celebration for the year.
Related Centennial Articles:
Each day during 2012, in honor of the Centennial of the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph, a significant moment from the past 100 years on the corresponding day will be briefly chronicled.
The Ursuline Sisters who make up the Sarah’s Circle bonded group at the Motherhouse gathered on Jan. 12 for a prayer service to begin the celebration of 100 years of serving God’s people as the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph.
Reporters from the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, Diocese of Owensboro and Eyewitness News in Evansville, Ind., attended a news conference on Jan. 27, the Feast of Saint Angela Merici, to learn about the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph’s plans for celebrating the 100th year of service as an independent community.
The Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph got their start in 1912, but there were many significant events happening across the world and in the United States about that same time.
The Centennial of the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph is not the only significant religious anniversary being celebrated in 2012. Discover which diocese and two religious communities located in Kentucky celebrate anniversaries this year.
Marion County celebrated the Ursuline Sisters and their century of service on April 27-29. The three-day event concluded the “Week of Centennial Celebration of Ursuline Education and Ministry in Marion County, Acknowledging and Honoring the Lasting Contributions of the Sisters to Marion County.”
The 100 years of service being celebrated this year stems from the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph forming their own community in 1912. The two Ursuline communities that joined the sisters in Maple Mount in the past decade share some important dates on their timelines as well.
All but a handful of the 151 Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph returned to Maple Mount July 11-13 for the annual Community Days. On the evening of July 12, the sisters gathered in the dining room to enjoy the first Dinner Theatre at Mount Saint Joseph, a series of four plays performed by the sisters highlighting the 100 years of the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph.
A Daviess County, Ky., Fiscal Court meeting took place at Mount Saint Joseph Conference and Retreat Center on Sept. 6, 2012. This governing body represents over 90,000 residents in this western Kentucky county, which is also home to the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph in Maple Mount. On the agenda was a proclamation to honor the Ursuline Sisters for their Centennial by proclaiming Oct. 12 – the day of their founding as an autonomous community 100 years ago – as “Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph Day.”
The Owensboro (Ky.) City Commission proclaimed Oct. 12 as “Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph Day” during its Oct. 2 meeting at City Hall, in honor of the 100 years the sisters have served as an independent community.
It was 101 years ago this month that the wheels – literally the train wheels – were put in motion to begin the process of creating the independent community known as the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph.
The Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph celebrated their 100th anniversary as an independent community Oct. 13 with the sisters who gave them their start, their “city cousins” from the east, the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville.