Foundation Day – December 12, 1854
On December 12, 1854, Ursuline Sisters from Cleveland arrived in Toledo and thus began the long history of the Toledo Ursulines seeking to make a difference in northwest Ohio. At the time education was the primary ministry of the Sisters and they did not waste any time getting started. Within a few days students of all ages were gathered and school began. The rest is history: St. Ursula Academy, St. Angela Hall, Mary Manse College and Nazareth Hall.
Today, the Sisters continue to make a difference by their presence in hospitals, parishes, schools, working with the elderly in their own homes, counseling, spiritual direction, Hospice, and other significant ministries. Sisters volunteer in a variety of ways and share the spirit of St. Angela Merici wherever they go.
A Christmas Reflection
When was the last time you went for a donkey ride? For me, it was December 25! From the manger stall I looked over Mary's shoulder and could see the beautiful baby boy – just born! Mary and Joseph's faces were filled with excitement, awe and love for this child.
Do you know how special all of this made me feel? Here I was just a little donkey Joseph had for his use and he needed me to carry Mary on a long journey of many miles. I could tell when Joseph brought Mary to me that she was with child, so I knew I had to be as gentle as I could with her on this trip.
I was proud to be a part of this family – something great was going to happen. I kept Mary as comfortable and warm as I could and when we arrived at the stable I stayed near to keep her warm. It wasn't long before this beautiful little miracle occurred and Jesus was born.
I'll never forget that night – its still so very real to me. I was there. I was chosen to go along. I felt so special knowing I was able to give Mary, Joseph and Jesus a gift, the only gift I had, the gift of myself. Have you had a similar experience? Maybe you have had a different ride and traveled somewhere else. I have a feeling I will carry this baby when he is older.
One's Presence is More Important Than Words
Sister Bernarda Breidenbach
As an educator, Sister Bernarda Breidenbach has spent 40 years in service to children as teacher and principal. As an administrator, she has been on the Community Leadership team for eight years, with four of these as President of the Community.
One of the greatest gifts Sister Bernarda has received in her ministry has been how the grace of God continues to help her meet the needs of others each day. She has come to learn that one person's need is just as important as another's need. Sometimes it is challenging when she can't change a circumstance for someone. Perhaps being present may be enough knowing that God is with her.
When Sister looks at what she has in common with St. Angela, she says: "I believe that St. Angela was a compassionate listener. Presence is more important that words. These qualities are most important as an administrator, a religious follower of Christ and a companion of St. Angela. Many times Angela walks with me on my journey."
Another point of interest that Sister would like to share is this: "It has been a privilege to sit with and pray with our Sisters during the final days/hours of life as they await a loving God. I guess one could say that this is my way of showing gratitude for the blessings that each have given me throughout her life."
Annual School of the Americas Watch
Five members of Pax Christi and Corpus Christi University Parish attended the annual SOA Watch Vigil/Protest at Fort Benning, GA. Pictured with Sr. Sandy (center) are Lauren Farrell, Tina Hibbs, Chuck Dombrowski, and Carol Falquette.
Among those on the bus were Sr. Diane Pinchot, OSU, Cleveland Ursuline who crossed the line 5 years ago and served time as a prisoner of conscience. With her were 20 young women from Ursuline College, members of the Sr. Dorothy Kazel Club for Systemic Change. The club was initiated by one of the students, all of them filled with amazing energy, zeal, and Angela’s charism.
On Sunday, Nov. 24, thousands walked in a solemn funeral procession and commemorated those who have been killed by SOA/ WHINSEC (School of the Americas/Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation).
This year, for the first time, the procession circled to the gate and back twice, transitioning into an upbeat celebration of life and resistance. Oscar Romero's last sermon was blasted through the stage speaker system, a banner with the message, “Rooted in Resistance,” was lowered to base side, and thousands of soap bubbles crossed over the barb-wired fence. Thirty years ago, the very first small group of resisters climbed trees to the other side and were arrested as prisoners of conscience.
During the celebration, the stage MCs announced that two Honduran campesinos were killed the previous night as they returned from an election training. They were ambushed by masked gunmen with high caliper weapons as they returned home on foot. Their spirits were among the many who live on in the voices and actions of those gathered.
Angela – From Vision to Mission
Sunday January 12, 2014 Angela – Dream Imagined
Sunday February 9, 2014 Angela – Dream Unfolding
Sunday March 9, 2014 Angela – Dream Realized
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Ursuline Center Chapel
Presenter - Sister Donna Frey, OSU
For Sisters, Associates and Ursuline Friends
St. Angela's spirit was of influence and relationship building.
What motivated Angela to listen, reflect and act?
What will we carry forward to keep Angela's spirit alive?
Come join us to reflect on Angela's journey. Each presentation can stand alone, so come to one, two or all sessions.
Ursuline Convent Offices, 4045 Indian Road, Toledo, OH 43606