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Featuring the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph

The Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph, currently represented on the board by Suzanne Sims, OSU, is one of the founding groups of UNANIMA International. They trace their origin to Saint Angela Merici, who founded the first teaching order of women in the Church, the Company of Saint Ursula, in Brescia, Italy, in 1535.

At the request of Father Paul Joseph Volk, five Ursuline Sisters came from Louisville, Kentucky, USA, in 1874 to establish a school at the site that is now Maple Mount, Kentucky. In 1912, the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph became an autonomous congregation.

Currently numbering over 180, the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph minister in the states of Kentucky, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Tennessee, Washington, D.C., and in Chile, South America.

The Ursulines of Mount Saint Joseph were one of the groups that were instrumental in promoting the passage of a law making human trafficking a felony in Kentucky in 2007.

In their latest report to the board of directors, Suzanne Sims reported continued work on the UNANIMA “Stop the Demand” campaign, both phase 1 and phase 2. She presented the “Stop the Demand” materials to a break-out session at the North American Ursuline Convocation in July 2010 and the the members of the Owensboro Task Force on Human Trafficking in August, 2010. Because of their continued involvement in this campaign they encouraged Julie Reynolds, a young woman from their Brescia University to become a part of the Youth Workshop hosted by UNANIMA IN May 2010.

In addition to working to stop human trafficking, they have also supported work on overcoming issues related to water both in the US and in Honduras.  In particular, one of their women, Larraine Lauter, OSU, is part of an ecumenical group that has traveled over many years to Honduras and has supported a successful project which has allowed mothers to be able to provide safe water for their families and neighbors at very little cost.  For a more complete story of this project.

You will undoubtedly hear more about the Ursulines since Michele Morek, OSU, has applied to be one of the first to take advantage of UNANIMA’s new short-term internship for our members.