Mission Statement

Mission & VisionOur Mission: We are women of faith, celibate witnesses who demonstrate Christ-centered responsiveness by our presence in daily ministry. We strive to strengthen our experience of corporate spirituality. With creativity and availability we empower others and serve as healers as we interact with the chaos of our world.

Our Vision: In the spirit of Angela Merici, we will be known as women who

  • embrace the contemplative mode,
  • live simply, collaboratively, creatively,
  • commit ourselves to justice,
  • advocate for the poor and marginalized,
  • act as a responsible corporate presence,
  • nurture the gifts of all, especially women, drawing them to fullness of life,
  • serve as a catalyst for leadership in ministry,
  • journey toward a viable Ursuline community in a wounded world,as we embrace the Christ-life with passion and enthusiasm.

Our Story

foundress1Our Story began in July of 1845 when eleven women arrived in Saint Martin, a village of French and Irish settlers at the northern tip of Brown County. John Baptist Purcell, Archbishop of Cincinnati had urged these Ursuline Sisters to establish a school for young ladies. He wanted their presence in his diocese because this organization of women founded by Saint Angela in 1535 was known for the quality of their education.

An Englishwoman named Julia Chatfield led the group, bringing an Irish novice and postulant from Boulogne, a metropolitan city in northern France. Pauline Laurier, accompanied by seven French-speaking sisters from the farming area of Beaulieu joined her. The Archbishop offered them a tract of land that was part of the Virginia Military Land Grant deeded to the Archdiocese by General John Lytle. So much did they identify with the spirit of their new environment, that they became known legally as the Ursulines of Brown County.

classThe academy they built reached distinction as an educational institution. Families who wanted a balanced program of learning and culture for their daughters chose THE SCHOOL OF THE BROWN COUNTY URSULINES. Girls came from New York and California, Canada, and South America and places in between. The opportunity to share life with persons of many cultures was a rich experience, teaching openness and tolerance and flexibility along with the expected Christian values. But progress brought new needs and made boarding schools seem less practical. In 1981 the High School closed and the original building was leveled.

URSULINE ACADEMY was opened in Cincinnati as a day school in 1896 and soon built a reputation for excellence. Their college preparatory program continues to thrive at their present location in Blue Ash, a Cincinnati suburb.

Chat copyA college program established on the St. Martin campus for the basic liberal arts education of young women entering Religious life aroused the interest of local people, and in 1971 CHATFIELD COLLEGE opened its doors to the public. It grew and established a strong reputation as a place for adults to steep themselves in the basics of liberal arts higher education. In 1989 Chatfield College opened a campus in the inner city of Cincinnati. Today it is housed in the Over-the-Rhine area. Both campuses boast a total population of around 700 students. The same appreciation for learning that the eleven foundresses had brought with them in their combination of rural culture and metropolitan know-how continues to bear fruit.

Quilt copyAt present there are 26 Brown County Ursulines. The majority of these women have accepted leadership roles in education and social services in many different localities and are politically and socially active in addressing rural and urban social justice issues. We are interested in the healthy development of Brown County and every other area to which their outreach has carried them.

Contact Us

Ursulines of Brown County
20860 State Route 251
Saint Martin, Ohio 45118


Norma Green - Financial Administrator - (513)-875-2020 x24 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Joyce Snider - Administrative Assistant - (513)-875-2020 x30 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information or to contact Ursuline members please check the directory.



By their generosity, our benefactors participate in our ministry and make our work possible. You join forces with us when you volunteer to help us with a particular project. When you pray with us and for us, you support our efforts. By assisting us financially, you free us to use our time, our energy, our gifts and our training to further the mission of the Ursulines of Brown County.

Financial gift opportunities:

  • Cash Gifts - Cash gifts, usually made by check, are always welcome. They may be designated for specific or current needs according to the wishes of the donor.
  • Gifts of Appreciated Stock - Stocks may be transferred by sending the stock certificate to the Ursulines or may be sent directly to our broker electronically.
  • Charitable Gift Annunity - A charitable gift annuity is a simple agreement between you and the Ursuline Sisters which guarantees you fixed payments for life. At the time of your death the principal is used by the Ursulines to further our ministry. There are many tax advantages and benefits when you fund an annuity. Rates are dependent on your age.
  • Charitable Remainder Trust - You may transfer money or assets to a trustee to be held for the benefit of the Ursuline Sisters. While you are still alive, the trustee pays an income to you. If a spouse or other designated person survives you, the income may also extend over that person's lifetime. A substantial income tax deduction results from the establishment of a trust. If the trust is funded with assets, there are no capital gains taxes on the property when it is transferred to the trust, and at the death of the last income beneficiary, the trust will end and the proceeds will be used to further the ministry of the Ursuline Sisters.
  • Gifts of Life Insurance Policies - By purchasing a new policy and naming the Ursulines of Brown County as owner and beneficiary, future premiums paid by the donor are deductible the same as cash contributions. If a paid-up policy which has outlived its original purpose is donated to the Ursuline Sisters, the donor can deduct the replacement value of the policy.
  • Gifts of Retirement Assets - Bequeathing retirement plan assets to the Ursuline Sisters will allow you to make a large gift without tax consequences that would burden your heirs.
  • Bequests - You may choose to remember the Ursulines of Brown County in your will by designating a specific dollar amount. Another way is to leave us a percentage of your estate or the residue of your estate after you have provided for your family. If your will is already completed.

Use this form* for sending cash gifts. (*.pdf file requires Adobe Acrobat) and mail to:

Sister Agatha Fitzgerald
Development Office
20860 State Route 251
St. Martin, OH 45118

(513) 875-2020 ext. 23 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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  1. Vowed Membership