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Message from Congregational Minister

Dear Friends,

The Ursulines of Brown County, with great concern for their neighbors and committed to good stewardship of the land, have taken steps to assure that their long-held property in St. Martin will maintain its character under new ownership.

The community arrived in northern Brown County in 1845 and has been serving the rural area ever since. We have been involved in education on the grade school, high school, and college levels, provided religious education to neighboring Catholic parishes, sponsored a summer camp for girls and spiritual retreats for women. The Sisters have been involved not only in parish activities but also in civic organizations as well.

Currently we have 23 members from 61- 95 years of age. Like many religious congregations, we realize that we are nearing completion as a religious community. However, we are counting on our sponsored ministries, Chatfield College in St. Martin/Cincinnati and Ursuline Academy in Cincinnati, as well as the many other people we have ministered to and with, to carry on our mission to further the Gospel of Jesus, value each individual person, and educate future generations.

For several years, the Ursulines of Brown County have been discerning about the future of our land as we near completion. We have been blessed to care for this land for almost 172 years. The Legacy Statement developed in 2010 concerning the care and protection of the Ursuline land reads, in part:

“First and foremost, every endeavor must reflect Gospel values and be in harmony with the nature of the land, its beauty, tranquility, and restorative potential for the human spirit. Our land is holy ground supporting efforts to experience and share the love of God in a myriad of ways. We want to ensure that there will be no impediments to deter these efforts from fullest expression.”

As part of our effort to put the Legacy Statement into practice, we placed the farmland in a conservation easement and returned the waterway to its original configuration as Solomon’s Run. These moves assure that both the 83.6 acres of farm land and the waterway will remain as they are into perpetuity.

Recently the Sisters made the unanimous decision to sell the non-farm property to Chatfield College, which the Ursulines founded in 1971, effective July 1, 2017, and to sell/auction the farmland in the near future. Because the Sisters are older and we are well aware of the challenges and the costs when a person ages, the proceeds from these sales will be used for retirement needs of the Sisters. Both the Sisters’ residence known as Brescia and the Ursuline administration building known as Springer will continue to be utilized by them.

Sr. Phyllis Kemper, Congregational Minister for the Ursulines of Brown County, said that this decision to divest themselves of the property did not come lightly. “The process toward making the decision took several years of prayer, discernment and consultation with professionals in the areas of real estate, finance, law and township and county government. The realities of aging helped us to understand that we wish to spend our last years ministering to people rather than caring for buildings and property. Through Chatfield College and future farmers, the legacy begun by our foundress Julia Chatfield will continue into the future.”

The Sisters invited more than 100 friends, neighbors, and stakeholders to a meeting on June 20 to communicate and explain this decision.

In peace,


Phyllis Kemper, OSU

Congregational Minister


Ursuline Store


  • Cutting to the Root of Ageism, Joan Leonard, OSU - $15
  • Quyana, Cecilia Huber, OSU - $12.50
    • Reflections on Life in Alaska
  • The Community Dream, Pat Brockman, OSU - $10
  • The Cross in the Wilderness- Sr. Monica Maginnis, OSU, PhD         
    • The history of the Founding of the Ursulines of Brown County          
    • 1953 (Limited number of copies available.) - $15
  • Angela, Translation by Sr. Marie de Mercurio, OSU    
    • From original Italian by Filippo Maria Salvatori, SJ 1970 - $5    
  • The Spirit of St. Angela
    • Compiled by an Ursuline of Brown County, 1907 - $5
  • Angela Merici and Her Teaching Idea
    • Sr. Monica Maginnis, OSU, PhD 1945 - $10
  • Marie Guyart, Translation by Sr. Miriam Thompson, OSU        
    • From original French by Guy-Marie Oury, OSB 1978 - $10
  • Marie, A Play in Two Acts        
    • Sr. Miriam Thompson, OSU 1983
  • Monica Maginnis: A Life, Joan Brosnan, OSU 1995 - $10
  • Maddalena and Elisabetta Girelli, Their Story Lives 
    • Joan Brosnan, OSU 1999        
    • Translations from the Italian by Ruth Podesta, OSU - $15
  • Led by An Invisible Hand, Sr. Cecilia Huber, OSU - $20

Led by an Invisible Hand

The Ursulines of Brown County are happy to announce the publication of Sr. Cecilia Huber’s book Led by An Invisible Hand. As she tells the reader that when asked to write this book her challenge was to capture “even some of the personalities and events; the priceless stories and situations that make our Brown County Community the beautiful home it is and has been for so many countless students and friends who have been a part of Julia’s (Chatfield) dream over the years?”

In his forward, Fr. Jack Wessling, Professor of Philosophy and Chaplain at Ursuline Academy, Cincinnati states: “For well over a century Sister Cecilia Huber has served the young and the old as an Ursuline of Brown County. In this book she invites us to join in her journey from an eager postulant to these present days of busy “retirement” as she continues to enrich us as a gifted pianist, teacher, and composer of music. You will meet many interesting and remarkable persons who traveled these years with her. Enjoy her sense of humor; be enriched by her insights and wisdom. Join in this journey of the Ursulines of Brown County as seen and beautifully told by my dear friend, Sister Cecilia Huber.” 


  • ABIDING MELODY PORTRAIT OF MADAME OLGA CONUS by Sr. Cecilia Huber, OSU - These few words by Madame Olga Conus give the reader a glimpse into the amazing life of this extraordinary woman. Sr. Cecilia gives us a story of the great gift of music that inspired Madame Conus throughout her life from her childhood in Russia through the Bolshevik Revolution, to Paris and finally to Cincinnati where she became a piano instructor at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. The “Conus Method” is widely known and continues through her former students. This is the story of her life-journey shared by Sr. Cecilia, her student and friend.

  • ANGELA’S PROMISE by Sister Pat Brockman, OSU

    This simple poetic work takes us back to the original hope of St. Angela Merici. Having promised to remain more vividly with her followers after her death, we witness Angela’s movement from the culture of the profound mysticism of medieval 14th Century to the individualism of 15th Century Renaissance. The sweeping changes of time have carried the original hope of Angela throughout the past 500 years. In the strength of that vision, Sr. Pat has assured us of Angela’s witness in our own times, the independence of women, a deepened connection to the Church, and the interweaving of women and men at work together in the world. Sr. Pat was drawn to do this poem from her research work with many Sisters and her profound love of Angela.



  • WIDENING THE CIRCLE, Agatha Fitzgerald, OSU - $1.00/6 for $5.00
    • St. Angela logo for 2013 North American Ursuline Convocation
  • Flower Cards, Clare Ragazzo, OSU - $2.00/6 or $10
  • Photo Cards, Cecilia Huber, OSU - $2.50 each
  • Christmas Cards, Marjean Clement, OSU - $1.00/6 for $5.00

Ursuline Companions

Companions are men and women, students and retirees who support the Ursuline charism and enjoy spending time with the sisters and each other learning, praying, and writing. Opportunities are always available for other topics and for service projects. All are welcome. Provide your contact information, including e-mail if you have it, to someone from the contact list in order to be notified of events.

The Companion Group, led by the Core Team Sr. Lucia Castellini, Erna Dennis, Dolores Berish, Jean McNamara, and Sue Hamann, offers three monthly small group meetings: Lectio Divina Bible Study, Spiritual Journaling, and Autobiography. In addition Companions are invited to St. Angela Feast Day and other meetings with extended groups of sisters and companions. Throughout the year there are several topical Saturday workshops. There is an Annual Companion Reflection Day at Chatfield on a Saturday in the fall.

Being an Ursuline Companion has greatly enriched many lives and deepened our connection with God.