This remarkable religious order, led, as Mother Julia Chatfield said, “by a Divine Hand,” grew in numbers from the original eleven to some 100 strong by the 1960s. Today there are 23 Brown County Ursulines, and the vast majority of them are well over 65. Not surprisingly, they are facing their retirement years with the strength, faith and grace that has characterized the order from the beginning. In preparation for the time when more and more Sisters will need elder care, they have divested themselves of their long cherished land in Brown County, sold items of value not intrinsic to their history, and continue to live simply.
You know these intrepid women, The Ursulines of Brown County, the very ones who arrived, eleven strong, in the Ohio wilderness one hot summer day in 1845. They’ve taught you, counseled you, passed on a love of knowledge, of service, of God. They’ve lifted you up, settled you down, helped you become more spiritual, more accomplished, more compassionate. But did you know their numbers have diminished while their ages and infirmities have increased? And did you know that until fairly recently, the Sisters received no salaries for their monumental efforts? All they were and all they had was invested in their schools and ministries.
Despite the Ursulines’ frugality and stewardship, a committee of financial advisers has identified that their resources currently fall $2 million short of the amount needed to provide for the remaining Sisters. Only a few nuns are currently receiving salaries, so earnings won’t make up the shortfall and there’s nothing left to sell. So that the Sisters may enjoy dignity in retirement and receive the care they’ve earned a thousand times over, this Season for the Sisters Campaign has been quietly initiated. A one-time only effort, it will help fund the care requirements of the elderly Sisters. It will also ensure the necessary resources are available when more and more Sisters need that care.
The Ursulines of Brown County have made peace with the fact that their religious order will cease to exist. They refer to that reality as “coming to completion.” It means that they have fulfilled their mission and God’s plan. But their courageous spirit and the charism of their founders lives on at Ursuline Academy, Chatfield College, and in the minds and hearts and actions of the thousands they inspired. If you were ever touched by this God-centered group of bright, courageous, intelligent, creative, mystical, strong and vibrant women, now is the time to say “Thank You.”
If you would like to say thank you with your financial contribution, you may donate online by clicking the button above, or call Sr. Christine Pratt at 513-484-7519, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn all the ways a gift may be made. Thank you for thinking of us in your charitable giving.
The Ursulines of Brown County 20860 State Route 251, St. Martin, OH 45118-9705