Nine Ursuline Sisters of Louisville are celebrating milestone anniversaries this year, including Sister Mary Vincent Strittmatter, who is celebrating 80 years of religious life.
At age 99, the native of Rushville, Neb., serves in the ministry of prayer and presence. She spent 51 years as a teacher in Kentucky and Nebraska, including 30 years working with special needs children. She also spent nearly 20 years serving and advocating for senior citizens.
In the Archdiocese of Louisville, Sister Strittmatter taught at St. Anthony, St. Vincent de Paul and St. Francis of Assisi schools. She also taught at Ursuline College and served for 11 years as director of the Ursuline Special Education Learning Center.
She ministered to seniors in Nebraska and in Louisville, including at Share Care Adult Day Care, the now-closed Marian Home and the former Sacred Heart Village).
Celebrating 75 years, Sister Macrina Stermec, also serves in the ministry of prayer and presence. She taught at a host of Louisville schools, including St. Martin, St. Leo, Holy Spirit, St. Helen and St. Anthony schools. She also taught in Nebraska, Maryland and Pennsylvania, where she also served as a principal.
Her religious life, which began in 1939, was aided by lottery winnings. Educated by Ursuline Sisters in Conemaugh, Pa., Sister Stermec said she aspired to join the Ursulines, but the family hadn’t funds for her tuition.
“I prayed to the Blessed Mother and a week later my mom won $1,000 in a lottery! That paid for my tuition,” she said in a press release from the Ursuline Sisters.
In addition to teaching, she also served as an assistant in the sisters’ finance office, where she still volunteers on Wednesdays.
Celebrating 70 years is Sister Rose Ann Born, a native of Madison, Ind. She taught in Louisville, South Carolina, Mississippi, Indiana and Pittsburgh.
During more than 40 years as a teacher, Sister Born has kept track of each student in a little black book where she recorded their names, grades and years she taught them. The book lists 1,530 students.
She taught in Louisville at St. Anthony, St. Raphael, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Therese, St. Helen, Most Blessed Sacrament and St. Timothy schools. In
Louisville, she also served at Marian Home, Sister Visitor Center, Nativity Academy and in the Ursuline finance office.
She is also a breast cancer survivor.
Sister Julia Davis, a native of Fort Knox, Ky., volunteers with multiple organizations currently. She served as a teacher for 17 years and at parishes in music ministry, pastoral ministry and religious education in Kentucky, South Carolina and Mississippi.
In the Archdiocese of Louisville, she taught at St. Raphael, St. Leo, St. Peter Claver, St. Rita and St. Helen schools. She also served in the following parishes in the archdiocese: St. Helen, St. Brigid in Vine Grove, St. Francis of Assisi and Mother of Good Counsel. She also served at St. Joseph Home and in the Ursuline Child Development Center.
Sister Clara Fehringer, currently a pastoral associate at St. Paul Church in Lexington, Ky., has been a teacher, pastoral minister, formation director, Hispanic minister, campus minister and in leadership of the Ursuline Sisters in Kentucky, Nebraska, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Peru and Texas.
In the archdiocese, she taught at St. Therese, St. Anthony, St. Ann, St. Joseph schools and other inner city schools as well as at Coke Methodist Church Day Care.
She is originally from Colorado where she grew up on a farm.
Sister Marilyn Mueller, who currently ministers to residents of Signature Healthcare facilities, served as a teacher, parish minister and chaplain in Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Louisville.
In the Archdiocese of Louisville, she taught at St. Francis of Assisi and St. Vincent de Paul schools, Angela Merici High School and Sacred Heart Academy. She served in outreach ministry at Our Lady of Mount Carmel and as a chaplain for elderly people and those in rehabilitation centers in Louisville and Taylorsville, Ky.
Sister Patricia Ann Thompson,, who currently serves on the Marian Community Team at Mercy Sacred Heart (formerly Sacred Heart Village), has served in
education and health care.
She taught at Our Mother of Sorrows, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Helen and Holy Trinity schools. She served as an LPN at the Ursuline Motherhouse Infirmary, Nazareth Home and Marian Home, where she also served as director of nursing.
Sister Louise Marie Willenbrink, who volunteers as a proofreader for Sacred Heart Schools, served as an educator in Kentucky, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Mississippi and West Virginia. In the Archdiocese of Louisville, she taught at St. Francis of Assisi and served as principal of Angela Merici High School and Sacred Heart Academy, where she also served as a counselor and teacher mentor.
She also is an alumna of Sacred Heart.
Sister Judith Rice, director of mission effectiveness for Sacred Heart Schools, has served in education and leadership for the Ursuline Sisters for most of her religious life.
She has served as a teacher and personnel director at Angela Merici High School; as a teacher, assistant principal and dean of studies at Sacred Heart Academy and as a councilor in leadership of the Ursuline Sisters.
She also is an alumna of Sacred Heart.