Two communities of women religious are celebrating significant anniversaries this month — the Sisters of Loretto and the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph.
The Sisters of Loretto and the Loretto Co-Members in Louisville and in Nerinx, Ky., site of the Loretto Motherhouse, have several events scheduled to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the community’s founding in rural Kentucky.
Festivities for members of the community will begin at the Loretto motherhouse on April 22, with a 10 a.m. liturgy followed by a dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. At 2 p.m. the sisters will hold a ribbon cutting at their Heritage Center, and the day will conclude with a reception from 3:45 p.m. to 6 p.m.; supper from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. followed by a piano concert at 7 p.m. by pianist Denine LeBlanc.
On April 23, a day-long series of events will begin with a 9:30 a.m. liturgy, and will include a presentation by Sister Maureen McCormack at 1:30 p.m. on “Stepping Stones in Our Life,” and a “writers’ workshop” from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The events will conclude with a program at 7 p.m. called “A Century of Change: 1912-2012” where writers will share what they find to be important for the future of the Sisters of Loretto.
A similar series of events will be held April 24, including the 3 p.m. dedication of the Heritage Center, and a 7 p.m. trumpet concert following supper.
April 25 will be “Foundation Day,” marking the date in 1812 when the Sisters of Loretto community was established. Following a morning liturgy, a group photo will be taken at 11 a.m. at Rhodes Hall, and the day’s other events include a 3 p.m. “Symposium on the Future.”
The public is invited to take part in a “Prayer Service for Immigrants” hosted by the Loretto Community at 330 E. Breckinridge St., in Louisville at 4 p.m. April 26. That address is the location of a billboard promoting the sisters’ “Welcoming Immigrants” message.
The billboard says “I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” based on the words of Jesus. The word “stranger” has a slash through it, however, and is replaced by the word “immigrant.”
The billboard and the prayer service provide a way “to demonstrate the Loretto Community’s commitment to work for justice and to act for peace as Loretto celebrates 200 years of serving a nation of immigrants,” said a news release from the community.
On Oct. 12 of this year, the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph will mark the 100th anniversary of their autonomy from their parent community, the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville. And later this month, the community will hold three days of celebration of their work and ministry in Marion County, Ky.
On April 27, 28 and 29, the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph will hold a “Centennial Celebration” in Lebanon, Ky., celebrating the establishment of their teaching ministry in Marion County in 1912. The first day’s celebration will be highlighted by a 6 p.m. Mass (April 27) at St. Augustine Church celebrated by Bishop Charles Thompson of the Diocese of Evansville, Ind. Bishop Thompson formerly served as pastor of St. Augustine Church. Following the Mass, a reception will be held in the St. Augustine rectory.
On April 28, a special “Homecoming” of Sisters and former teachers will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at the St. Augustine Parish Hall. Sisters and teachers will visit various parishes in the community where they served in the past.
The day will end with a dinner and dance beginning with a cocktail hour at 6 p.m. at Center Square in Lebanon. The dinner will begin at 7 p.m. and the dance, featuring The Monarchs from Louisville will be held from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Archbishop of Louisville Joseph E. Kurtz and Bishop William Medley of the Diocese of Owensboro will concelebrate a Mass at 3 p.m. April 29 at St. Augustine Church. Following the Mass, they will lead a dedication service for a permanent memorial honoring the century of service by the Ursuline Sisters. The memorial will be placed at the David R. Hourigan Government Office Building in Lebanon.