Ursuline Sisters’ Angela Merici Center to close

Ginny Schaeffer presented during the retreat “The Gift of Aging: Moving from Role to Soul,” in St. John Paul II Church’s Parish Life Center, July 27. Schaeffer, who served as director of the Angela Merici Center for Spirituality for 21 years, is retiring. (Photo Special to The Record)

The Angela Merici Center for Spirituality, which has offered reflections, meditation and contemplative prayer experiences for 25 years, announced it will close Dec. 31.

The Ursuline Sisters of Louisville began the ministry in the spirit of their foundress, St. Angela Merici, under the guidance of Sister Martha Buser in 1997. 

Ginny Schaeffer, the current director, took the helm 21 years ago, guiding the center in its mission to help people “grow in a contemplative love of God that results in an openness and eagerness to serve the needs of others.”

An announcement from the Ursuline Sisters said Schaeffer has decided to retire and, with her retirement, the community decided to close the center, though monthly Taizé prayer will continue.

These decisions bring joy and sadness, said Ursuline Sister Rita Ann Wigginton in a statement.

“We will miss Ginny’s presence among us,” she said. “Yet we are grateful for Ginny’s giftedness, generosity of heart, commitment and a spirit imbued with St. Angela herself.”

Schaeffer plans to offer retreats and other ministry at Bellarmine University beginning next summer “to spread St. Angela’s words and wisdom and spirit to the Bellarmine community,” Sister Wigginton said.

The old Bellarmine College and Ursuline College merged in 1968 to form what is now Bellarmine University.

Schaeffer said in the statement, “I owe a debt of gratitude to the Ursuline Sisters for allowing me the privilege of serving as the director of the Angela Merici Center for 21 years. Their trust in me to care for and nurture this ministry has been profoundly humbling. 

“They have encouraged and challenged me,” she added. “They gave me a place to use my gifts and talents. Most of all, they shared themselves with me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

Monthly, in-person Taizé Prayer services will continue at the Ursuline Motherhouse. Lisa Feldkamp, liturgist for the Ursuline Sisters, will lead the prayer. The services will also be available to view online.

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