Seven Ursuline Sisters of Louisville are celebrating jubilee years of six and seven decades of ministry this year.
Among them are teachers, authors, pastoral ministers, social workers, spiritual directors, leaders and volunteers. They are:
Sister Martha (Olga) Buser, a native of Louisville, joined the Ursuline community in 1950.
She began as a teacher in Pittsburgh and at Sacred Heart Academy. After becoming novice director in 1972, she studied St. Angela Merici, and began giving talks and retreats about the saint in every Ursuline Motherhouse in North America, several in Europe and spent six weeks in South Africa in 1990. She published two books on St. Angela: “Also in Your Midst” and “Lover of Us All.”
She founded the Angela Prayer Center in 1979 and was on staff at the Milford Spiritual Center in Ohio.
Sister Buser became the first woman to direct the permanent diaconate program for the Archdiocese of Louisville. She co-founded the Company of Saint Angela and founded the Angela Merici Center for Spirituality. She continues to be a presenter, writer and spiritual director.
Sister Colette Kraemer, a native of Louisville, joined the Ursuline community in 1950. She was a teacher for more than 30 years in Pittsburgh and in the Archdiocese of Louisville at the old St. George and St. Martin of Tours schools and Sacred Heart Model School, Angela Merici High School and Sacred Heart Academy.
She also served as director of the Office of Ursuline Life, on the Leadership Team, as co-director of the Associate Call and as director of mission effectiveness for the Ursuline Campus Schools. She also served as a trustee and secretary of the board of Sacred Heart Schools. She now resides at Twinbrook Assisted Living.
Sister Mary Denis West, a native of Louisville, became invested in the community in 1950 and professed final vows in 1955. Her teaching career lasted 29 years, during which she taught in Louisville; Columbia, South Carolina and Cumberland, Maryland. In Louisville, Sister West taught at St. Raphael, Our Mother of Sorrows, St. Helen, St. Clement and St. Elizabeth of Hungary schools.
After retiring from teaching, she worked in the dining room at Marian Home, assisted as a community driver for the sisters, participated in the ElderServe program and, in her later years, volunteered at Baptist Hospital East. She now resides at Twinbrook Assisted Living.
Sister Sara (Virginia Ann) Delaney, a native of Louisville, joined the Ursuline Community in 1960. During her 40-year career as a math teacher, Sister Delaney taught at Sacred Heart Academy, served as a teacher and administrator at Angela Merici High School and taught at Holy Cross High School. She also taught at Holy Rosary Academy, Most Blessed Sacrament, Our Mother of Sorrows and St. Francis of Assisi schools and also taught in Georgia for two years.
She now resides at Twinbrook Assisted Living, where she focuses her creative energies on gardening with one of her sisters and helping family members.
Sister Rita (Ursula Marie) Dressman, a native of Cumberland, Md., grew up on her father’s family farm. She taught at Our Lady of Lourdes and then helped start the Montessori school on the Ursuline campus with Sister Marlene Oetken, who was the director. She taught in Cumberland, Md., and Morgantown, W.V., and was the director of religious education for her childhood parish, Sts. Peter and Paul Church.
She also served as vocation director for the Ursuline Sisters, on the Leadership Team and as the coordinator for the Ursuline Sisters living at Sacred Heart Home, now Nazareth Home-Clifton.
She continues to work with them as well as the Sisters at Twinbrook on various projects for the homeless, with Ursuline Associate and young friends at Sacred Heart Preschool, other volunteer ministries and spiritual direction.
Sister Kathleen (Joseph Angela) Neely, a native of Cumberland, Md., entered the community in 1960 and taught at Holy Trinity School. Her ministry moved to Peru when she started teaching at the Peruvian Navy School and then joined several other Ursulines in Carmen de la Legua in Peru.
She and Father Austin Garvey founded a school for mentally and physically handicapped children named Fe y Audición (Faith and Hearing).
In 1985, Fe y Audición merged with a larger school and, in 1991, she moved to San Miguel in the Cajamarca region of Peru in the Andes. She joined several other sisters where they worked with rural catechists and traveled to small towns doing pastoral ministry.
She then helped start a rehabilitation center — Saint Angela Merici Rehabilitation Center — in 2012 for physically and mentally challenged children and adults that serves the entire province of San Miguel. She is now in transition from Peru and returning to Louisville.
Sister Sue (John David) Scharfenberger, a native of Louisville, entered the Ursuline community in 1960. She was a teacher in Louisville, was responsible for formation in the community. She also served in social work in Hernando, Miss., with Sacred Heart Southern Missions and was in pastoral ministry with two parishes there.
For the last 40 years, she has lived in Peru, where she has served in pastoral ministry at Santa Angela Merici Parish in Carmen de la Legua and at Cajabamba Parish and San Miguel Parish in the Andes Mountains. She currently serves as the director of mission effectiveness at Saint Angela Merici School and also is in ministry with the Ursuline Associates in Peru.