Ursuline sisters celebrate milestone anniversaries

Record Staff Report

Two Ursuline Sisters of Louisville are celebrating milestone anniversaries this year. They are:


Sister Lelia Kirchner (Mary Placidus), a native of Lyndon, Ky., joined the Ursuline sisters after she graduated high school from Ursuline Academy in 1948. She graduated from Ursuline College in 1963.

She taught at schools in Maryland and in Kentucky. Later, she went to Peru as a missionary where she co-founded St. Angela Merici School in Carmen de Legua, Peru, in 1965. Sister Kirchner served at the school until 1988, including 10 years as principal. She then entered pastoral ministry in San Miguel, Peru, until 2005.

She now serves as a volunteer at United Crescent Hill Ministries and at Centro Latino in Shelbyville, Ky.


Sister Jean Anne Zappa, a native of Pittsburgh, joined the Ursuline sisters in 1967 after graduating from Ursuline Academy Pittsburgh. She received degrees from Bellarmine College and St. Meinrad School of Theology.

Sister Zappa taught at Angela Merici High School from 1972-78 and Sacred Heart Academy from 1978-90. She served as the director of the Office of Ursuline Life from 1977-80 and served as the first Mission Effectiveness Director of Ursuline Campus Schools from 1990-96. She was an instructor for the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Permanent Diaconate Program from 1985-96.

She also served in parish ministry as pastoral associate of St. Athanasius Church from 1996-99, as well as serving on the Ursuline Sisters Leadership Team from 1996-2002 and as president from 2002-2008.

Sister Zappa currently serves with Shively Area Ministries in mission development, a ministry she has worked with since 1999. She also most recently served as chapel preservation coordinator for the Motherhouse Chapel capital campaign. She has also served as a trustee at Bellarmine University from 2002-2008. She is a trustee at DeSales High School, a position she’s held since 2014 and has been a member of the Catholic Education Foundation’s board of directors since 2016.

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