Ursuline Sisters of Louisville transferred their chapel preservation fund to Sacred Heart Schools during a ceremony held on the feast day of St. Angela Merici, Jan. 27. The fund was started in 2017 by the Ursuline Sisters to “celebrate the centennial of the Ursuline Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, also known as the Motherhouse Chapel,” which was dedicated Dec. 8, 1917, according to a media release from the Ursuline Sisters.
The gift of the $4.2 million chapel preservation fund follows one that the Ursulines gave to Sacred Heart Schools two and a half years ago — the transfer of all buildings and land on the 48-acre Ursuline Campus, including Sacred Heart Schools and the Motherhouse Chapel.
Dr. Karen McNay, school president, said, “Sacred Heart Schools is blessed to carry on the tradition of the Ursuline Sisters and honor their legacy by caring for this sacred place. We are grateful to our Sisters for this gift that ensures our students, faculty, alumnae and community can worship and celebrate in the Chapel for years to come.”
Kathy Williams, director of communications and public relations for the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville, said in an interview that because the sisters gave the land and buildings to the school in 2019, it made sense to give them the chapel fund too.
“The sisters are getting smaller in number and aging, so this frees them up to do other ministries,” she said. “They’ve been very wise with their investments and were able to gift it to the school, which I think is a beautiful thing.”
Ursuline President Sister Jean Anne Zappa said the chapel is a beautiful space but their ministry isn’t about the space, it’s about what they do when they leave it and how they give glory to God in their community.
“Even though the ministries may change and be fewer, the mission continues, which is living the Gospel and in the spirit of St. Angela’s charism,” she said.
The chapel preservation fund can be used only for the upkeep and maintenance of the chapel, which is in the school’s care. According to the release, the chapel preservation fund has facilitated the following repairs and upgrades, thus far: new carpet, plaster repairs, painting the chapel court and protective windows installed over the chapel’s stained-glass windows.