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Alumnae Share Their Memories of the

Ursuline Sisters

At 20 years old, after learning that young women in her hometown of Desenzano del Garda, Italy, had no education or hope, Angela Merici opened her home and began to teach them herself. She taught them the Catholic Christian faith, how to pray and how to participate in the Church's sacramental life. There began Angela's mission of educating and empowering women, which remains integral to the Ursulines' life and mission.

Globally, the Ursulines have schools in places such as Cameroon, Cambodia, and Kenya. The Eastern Province founded four schools: The Ursuline School in New Rochelle, NY, the Academy of Mount Saint Ursula in Bronx, NY, The Ursuline Academy in Wilmington, DE, and the now-closed College of New Rochelle. They still hold a prominent role in these schools by serving on the Board of Directors. Below, read touching testimonies from alumnae who shared how the Ursuline Sisters have impacted their lives.

In 1956, Mother Therese felt compassion for the public school kid from the Bronx as I struggled through theology class with a mountain of questions. At the close of the year she told me she prayed for me every night. It made a lasting loving impression.

- Marie (Porco) Rossi, College of New Rochelle, Class of 1960


Mother Mary Austin was an important friend in the years I attended the Academy of Mount Saint Ursula. She took time to listen to me and hear my thoughts about the Church and some of its Do's and Don'ts. She always upheld the Church's teaching but gave me leeway to have my own thoughts. After Pope John opened the Catholic Church to some independent thinking we continued our discussions as I went on to college. She was instrumental in getting me a job at Holy Angels Elementary School in Newark, Delaware. My husband and I moved from Newark back to Boston where he was an undergraduate at MIT. I’ve always remembered her kindness and interest and regret not continuing our friendship.

- Camille Cardon Johnston, Academy of Mount Saint Ursula,

Class of 1954

I was taught by the Ursulines from first to twelfth grade. I cherish the years that I spent under their guidance for my spirituality, my excellent education, especially in English, and the traditions: celebrating Advent and not Christmas before the holy day, reciting the Angelus at lunchtime at Mount Saint Ursula, ring day, gold and blue bows, and May processions. I have spent my whole life devoted to the “Memorare,” taught to me by the Ursulines. I am so grateful to many of the Sisters: Mother Cornelius, my first-grade teacher; Mother Ruth, my seventh and eighth-grade teacher; and Mother St. Pierre, my high school principal, to mention only a few. I am 78 years old and can still remember the names of all my teachers. They made such an impact on me. Thank you for everything, and I pray for your eternal peace.

- Barbara Perry Brogan, Our Lady of Mercy, Class of 1958 and Academy of Mount Saint Ursula, Class of 1962


On December 8th, 1950, our family moved. I was heartsick to leave my friends and the school I had attended for six years. On the following Monday, I was enrolled in the sixth grade at St. Philip Neri School, and my new teacher's name was Sister Ignatius, OSU. Before the day was finished, I was enthralled with my new teacher! She had a great love of turtles, and she brought them to school in a black leather bag. I was fascinated when she took ten turtles out of her bag and told us the name of each one as she placed them so lovingly in an aquarium. This was a daily occurrence! Later in the day, as we studied history and the Crusades, Sister assigned me to be "Robert the Lion-Hearted." She instructed me to carry the long pole used to open high windows and told me to run around the room as if I were galloping on a horse. Sister was also a talented artist. She took us to many galleries, museums, and the luxurious home of Howard Chandler Christy, a famous painter of portraits and posters. He admired Sister's talents and was her dear friend.

Sister Ignatius was truly a "Renaissance Woman" with many varied interests and who ignited her students with her childlike enthusiasm for everything! I have always remembered her. In college, I studied drama, and to this day, I love and attend the theater and art museums frequently!

- Nancy Prior Shannon, St. Philip Neri School, Class of 1953 and Academy of Mount Saint Ursula, Class of 1957

Share your memories of the Ursuline Sisters Here.

November 28th is Giving Tuesday!

Please remember the Ursuline Sisters and their remarkable work by contributing to our

Giving Tuesday Campaign.

Our goal is to surpass what we raised last year, which goes towards the care and health of the retired Sisters, as well enabling active Sisters to continue their mission of serving society's most vulnerable population.

You can make an online gift by clicking Here or you can mail a check to: 

The Ursuline Provincialate

1338 North Avenue

New Rochelle, NY 10804

Attn: Development Office

The Sisters are so very grateful for all that you do and will keep you and your family in their daily prayers.

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