May 2021 / VOLUME 25 ISSUE 1
From the Director's Desk...
Dear Friends,

I hope that this message finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. During this past year, I found myself reading some excerpts from Fr. Henri Nouwen’s works. In his book The Wounded Healer, Fr. Nouwen shares a story about a young fugitive who escaped to a village. When the soldiers searching for him demanded to know where he was hiding, the townspeople became fearful. The soldiers threatened to burn the village to the ground unless they handed over the young man. The people went to the minister and asked his advice. The minister looked to the Bible and read the words: “It is better that one man die than the whole people be lost.” He immediately called the soldiers and informed them where the fugitive was hiding. That night, an angel visited the minister to ask him what he had done. When the minister explained that he handed over the fugitive, the angel said, “But don’t you know that you handed over the Messiah?” When the minister asked how he possibly could have known this, the angel replied, “If you had visited this young man just once and looked into his eyes, you would have known.” During this year of social distancing and isolation, the message of this story has become even clearer to me: presence makes a difference.

Similarly, in the Gospel of John, we are told of Jesus’ appearance to the disciples following the crucifixion. Thomas, who was absent during the initial encounter, doubts the other apostles and states he will only believe if he sees and touches the wounds of the risen Christ. When the apostles are gathered again, this time with Thomas present, Christ appears again. As Thomas sees and touches the wounds, he is transformed, exclaiming: “My Lord and my God!” While Thomas was busy inspecting Christ’s physical wounds, Jesus healed Thomas’ psychological wounds of doubt, fear, and mistrust. Presence makes a difference.

Within our Ministry, we are grateful for all of those who have maintained presence--whether physical or spiritual--this year. Your support and generosity has allowed us to continue providing valuable services to the men, women, and children in our community living with HIV/AIDS. Your presence has made a difference.

In his book, Fr. Nouwen challenges us to put our own woundedness into the service of others. Nouwen suggests that Jesus’ experience of suffering and death brought joy and life. As followers of Jesus, we can allow our own wounds to bring healing into the world. The pandemic has caused us to be like the apostles before Pentecost--confined to our own “upper rooms.” But like those same disciples, we soon will be going out, back into a world in need of so much healing and in need of so much hope—wounded healers who can choose to use this past year’s loneliness to inspire us to bring companionship, grief to inspire us to bring comfort, and sadness to inspire us to bring joy. Our presence and our journey with others helps to transform others as much as it helps to transform ourselves. And so when we find ourselves tempted to judge without encountering, or to doubt instead of believe, let’s not forget the simple but important lesson: presence makes a difference.

With Gratitude,
Children's Program
More joy for our children...
The kids will be swinging into Summer! While we have been working with the children providing virtual, individualized tutoring and support, we have continued to work on upgrades at our children’s programming site. We are looking forward to returning to in-person programming with the children this summer and can’t wait to see their faces when they see their new playground! A generous grant from Ronald McDonald Charities made it possible for us to replace our old playground, which was about twenty years old. In addition, we are working on converting our garden space into a children’s garden, complete with some tables and chairs, and a teepee for the children to enjoy being outdoors this summer!
Our Clinic
A new, larger clinic...
After several years of planning and preparation, we have officially moved our clinic into a larger space! Our clinic now provides medical services to over 400 men, women, and children in our community who are living with HIV/AIDS. While the pandemic slowed the process down a little bit, we moved into the new space at the end of April. The new space will allow us to continue providing the quality and compassionate care that we always have, but with some additional perks including a dedicated space for peer navigators to work with clients, along with a private waiting area for our current clients.
So much to celebrate!
Our clinic turns 20 in 2021! We have been serving people in our community, living with HIV/AIDS since May of 2001. We are so proud of the work that is being done everyday at the clinic.
Please take a look at our video commemorating this important milestone.
Food & Pantries Program
Expanding food options for those in need... 
Our food pantry program has continued to provide essential services during this pandemic. While we are nearing completion of our satellite food pantry on the south side, we also have continued our monthly food distributions from the Ursuline Center in Canfield.

Because of the generosity of several donors and organizations in our community, we were able to provide each household with an Easter ham. We thank all of those who continue to offer support for the people in need who are served by our food programs and pantries.
Housing Program
Renovations to our emergency shelter...
Our housing program has received generous grant funding to convert one of the levels of our emergency shelter into an efficiency apartment. While this space can be used as a quarantine space, once the pandemic is behind us, it will also provide a safe and welcoming space for a person in need. Our shelter provides emergency housing to those living with HIV/AIDS who have an immediate and critical housing need. We are thrilled with how the apartment looks!
Fundraising Fun!
The Nun Run
We are excited to announce two upcoming fundraisers this fall. We will have the 7th annual Nun Run 5k Race & 1 Mile Walk at the Ursuline Center on Saturday, October 2nd. We will be offering the event as a hybrid event this year, meaning that you can participate in person or virtually! Registration is $25.00 or $30.00 the day of the race. Registration is open online at or you can contact Rochelle at for a registration form. Proceeds will benefit the children’s program of our Ministry as well as the kids at the Ursuline Preschool & Kindergarten.
Beer & Wine Tasting
In addition, our popular Beer & Wine Tasting fundraiser is back! It will be held on Saturday, November 13th, from 6-9pm at Stambaugh Auditorium. Registration for this event will open soon. Please contact Rochelle at for more information. The proceeds from this event will benefit our children's program. We hope to see you there!
Please consider a tax deductible donation. Every dollar helps to
feed, clothe, and shelter our
families and children.
We are also always in need
of the following items:
soap, body wash, toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray, gift cards to food delivery services, gift cards to grocery stores & restaurants

Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry
4280 Shields Road
Canfield, OH 44406
PH: 330-793-0434